[video] 5.5 vs. 4.5 lesson

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Ok well Imo the core issue isn't really the brush up part on FH, you brush up plenty (at least at contact), leave balls short if anything... its your takeback. You take a very short low backswing with almost no loop to accelerate the racket. Most atp have racket head high at unit turn start accelerating rh with a loop. You kind of just drop the racket down behind you and lift the ball forward and up with your arm, not a lot of torso coil, lag or explosiveness. Tough to get easy power or have much depth. I'd look at your prep and takeback form. atp guys today are more compact than say, Lendl, who had that big signature loop, but you need a high unit turn and loop to get you into patdog and then into the slot. Do that whole shoulder tucked under chin thing.
why do you advocate high unit turn?
i modeled my fh more after ferrer... and i go out of my way to keep my hands low on the take back (less moving parts for slightly less power)

i'm not sure what you mean by "not a lot of torso coil, lag or explosiveness"... because i'm hitting on the run, or in general? in general i think i am doing this.
 
in this 2nd set i was focusing on brushing more... (a work in progress)
coach was saying, more brush + more height == more depth
flatter == lower clearance, more erros

at 0:58 i was just buying myself time... was already tired
I think that's a very good advice. At the beginning of my lesson, I was asked whether I'm mostly playing singles or doubles. Since I mostly play doubles these days, the pointers were not the same. For singles, though, that's pretty much match what I was told.

An interesting observation that I noticed from watching local Open tournaments is that many of the very good Open players hit with NOT that much clearance (comparatively speaking, explained later below), BUT they all hit with tons of brushing/spins - therefore keeping the ball in while still hitting the crap out of the balls.

Now, at the Challenger level that I watch where higher ranked players (including ex top-25 players, etc.), they seem to hit with a lot more clearance, same or more pace + RPMs on all strokes across the board, and of course better accuracy in opening up courts.

Surely the higher bouncing clearance with all the other extra parameters will give an Open-level players more trouble. Not sure which of the parameters give the Open players more trouble - perhaps a combo of everything. But, for sure a higher bouncing, deep balls are harder to attack then a hard-hit balls that's waist-to-shoulder level high.
 
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Nice play.. Coach was really having fun out there - seeing if he could beat you with slices and such. Honestly can't imagine you could get a whole lot better as a rec player..

But if you wanted to get beyond 4.5 (or just be a stronger 4.5) - my take is that you are carrying a bit too much weight around.. You still move well but you could be even faster. Not going to comment too much on the technique - you have some of the best on this board..IMHO. But technique is not everything.
thx
yep, i agree about the weight... i'm working on that. i'm down 15lb, so i used to be heavier... probably the key to making the most gains as a tennis player.
 

atp2015

Hall of Fame
in this 2nd set i was focusing on brushing more... (a work in progress)
coach was saying, more brush + more height == more depth
flatter == lower clearance, more erros

at 0:58 i was just buying myself time... was already tired
interesting. the coach hits flat (though deep) shots, but wants students to hit high over the net!
one more thing - your approaches were mostly cc and not dtl. was it intentional?
 
enjoyed the video, the coach does have some killer placement so that even his slower shots are deadly! I think your toss is frequently too far left costing you some mph. Also, I think you'd get more from your forehand if you made it smoother, eg a more gradual acceleration of the racket
 
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If he's currently a UTR 13 like the description says, he's just shy of players ranked 1000 in the world. So it would have to be a world class player like you see on TV to destroy him. OTOH if he's a former UTR 13 then anyone with a world ranking would beat him up. I can't tell his level from this video because he isn't trying his best.
looked him up and he is 13+ according to utr (can't see the decimal since i didn't pay)...

he also has wins (in juniors) over guys that are currently top 300 atp

he got a full ride to a d1 school that is currently ranked in the top 10

either way, he's definitely not trying his hardest
 
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Deleted member 23235

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interesting. the coach hits flat (though deep) shots, but wants students to hit high over the net!
one more thing - your approaches were mostly cc and not dtl. was it intentional?
he was showing off.

