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Building A World Class One Hander: Preparation

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  • Building A World Class One Hander: Preparation

    Let's get your thoughts on Chris Lewit's latest, "Building A World Class One Hander: Preparation"

  • #2
    Those kids (and one adult!) are well coached. I think you can tell this by the similar things that they do when they hit. I had not heard of this concept of the deep turn.

    Comment


    • #3
      The kids in the videos are pretty good at the 1-handed backhand, but they are developing some bad habits that will become too ingrained into their tennis games. Notice that they do not have easy power on their 1-handed backhands. Their swings lead to muscled shots, rather than shots that naturally flow with power off the strings.

      Their loops are take too long. They position themselves poorly in relation to the incoming ball. Many of them need some tweaks, in the way they track the incoming ball with their racket heads.

      I have found that, sometimes, too much emphasis on a "deep turn" actually hurts the overall swing.

      Students should put on boxing gloves and practice backhand punches into a huge punching bag. (Backhand punches are illegal in boxing, but useful for teaching leverage in tennis.) The students in the videos would learn to gain more natural power, if they did this drill, & they would learn to position themselves better in relation to impact point between racket strings & tennis ball.

      Did anyone notice that the kids in the videos had huge, slow backswings, that generated little power, whereas Stan Wawrinka showed a more reduced, quicker backswing in his video?

      Comment


      • #4
        Deep turn and loops

        I have been experimenting with the deep turn...on both forehand and backhand. As someone who has always turned a little less, I find it very difficult to turn more and then get everything in synch to strike the ball on the way back. I actually find it significantly more difficult on the forehand than the backhand, though neither are easy.

        I am a reasonable player, but I'm old school and learned my tennis in the 70s. I think you have to learn this stuff when you are young and starting out. I like the idea of the holding position and find it an important reference point for coaching. Interesting with the deep, strong turn all the children's rackets venture way over the other side of the body during the backswing...seemingly a little more than these guys?

        http://www.tennisplayer.net/members/...ourtFront1.mov

        http://www.tennisplayer.net/members/...evelFront1.mov

        http://www.tennisplayer.net/members/...enterRear3.mov

        All the kids in the article have significant loops. Isn't there a danger with loops like these it's easy to end up late on the ball? I notice Dominic Thiem was late a number of times when I watched him the other day against Murray.

        I just wondered if the straight arm presents more difficult timing issues than the bent arm? It does when I try it. The bent arm seems an easier, quicker method to take the racket back?

        I have to say all the kids in the clips have beautiful, full looking backhands. The foundation looks lovely for the future. It's so nice to see them.
        Last edited by stotty; 02-16-2014, 10:21 AM.
        Stotty

        Comment


        • #5
          More great stuff from Chris Lewit. We think alike Chris! Hope to meet you some day. Thanks to Stan the Man for helping launch all this exposure for the one hander.

          Scott Murphy

          Comment


          • #6
            You raise some good points, licensedcoach. Being skeptical is an important attribute. It is unwise to listen unquestioningly to "expert" coaches. Yes, the kids are doing some things well, but there are details that they are incorporating into their backhands that are dooming them to only "kinda good" or mediocre backhands in their futures. The state of tennis coaching needs to improve. I wonder how much money those kids' parents have spend for those mediocre to only kinda good backhands.

            Comment


            • #7
              good questions

              Originally posted by licensedcoach View Post
              I have been experimenting with the deep turn...on both forehand and backhand. As someone who has always turned a little less, I find it very difficult to turn more and then get everything in synch to strike the ball on the way back. I actually find it significantly more difficult on the forehand than the backhand, though neither are easy.

              I am a reasonable player, but I'm old school and learned my tennis in the 70s. I think you have to learn this stuff when you are young and starting out. I like the idea of the holding position and find it an important reference point for coaching. Interesting with the deep, strong turn all the children's rackets venture way over the other side of the body during the backswing...seemingly a little more than these guys?

              http://www.tennisplayer.net/members/...ourtFront1.mov

              http://www.tennisplayer.net/members/...evelFront1.mov

              http://www.tennisplayer.net/members/...enterRear3.mov

              All the kids in the article have significant loops. Isn't there a danger with loops like these it's easy to end up late on the ball? I notice Dominic Thiem was late a number of times when I watched him the other day against Murray.

              I just wondered if the straight arm presents more difficult timing issues than the bent arm? It does when I try it. The bent arm seems an easier, quicker method to take the racket back?

              I have to say all the kids in the clips have beautiful, full looking backhands. The foundation looks lovely for the future. It's so nice to see them.
              Good questions.

