Video: Hitting with former D1 #1

willroc7

Rookie
This is by far the best hitting partner I've ever had. He hits the ball significantly harder than even most of the other D1 guys I've hit with. I thought you guys might enjoy seeing what that is like court level. I'm the significantly worse player in the blue.

To my eye, his forehand technique is textbook modern and I'm going to try my best to emulate it. His footwork is also incredible. I know mine needs a lot of work. Any other thoughts or observations are welcome!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ds3-UYaxBJ8&hd=1
 

5263

G.O.A.T.
Yes, very nice Modern Fh.
And yours looks pretty good too.
You can see how he uses the whole better tho,
and gets better position on the ball as well.
Pretty good overall though!
 
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willroc7

Rookie
Thanks for the feedback. I thought I used my entire body as much as I could on the forehand until I watched this and I was like, oh...
 

The Bawss

Banned
Good job mayne, you can tell he is crushing that ball, as are you although not quite as much. Good form. Looks tough keeping up with him to be honest.

Not quite sure who you are actually but the guy closest to the camera starting at 1:27 has excellent form and footwork. Either way you are both very good.
 
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willroc7

Rookie
Yea, there are a couple times in the video where he really flattens it out and I can't even get it back to the net.
 

5263

G.O.A.T.
Watched a little more and saw something that you might can use.

It is pretty subtle, but you watch for just and instant before you get moving. You just
sort of pause or hang to have to rush.
This is very common and I probably do it too, but the better players tend to get going pretty quick.
Watch your D1 friend and how quick his first move is. He doesn't even know where
he will go but he is on the move at your contact. From that initial movement he can
harness and direct it to a good position.
 

onehandbh

Legend
Very good observation. You're right! I just watched the clip.
The d1 guy also prepares his unit turn/take back *MUCH* earlier and has
plenty of time to attack/explode into the ball.

Watched a little more and saw something that you might can use.

It is pretty subtle, but you watch for just and instant before you get moving. You just
sort of pause or hang to have to rush.
This is very common and I probably do it too, but the better players tend to get going pretty quick.
Watch your D1 friend and how quick his first move is. He doesn't even know where
he will go but he is on the move at your contact. From that initial movement he can
harness and direct it to a good position.
 

willroc7

Rookie
Agreed. However, his ball really takes my time away. I always feel pressured when hitting with him. That said, my first step definitely needs improvement.

The string is signum pro poly plasma 16L @ 45lbs full bed, both rackets. He was borrowing one of mine.
 

Cheetah

Hall of Fame
Thanks for the upload. It's not often we get a good quality d1 vid here on tt.

nice hitting. mind if i offer a little tip for you on your fh?
what you are doing now is 100% fine. looks great.
But here's something that should give your more power:

when you swing currently you are rotating your torso all the way around at the same speed. that's ok. no problems with that. but you will find you will get more power if you start your kinetic chain and when you rotate, slow down or almost stop your rotating when your chest faces straight ahead. this will fling your arm through faster. ... and then finish rotating after contact. this change in speed will cause all of the energy to go to your arm for faster swing speed.

take a look at these vids. notice how fed rotates, slows way down on rotation when chest is pointing straight ahead, racquet is whipped around and then he finishes.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=20cfdNS0DMs&t=1m33s
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b_XamJSLzq0&&t=3m12s

nadal:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tjjXi5tBZ7I

If you look at your d1 hitting partner in the video he is doing this also (the slowing of rotation when square).

thanks

edit: watched it again. one thing is you are not using your rear leg effectively. sometimes you 'hop' up but you are not pushing off in the best way. you need to get some more weight on your right leg and push off w/ purpose. look at the d1 guy. he's exploding off his rear leg. u can see the energy going up thru his body.

also previously mentioned: you have no split step.

and... you are not using your left arm properly. u stick it out parallel to the baseline which is good but you are not 'using' it.
look at this sequence here between the two of you. notice the difference in left arm usage? d1 has it right.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ds3-UYaxBJ8&hd=1&t=5m34s
 
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willroc7

Rookie
I agree with a lot of things you say but NO split step? I'm sure I could improve it but I think it exists.

How can I use my left arm more?
 

Sean-Topspin

New User
Hey OP, good vid. Just curious, you say the dude on the far end of the court is D1 player, but what are you rated as with regards to NTRP?
 

EaGamer

Rookie
Is it just me or was the D1 so good at splitstepping that it was hardly noticeable? I mean I could tell, but his footwork was soooo quick!
 

willroc7

Rookie
I play on a local 4.5 USTA team.

EaGamer, if I could lift one thing from his game, it would be his footwork. So good.
 

Cheetah

Hall of Fame
I agree with a lot of things you say but NO split step? I'm sure I could improve it but I think it exists.