he was also guiding me on what i need at my current level (or you'll need this tool if you expect to compete at 5.0)...

at his level, when he was competing, he said he needed to hit flatter riskier shots, else his opponent will do it before him.

i was approaching cc to his bh, because he running fh was ridiculous... after he did it like 3-4 times to me he said, "those were good approach shots,... don't worry you won't see that at 5.0"
 
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enjoyed the video, the coach does have some killer placement so that even his slower shots are deadly! I think your toss is frequently too far left costing you some mph. Also, I think you'd get more from your forehand if you made it smoother, eg a more gradual acceleration of the racket
yeah we actually talked a bit about touch and feel (i.e. jerking me around with touch shots)... basically something you just learn from playing ALOT. not something you specifically practice

coach said i tossed too far left also... on my todo list to practice contact to right of my head. good observation :)

coach also said i could get more pace if i didn't pause (like you said), but he's fine with the pace i have, and focus more on depth (and placement). adding more pace (beyond what i already have) is the last thing in need to worry about (too many other things that if done well will add pace naturally without actually focusing on it)
 
A big thing he told me all summer long was NOT to worry about pace.
He said to "develop the stroke" FEEEEEL the stroke.
Get it high. Get some spin. Swing out. Really big on extending out and hitting away from you.

He said trust the process. Develop the stoke, and the pace will be easy to add later. That is the easiest part.
After 3 months of hitting, I am now at a place where I can almost swing as hard as I can, and it will stay in.
 
looked him up and he is 13+ according to utr (can't see the decimal since i didn't pay)...

he also has wins (in juniors) over guys that are currently top 300 atp

he got a full ride to a d1 school that is currently ranked in the top 10

either way, he's definitely not trying his hardest
If it says he's UTR 13, his decimal is between 12.50 and 13.49. That's on the boundary of having a world ranking. Most 13s don't and most 14s do. Anyway, he's a tremendous player. I'm a 10 so I'd be eating bagels too. Whole different world to play a natural athlete who trained a ton from a young age.
 
why do you advocate high unit turn?
i modeled my fh more after ferrer... and i go out of my way to keep my hands low on the take back (less moving parts for slightly less power)

i'm not sure what you mean by "not a lot of torso coil, lag or explosiveness"... because i'm hitting on the run, or in general? in general i think i am doing this.
why do you advocate high unit turn?
i modeled my fh more after ferrer... and i go out of my way to keep my hands low on the take back (less moving parts for slightly less power)

i'm not sure what you mean by "not a lot of torso coil, lag or explosiveness"... because i'm hitting on the run, or in general? in general i think i am doing this.
I'm not really advocating high unit turn... and I see your comparison to Ferrer. but it seems like you just bring the racket behind you low, not really a loop, which even ferrer has, pause and then pull it forward as I think someone mentioned below. I was thinking with a higher unit turn you get the racket moving into a loop sooner and eliminate this hitch which I think is robbing you of power.
 
Valid point about less moving parts and I do like the compactness of your stroke but if we're talking about pushing it to the next level then I think that's something you need to look at. That back swing and starting to work more of a loop into that take back.
 
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Chadillac

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focus more on depth (and placement).
The point at 25 secs is a great example of this, you had a short forehand off the return and you rolled it short instead of flat up the line deep. He pops the roller, but if you had pace deep he would of been in trouble.

Id work on a deep flat forehand up the line, smaller guys get a very fast skidding area and its kinda natural to hit down (unless really high). Russel does this very well, he goes from defense to offense when he strikes it.
 
Re brush/non brush, if you see the forehand at 0:27 or so, there was a lot of time to hit and yet it didn't really go through the court and instead sort of sat up after bounce. Maybe you are pulling the racquet across too soon. You could extend forward a bit while maintaining a shallow down to up angle so you're hitting through the ball while still getting net clearance. Yeah maybe more take back would help but it's less critical.
 