              I think everyone here should remember that these kids are 8,9, 10 years old except for the teenage girls student, and some of them are not playing full time yet. They are not fully grown adult males. They are also all working on strokes and continuing to make refinements as they grow older. They are not perfect technical representations but I do think they are examples of good one handed foundations for their age and level of play.

              I think John and I have shown definitively that pro one-handed backhand swings break the plane of the back and often run parallel to the baseline. You raise good questions especially regarding the bent arm versus the straight arm style. I definitely prefer the bent arm because it is a bit more compact and quick in the takeback. However, I still like to teach with parameters that allow for a straight arm style preparation when the player prefers this or displays this naturally.

              Remember that a child at 9 years old will need to take a big loop to produce power, the loop can be shaved down a bit over the development years as the player grow older and stronger. The little boy with the big loop and straight arm preparation would be a good candidate for some continued refinement. But still, I believe he has a good foundation for his level and age.

              I am a big believe in teaching that big shoulder turn and John and I have shown that that turn is presented on the tour by the top one handed players.

              Comment


              • #8
                thank you my friend

                Originally posted by scottmurphy View Post
                More great stuff from Chris Lewit. We think alike Chris! Hope to meet you some day. Thanks to Stan the Man for helping launch all this exposure for the one hander.

                Scott Murphy
                Just email or text me when you come to New York

                Comment


                • #9
                  9 year olds take larger swings

                  Originally posted by worldsbesttenniscoach View Post
                  The kids in the videos are pretty good at the 1-handed backhand, but they are developing some bad habits that will become too ingrained into their tennis games. Notice that they do not have easy power on their 1-handed backhands. Their swings lead to muscled shots, rather than shots that naturally flow with power off the strings.

                  Their loops are take too long. They position themselves poorly in relation to the incoming ball. Many of them need some tweaks, in the way they track the incoming ball with their racket heads.

                  I have found that, sometimes, too much emphasis on a "deep turn" actually hurts the overall swing.

                  Students should put on boxing gloves and practice backhand punches into a huge punching bag. (Backhand punches are illegal in boxing, but useful for teaching leverage in tennis.) The students in the videos would learn to gain more natural power, if they did this drill, & they would learn to position themselves better in relation to impact point between racket strings & tennis ball.

                  Did anyone notice that the kids in the videos had huge, slow backswings, that generated little power, whereas Stan Wawrinka showed a more reduced, quicker backswing in his video?
                  Again--please remember that young kids are not adults--they may need to take larger swing paths to produce power. Many times these swings shapes can be shaved and refined as their body's grow stronger with age. The swing shape is not set in stone U10 or U12.

                  Perhaps you would like to post some of your young student's one handers as comparison so we can understand better your point of view. Because I think these swings are all quite smooth. Maybe the videos don't do them justice.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    eye dominance and the deep turn

                    Originally posted by licensedcoach View Post
                    I have been experimenting with the deep turn...on both forehand and backhand. As someone who has always turned a little less, I find it very difficult to turn more and then get everything in synch to strike the ball on the way back. I actually find it significantly more difficult on the forehand than the backhand, though neither are easy.

                    I am a reasonable player, but I'm old school and learned my tennis in the 70s. I think you have to learn this stuff when you are young and starting out. I like the idea of the holding position and find it an important reference point for coaching. Interesting with the deep, strong turn all the children's rackets venture way over the other side of the body during the backswing...seemingly a little more than these guys?

                    http://www.tennisplayer.net/members/...ourtFront1.mov

                    http://www.tennisplayer.net/members/...evelFront1.mov

                    http://www.tennisplayer.net/members/...enterRear3.mov

                    All the kids in the article have significant loops. Isn't there a danger with loops like these it's easy to end up late on the ball? I notice Dominic Thiem was late a number of times when I watched him the other day against Murray.

                    I just wondered if the straight arm presents more difficult timing issues than the bent arm? It does when I try it. The bent arm seems an easier, quicker method to take the racket back?

                    I have to say all the kids in the clips have beautiful, full looking backhands. The foundation looks lovely for the future. It's so nice to see them.
                    I would like to say that I'm interested if anyone has studied eye dominance and it's connection to the amount of shoulder turn preparation players feel comfortable with on the groundstrokes. It is an interesting topic for discussion. Jofre Porta, a well known coach in Spain, first introduced me to this idea. He hypothesized that some players prefer open stances and open body positions with less of a deep turn because they were right eye dominant (on the forehand) or left eye dominant (on the backhand). I have not read any research yet to corroborate this theory. It is an interesting idea and connects eye dominance to shoulder turn. For example, some players with this eye dominance issue, may not feel comfortable with an extreme deep turn and closed stance. But in my experience, most one handers learn to get that full deep turn--the pro shoulder turn--because it gives them more disguise and power.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      World Class or Junior Backhand? A couple of questions...please

                      Originally posted by chrislewit View Post
                      Again--please remember that young kids are not adults--they may need to take larger swing paths to produce power. Many times these swings shapes can be shaved and refined as their body's grow stronger with age. The swing shape is not set in stone U10 or U12.