How can I use my left arm more?
ok. rewatched the vid for a 3rd. Yes. your split step exists. less than 10% of the time. the other 90+% it's not there. and a lot of time when you do do it it's a skippy hoppy split step type thing. and other times it's not rly a split step it's more of a stop and skid. also your split step is not timed right all the time. it should be done a little earlier. usually you are doing it just a hair too late. so while you are doing your split late that means the ball is already on it's way over to you so that defeats the purpose of a split step entirely.
also you should land on a split step on the balls of your feet w/ a wider base than you have. sometimes you land flat footed kind of. sometimes you land on one foot then then other etc. those little things are taking away time from you.

extend left arm so there is tension in it. then pull it around to facilitate/accelerate the rotation. search this site for posts on that.
look at the sequence i posted. d1's left arm is pulling over to the left strong and tucking it in. this 'conservation of momentum' move helps him turn faster like when a figure skater rotates faster by pulling her arms in.
 

willroc7

Rookie
ok. rewatched the vid for a 3rd. Yes. your split step exists. less than 10% of the time. the other 90+% it's not there. and a lot of time when you do do it it's a skippy hoppy split step type thing. and other times it's not rly a split step it's more of a stop and skid. also your split step is not timed right all the time. it should be done a little earlier. usually you are doing it just a hair too late. so while you are doing your split late that means the ball is already on it's way over to you so that defeats the purpose of a split step entirely.
also you should land on a split step on the balls of your feet w/ a wider base than you have. sometimes you land flat footed kind of. sometimes you land on one foot then then other etc. those little things are taking away time from you.

extend left arm so there is tension in it. then pull it around to facilitate/accelerate the rotation. search this site for posts on that.
look at the sequence i posted. d1's left arm is pulling over to the left strong and tucking it in. this 'conservation of momentum' move helps him turn faster like when a figure skater rotates faster by pulling her arms in.
Thanks. I'll keep this in mind.
 

Cheetah

Hall of Fame
look at the sequence at starting at 2:23.
in those 5 or 6 fh's there you can see how you land on 1 foot or the other but not both. and you land flat footed. and 1 or 2 of those returns there is no split step at all and the one's you do are a little late.

you need to be in the air when opponent is swinging. land just when he hits or milliseconds after. if done properly you should land on both feet on the balls of your feet in a springy fashion so that as soon as he hits you are springing back up in the direction of the ball. you should land on both feet so that you can go in either direction w/ the same response time. if you land too late the ball can have already traveled 10,20 or more feet. that's a lot of time given up.

edit: looks like sometimes you do have a nice left arm movement.
 
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PowerPlay

Rookie
Nice! I hit with a former college player that graduated two years ago...I feel very lucky when he asks me to hit with him.
 

Swissv2

Hall of Fame
D1 guy has a habit of resetting himself after each shot (hence the footwork we are all seeing). Interesting footwork there; its probably a learned technique that he does automatically. I saw that shot where he flatted out the shot and the OP couldn't really do that much. Its good to hit with these guys, because once you get used to the pace, everything else seems like slow motion.
 

dr325i

G.O.A.T.
I see the similar things between the OP and myself, as we're about the same level.
I regularly hit with Tennis_Balla (a bit more advanced than the D1 guy) and I find myself late on many of his fast shots...
 

Bobby Jr

G.O.A.T.
......you will find you will get more power if you start your kinetic chain and when you rotate, slow down or almost stop your rotating when your chest faces straight ahead.
This. ^

His body seems to come around too fast as you say, and often too much. Not only does it start to lose effectiveness as part of the stroke it also makes the forehand more prone to having inconsistent/off days, especially when you change surfaces etc.

Nice strokes tho - amongst the better forehands I've seen on vids here.
 

Limpinhitter

G.O.A.T.
Thanks for the feedback. I thought I used my entire body as much as I could on the forehand until I watched this and I was like, oh...
Good observation. The two main differences between your forehand and his is: (1) the quality of his shot preparation and set up, he puts more effort and energy into it, and (2) his upper body rotation before and after contact. I have found that getting your elbow in and forward helps to facilitate early rotation.
 

Power Player

Bionic Poster
That footwork after the shot is the toughest to master, but it is the key to preparing early.

I watch the guy do it in the vid and still need to work on it more myself.

Mainly i focus on getting back to my spot in the middle, but against pushers I try in get inside the court a little more after each shot.
 
C

chico9166

Guest
This is by far the best hitting partner I've ever had. He hits the ball significantly harder than even most of the other D1 guys I've hit with. I thought you guys might enjoy seeing what that is like court level. I'm the significantly worse player in the blue.