I think his movement is fine sure he could be quicker with less weight but I think stroke fundamentals will get him further. He's just not getting a lot of pop on the ball it's still mostly an armed type forehand look at the point starting around 2:55 The Long Point ending where the coach slices past him with a forehand. He's really just arming the ball kind of taking that low back swing and dragging through the ball rather than taking a big full looped swing at it. There's a fh when he's kind of caught and no man's land and I understand he's under duress and has been running all over the place but he totally just kind of muscle heaves the ball back over.
This is the typical questionable advice this place is littered with, no offense.

Let's look at that point again starting at 2:50
1) 2:48 Kicker that goes over his head. He takes a full BH cut at it. Killer return that lands deep and forces a slice.
2) 2:52 Out of screen defensive BH that lands short (service line). Now, coach is in control. Slices it to corner on other side of court.
3) 2:55 Running FH that is driven high and deep. Great shot that puts opponent on the run, and forces a slice from the baseline. Short ball generated. NYTA is now in command. You're insane if you're calling this a bad FH.
4) 2:59 Angles it away. Coach is waiting for the CC FH. Coach runs it down. What are you going to do? CRUSH the ball here like a 3.5 spazz? No. Maybe drop shot, knowing coach is fast.
5) 3:04 lob return. When tired. Hits it deep and forces another slice.
6) 3:07 running FH. Since the ball arced up, he overruns and jams himself and hits it short. Point over. Of course his FH will suck here. This is not his real FH. He's totally jammed and too close.

So, which FH are you even talking about? 3? 4? 6?
 
why do you advocate high unit turn?
i modeled my fh more after ferrer... and i go out of my way to keep my hands low on the take back (less moving parts for slightly less power)

i'm not sure what you mean by "not a lot of torso coil, lag or explosiveness"... because i'm hitting on the run, or in general? in general i think i am doing this.

He is extremely fast and does not seem to make an error . Good defensive player

Is your BH stronger than your FH
You had good aggressive tactics but this guy seems to counter every shot you hit

Please show us more in round 2
 
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Your kick serve looks good and you seem good at the net

Backhand was solid !!!!

First serve just needs more pace

Great footwork and intensity and effort

Next week I want to see you vs Noah Rubin !!
You might be taller than him lol
 
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nice work. My coach is very similar to yours and as a 4.5, it is really interesting to see how much better these guys are at every single aspect of the tennis game. I have found that dropping some weight has helped with my court coverage, footwork, ground stroke prep, etc... you might want to look into losing some weight too. Not trying to be critical or anything just my thoughts. You've got a good game so keep up the good work and if you're ever in DFW let's hit!
Yeah 5.5 is a rarity to find on public courts
I can only find one per club
Thank god I don't play open lol
 
I would not exactly call that a short FH when it lands several feet past the service line, along with plenty of topspin.
Against a high level player (make that VERY high level), it is short. They don't need the ball to be inside the service line to attack. If it's not in the last quarter of the court (up to the baseline) and straight down without much angle, it's toast. The coach hit a winner off it with his backhand. He would probably be able to hit half volley winners if he had to, but to make him work a bit for his points, the groundies would have to be close to the baseline if not right on it. Also, what's plenty of topspin is again relative to level. That ball was already descending and was comfortable hitting height for the coach. Only a ball really kicking up off the surface would pose any kind of problem for a player of that level. Ideally, a ball that is still rising as it reaches the baseline because that forces the other guy to back off or hit on the rise at an uncomfortable height. I am not saying NYTA hit a bad shot per se, just that against a 5.5 it IS a short ball.
 
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The point at 25 secs is a great example of this, you had a short forehand off the return and you rolled it short instead of flat up the line deep. He pops the roller, but if you had pace deep he would of been in trouble.

Id work on a deep flat forehand up the line, smaller guys get a very fast skidding area and its kinda natural to hit down (unless really high). Russel does this very well, he goes from defense to offense when he strikes it.
Re brush/non brush, if you see the forehand at 0:27 or so, there was a lot of time to hit and yet it didn't really go through the court and instead sort of sat up after bounce. Maybe you are pulling the racquet across too soon. You could extend forward a bit while maintaining a shallow down to up angle so you're hitting through the ball while still getting net clearance. Yeah maybe more take back would help but it's less critical.
yeah, i agree, need both.
in the beginning of my lessons with him, i actually only hit flat, which is great when i make it, but he demostrated that i needed a better rally shot (ie. he forced errors just rolling it back deep from side to side), to set up a flatter attack shots (against short balls).
so this set is me just focusing on more brush... but agree that in this scenario i could have flattened it out for a more effective approach shot.
 
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I think his movement is fine sure he could be quicker with less weight but I think stroke fundamentals will get him further. He's just not getting a lot of pop on the ball it's still mostly an armed type forehand look at the point starting around 2:55 The Long Point ending where the coach slices past him with a forehand. He's really just arming the ball kind of taking that low back swing and dragging through the ball rather than taking a big full looped swing at it. There's a fh when he's kind of caught and no man's land and I understand he's under duress and has been running all over the place but he totally just kind of muscle heaves the ball back over.
that 2:55 example is terrible.
yes, it is an armed fh, but it's because he's pulled me out of position, and i'm just struggling to get it back.
any shot where my opp is making me hit with less time that i need to prep, is gonna be an example of a stroke rife with technical flaws.
the solution to *that armed fh* is better conditioning to get myself in position
and/or a better previous shot to prevent him from getting me out of position in the first place.
 
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That's some nice playing. I really like your backhand and we would have a really fun match haha. Also, your coach is pretty OP haha he's not even trying to hit hard etc., just beating you with spin and placement.

Where are you located? And do you recommend taking lessons to get to the high 4.5/5.0 or do you think I will make it there on my own eventually with more matchplay?
thx.
we're in NY.
he's a utr 13, with wins (in juniors) over guys that are currently atp top 300.... so yeah, he has a lot of control.
given the few lessons i've take with this coach, and the progress that @TimeToPlaySets has made from 3.0 with no strokes, to guy with the tools to get to 4.0, yeah, i highly recommend lessons to get to 4.5/5.0...
they will only point out fundamentals that you've heard a million times, but those reminders are critical.

sample of some redundant things:
* get in shape, lose some weight, etc... tennis is running.
* at contact; get down, stay low, and keep your eyes on the contact... (thx to ttps vid... i can see just how bad/often i don't do this)
* high higher + more brush == depth (then have coach hit slice after slice after slice, til you get it somewhat ingrained)

hard questions:
* how do i find a good coach (that also matches my learning style) - it's not always about previous accomplishments
* how much do i have to pay for a good coach,... and am i willing to pay for it (some parts of the country are just so damn expensive...)
 
@nytennisaddict

Please don't listen to the majority of the advice in this thread about what you should've done differently, etc. You are a better player than most all of them and I'm sure you wanted to hit bigger, harder, deeper and with more spin, BUT a 5.5 wouldn't let you do it because he is just so much better. Better players are great at making lesser players uncomfortable. That's what they do. His typical rally groundstrokes at his level would make you uncomfortable because he can hit at that level all day long while you can only maintain it for a short period at a time before you cough up a short ball. Then he'd move in a put pressure on you and you'd cough up a weak ball that peeps here are going to advise you to avoid hitting. ;) easier said than done when you are overmatched.
 
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He is extremely fast and does not seem to make an error . Good defensive player

Is your BH stronger than your FH
You had good aggressive tactics but this guy seems to counter every shot you hit

Please show us more in round 2
more important than his speed, is his anticipation, which makes him look like he's not trying. he is a counter puncher, 2-3 NTRP levels higher than me (think about how you would play again someone 2-3 NTRP levels below you :p)
no my bh is weaker than fh (albeit less prone to error, because i'm not trying to hit forcing shots with my bh).
round 2? these lessons are expensive! AND @TimeToPlaySets did all the hard work of recording, edit, posting, etc...
 