To my eye, his forehand technique is textbook modern and I'm going to try my best to emulate it. His footwork is also incredible. I know mine needs a lot of work. Any other thoughts or observations are welcome!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ds3-UYaxBJ8&hd=1
The forehand looks pretty good. Not perfect, but considering his level, and how much pressure you are under, it holds up pretty well. What i noticed is the backhand. Understand that the hands need to be "in", or close to the hip at the beginning of the swing. In the initial turn in preparation, your hands really work away from the midline. (substantial space between your hands and torso) From that position, they have to work back in towards the torso to start the swing. This takes time, and under pressure, can cause timing problems, and poor swing lines. Often times, you arent even able to get the hands back in, and slotted well. Just try and keep your hands in a little closer when your turn.
 
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Power Player

Bionic Poster
thats a real good point on the backhand. It is a 3 step process:

Chin to shoulder to ensure a full turn
Keep hands in close to body
Drop wrists beofre swinging to contact


Those 3 things took my backhand from a liability to a stroke I can attack with.
 
The thing I noticed the most was when the D1 player was on the side closest to the camera. The OP's shots were mostly landing inside the service line and the D1 player was putting every ball back with pace and above all else, great depth. I think that's a big difference between players of different levels. They hit with so much more pace and action that the lesser player can't put it back beyond the service line and tends to overhit because of it.
 

willroc7

Rookie
I'll try keeping my hands closer to my hip on the backhand.

CityTennis, I hit with more depth against players closer to my level. When this guy hits full tilt I'm happy to just get the ball back.
 

Power Player

Bionic Poster
will,


Worst case slice your backhands more..you can take the ball later and if you can keep the ball low it will be better than coughing up short balls.
 

willroc7

Rookie
For the longest time I hit almost exclusively slice backhands in matches or when I'd get tight. I've gained a lot of confidence in my two hander after putting a decent amount of work into it, so I don't think I'm going to go back now. I'm happy with the backhands I hit from 1:00 to 1:26. They have good depth and plenty of margin. I just need to work on hitting those all the time and cutting out the short balls that are mostly a result of poor/lazy footwork. An opponent anywhere near this guy's level will eat any slice ball I give him for breakfast.
 

Power Player

Bionic Poster
Yeah I hear you..well I use both. I mean you kind of know those backhands that you are going to struggle with sometimes in that nonosecond of going for the ball, so in that case a deep low driving slice can be a better shot.

But I also prefer the 2 hander 90% of the time like you are saying.

I like to test a guy out and see what he does with sliced balls mixed in there.
 

willroc7

Rookie

5263

G.O.A.T.
The thing I noticed the most was when the D1 player was on the side closest to the camera. The OP's shots were mostly landing inside the service line and the D1 player was putting every ball back with pace and above all else, great depth. I think that's a big difference between players of different levels. They hit with so much more pace and action that the lesser player can't put it back beyond the service line and tends to overhit because of it.
Keep in mind that is a more of a indication of an imbalance in the competition than a key or indicator of success. Against a player more near his own level the 4.5 player would probably improve his depth control, but the D1 guy would likely not keep his as deep to be successful. IMO a mismatch is misleading and we need to look at more competitive matchups to learn meaningful info on use of the court. What I can do against a 3.5 means little compared to what I can do to win or be competitive against someone of my level. The matches that really matter are the ones in question where the outcome is not a foregone conclusion. Looking at what a player does when he is clearly superior to this opponent can lead him and others to mistaken conclusions and disappointment.
 
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Cheetah

Hall of Fame
try to work on your right leg on fh when you get a chance.
you are not really pushing off. you are jumping up. there's a difference.

try thinking of it like this when you hit:

1) instead of just bending your knees in prep, think of it as a 'squat'. put weight on your right leg and squat down.
or
2) when you push off, think of it as 'pushing down'. try to actually push the earth down instead of 'pushing off' or 'lifting up'.
seriously. just try it. i use this method.

when you do it right you will instantly notice a different more powerful pop on the ball than you are getting now. give it a try and you'll see.
 

willroc7

Rookie
nice playing
hmmm did you hit an out ball at :25?
thanks for the vids
Nah, it was in. You can tell by my positioning I was actually expecting it to sail deep, but it dropped right on the line. Some players would call that out, I suppose.
 
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PED

Legend
Nice hitting out there, you hung in well against him.

His prep is insanely early and his feet never stop moving, his recovery steps are really nice.

His ball is obviously heavy, but does it cut thru the court flatter or does it kick up?

What size guy is he, can't really tell from the vid-5'9"ish, I've got a sometime hitting partner like that. He jacks the #$## out of the ball and never misses.

Thanks again for the footage.
 

willroc7

Rookie
Yes, I'd say 5'8 or 5'9 is accurate. He can hit both a flat forehand that skids low through the court and a high kicking topspin one. They are both very difficult to handle. He doesn't really hit any of the topspin ones in this video and hits mostly flat. His "flat" shot still has an incredible amount of driving spin, though. Very heavy. When he mixes the two together it's almost impossible for me to hang around. I don't have the footwork to handle the topspin one, really. You have to recognize it coming and get up on it early or you're going to be making contact above your head.
 
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