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Yeah 5.5 is a rarity to find on public courts
I can only find one per club
Thank god I don't play open lol
if you've never played a 5.5+, you should - kinda energizes you at what's possible.
playing open is probably the best way to find that :)
 
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@nytennisaddict

Please don't listen to the majority of the advice in this thread about what you should've done differently, etc. You are a better player than most all of them and I'm sure you wanted to hit bigger, harder, deeper and with more spin, BUT a 5.5 wouldn't let you do it because he is just so much better. Better players are great at making lesser players uncomfortable. That's what they do. His typical rally groundstrokes at his level would make you uncomfortable because he can hit at that level all day long while you can only maintain it for a short period at a time before you cough up a short ball. Then he'd move in a put pressure on you and you'd cough up a weak ball that peeps here are going to advise you to avoid hitting. ;) easier said than done when you are overmatched.
thx.
honestly all comments are valuable (from a learning perspective)... even the ones that are "wrong"...
because it promotes conversation, alternate ideas, facts, etc..
at the very least, makes me think about it, and helps me articulate how i might teach someone that concept when it comes up again.

but yeah, i agree, 5.5 or a 5.0 is gonna make me look bad no matter what i do (at this stage in my tennis evolution) - hopefully folks get to learn at my expense! i certainly learned alot.
 

Power Player

Talk Tennis Guru
@nytennisaddict

Please don't listen to the majority of the advice in this thread about what you should've done differently, etc. You are a better player than most all of them and I'm sure you wanted to hit bigger, harder, deeper and with more spin, BUT a 5.5 wouldn't let you do it because he is just so much better. Better players are great at making lesser players uncomfortable. That's what they do. His typical rally groundstrokes at his level would make you uncomfortable because he can hit at that level all day long while you can only maintain it for a short period at a time before you cough up a short ball. Then he'd move in a put pressure on you and you'd cough up a weak ball that peeps here are going to advise you to avoid hitting. ;) easier said than done when you are overmatched.

Agree. One thing I notice that helps a lot is thinking of spin generation over power. For example, with guys a half click lower than me, in a match situation I always start off with deep balls and moderate spin. Nothing crazy, but it moves them around a little. They are still hitting the ball back and hitting nice shots though. So I notice the game changes when I ramp up the spin. It does not change my margins much at all, but suddenly they are mishitting and things get easier on my end.

If I play a better guy, than I have to ramp up the spin and pace more than I would like. That induces fatigue and errors. And then the prayer shots follow after that. So instead of thinking of hitting harder than I should be, I usually just have to go for more aggressive angles. It is the only chance I have. And if the guy is better, that will not matter anyway. But simply hitting harder and redlining won't do anything against a better player.
 

atp2015

Hall of Fame
@nytennisaddict

Please don't listen to the majority of the advice in this thread about what you should've done differently, etc.
I'm speechless - I thought members here offered the best advice on the planet - (the best advice for the money you pay) !

Seriously though, I'm sure NYTA could discern between a good advice and bad one because is an advanced rec player. The bad advice only makes the advice giver look bad (sorry to state the obvious, your advice of not listening to others is definitely not a good one)
 
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Chadillac

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I would not exactly call that a short FH when it lands several feet past the service line, along with plenty of topspin.
Rise, peak and fall. You only need to roll the one on the decline. He could of done a lot more with that shot.

At higher lvls it comes down to the little things.
 
hard questions:
* how do i find a good coach (that also matches my learning style) - it's not always about previous accomplishments
* how much do i have to pay for a good coach,... and am i willing to pay for it (some parts of the country are just so damn expensive...)
How about finding a high level junior who will hit for less money than a qualified coach and just tell him exactly what kind of ball you want the feed to be, then work on that part of your game. Then play points with him and video the sessions. I bet you could even find someone your own level who could give you good feeds and do it for free if you work together with a basket of balls. There are loads of shots you could practice that could be fed effectively by a much worse player than you; you don't need to be great to feed a defensive lob, or a short putaway or a dropshot etc.

Also NYTA, I wasn't simply suggesting hitting your forehand harder. I agree with what I think your coach suggested - hitting more smoothly so that you can hit around the same pace as you are now (except maybe higher over the net!) but with less effort as the technique would be a little more efficient. And then the extra pace and spin will come after as you gradually build comfort with the new technique...
 
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thx.
honestly all comments are valuable (from a learning perspective)... even the ones that are "wrong"...
because it promotes conversation, alternate ideas, facts, etc..
at the very least, makes me think about it, and helps me articulate how i might teach someone that concept when it comes up again.

but yeah, i agree, 5.5 or a 5.0 is gonna make me look bad no matter what i do (at this stage in my tennis evolution) - hopefully folks get to learn at my expense! i certainly learned alot.
Does your kick serve jump up to opp shoulders
It looks solid !!!
 
they will only point out fundamentals that you've heard a million times, but those reminders are critical.
Pointing out a flaw is almost meaningless.
As soon as the coach is gone, you will return to your old ways.

It takes 20-30 hours of constant supervision and feedback for things to START to become ingrained.
This is the biggest thing people here simply do not get.

Your mileage may vary, but there is a reason the #1 player in the world has a coach.
There is a reason people train 6 days a week for YEARS, and pay $80k a year to IMG.
It's not for simple tips that can be found on youTube.
 
Re brush/non brush, if you see the forehand at 0:27 or so, there was a lot of time to hit and yet it didn't really go through the court and instead sort of sat up after bounce. Maybe you are pulling the racquet across too soon. You could extend forward a bit while maintaining a shallow down to up angle so you're hitting through the ball while still getting net clearance. Yeah maybe more take back would help but it's less critical.
A little adjustment on the forehand grip perhaps? More shake hand grip so less spin and more hit through.
 
A little adjustment on the forehand grip perhaps? More shake hand grip so less spin and more hit through.
Nah, not more shakehand and no need to move to a more conservative grip. Just a slight adjustment to the swing path should do. I think having an extreme grip should make one feel more comfortable with flattening out the ball when needed because the spin's going to give you margin that you may not have with a conservative grip.
 
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Chadillac

Guest
It takes 20-30 hours of constant supervision and feedback for things to START to become ingrained.
This is the biggest thing people here simply do not get.
Things are ingrained in matches, not practice. Many more than 20-30 hours. Gotta break down and regroup many times until you trust it. Learning something from each lapse.

Glad to see you two are playing, sounds like your practice is starting to pay off.
 
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Chadillac

Guest
Nah, not more shakehand and no need to move to a more conservative grip. Just a slight adjustment to the swing path should do. I think having an extreme grip should make one feel more comfortable with flattening out the ball when needed because the spin's going to give you margin that you may not have with a conservative grip.
Same grip, later contact point. Your arm gets shorter as you reach up, messes up your extension.
 
Pointing out a flaw is almost meaningless.
As soon as the coach is gone, you will return to your old ways.
That need not be the case if you learn to recognise from the sound off your racquet, from the ball you've just hit whether or not you're on the right track. Don't get into your defensive mode again. Your coach has put you on the right track where he tells you to have a feel for the ball. That is key. So when produce a good outcome, think whether it is something that you can repeat and what you did differently as opposed to your normal shot. I mean strictly in the case of drills by the way. When you are hitting on the move in point play, you may improvise all kinds of shots that you may not be able to replicate from all positions. But say you are practicing serve and one particular serve goes through nicely. Think what felt different to you, whether you extended the arm more, whether your toss was more inside the court, etc and try to repeat it.
 
Same grip, later contact point. Your arm gets shorter as you reach up, messes up your extension.
Not following this. You mean if contact is so far out in front that he has to take a step to maintain balance (and thus cut down the extension)? Otherwise, I guess hitting out in front will give you more extension than a later contact point?
 
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Chadillac

Guest
Not following this. You mean if contact is so far out in front that he has to take a step to maintain balance (and thus cut down the extension)? Otherwise, I guess hitting out in front will give you more extension than a later contact point?
Its hard to explain in words, 5 secs in person. I just move my contact point back 4-5 inches on balls above my shoulder. Little bit of cross over on high balls up the line if your early, they also curve up the middle.

Everyone is different though, worth a 2 shots, will know right away if its for you.
 
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