                      Perhaps you would like to post some of your young student's one handers as comparison so we can understand better your point of view. Because I think these swings are all quite smooth. Maybe the videos don't do them justice.
                      I suppose when you are looking at these individual swings that they appear to be sound or do they? Are these spoon fed balls or are they match play balls? Two different propositions. I tend to agree with WBTC here...the backswings are way too loopy and way too big for players so small. They look rather disconnected from the core of the players. They do not appear to be repeatable under stress.

                      I like to anchor the backhand backswing with the off elbow to the side of the player. If the elbow eventually comes away from the side because of a slightly bigger turn...that's fine. But the elbow should more or less return to the side on the forward swing. I also use the thumb up the back of the grip as a starting point...I question as to whether the grips are too strong for the little ones. My theory is this...of course exaggerated topspin is the order of the day but does this style of play limit the player in the future from playing in the middle of the court and eventually the net? In the same vein...how does the preparation differ for a slice backhand with regards to grip and backswing? (additional question to original post)

                      It is easier to build topspin on a flatter groundstroke than it is to try to flatten out a stroke from the exaggerated overspin being taught today. Plus the game might just be on the verge of another engineering change. Witness the 2014 Australian Open...the courts were only marginally speeded up and it played some havoc with the games of the worlds elite. Chris...what do you think of that question with regards to the surface of the courts? Does such a loopy backswing represent something viable on a lower and quicker bounce? How about on a windy day hitting against the wind with all of that topspin? It becomes a bit superfluous.

                      I admit that my way of thinking differs from the conventional wisdom of today's coaching models. But my reasoning on both the forehand and backhand swings of juniors is to start with slightly smaller models and allow them to grow into them. I don't teach little children the pro game at all...I teach fundamentals to all beginners. Once the player matures...they can build upon the fundamentals with the bells and whistles should they choose that route.

                      It's one thing to get into position on a fed ball to swing with such a large and dramatic backswing but I wonder if all of that preparation might be a bit more difficult under match play conditions. Being from a Quality Control background I usually find that it more feasible to keep the swing within 3 sigma or under control if there is less motion. Less is better...particularly in the beginning. Once you throw in the match play variables larger motions may be harder to reproduce on a consistent basis.

                      But even a swing like Stanislas Wawrinka has the component that I suggest...he may turn past the point where the elbow comes away from the body...but it does return on the way forwards. In this way Wawrinka was perfectly capable of adjusting his supersized backswing to the lower bouncing and quicker balls at the Australian Open. But then again he is built like a RoboCop and he is currently number three in the world.

                      So I wonder...my question to Chris is this...is this too much to manage at such a young age? Wouldn't it be wiser to build something more sound and connected to the little ones core and build on that?
                      Last edited by don_budge; 02-20-2014, 12:17 AM. Reason: for clarity's sake...

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        It looks to me after studying these swings repeatedly and thinking on these replies for 12 hours that the foundation that has been built into these kids is indeed very strong! I know the Spanish model has mixed reviews here, but I personally think that a process that has produced the DOMINANCE that Spain has experienced for longer than a decade, much can be learned. One of the big things I see from their system is to allow players to find their own formula to some degree. Of course Chris can speak to this greater than I, but these youngsters have begun down the path of developing their game, under the expertise of a great coach. Is their backswing bigger now than it will eventually be? YES. Will they use their legs more in the future? YES! I'm greatly impressed by racquet preparation, discipline to allow the hand to come through while maintain body position perpendicular to the baseline, and a quiet head. Those strong points of foundation will allow those things to be discovered as they go down the road. Instead of drilling to create that perfect stroke at 9yrs of age, allow the heat of competition to force them to keep reconsidering the mechanics, with assistance from those watchful eyes who are over them. I'm personally thrilled to see the option of a one-handed backhand be presented, and think the over thinking I've seen here to be part of the American problem. We think pretty strokes, when we really need to think body position to the ball and how are we going to get there efficiently!

                        Greg Lumb
                        InsideOut Tennis

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by chrislewit View Post
                          Again--please remember that young kids are not adults--they may need to take larger swing paths to produce power. Many times these swings shapes can be shaved and refined as their body's grow stronger with age. The swing shape is not set in stone U10 or U12.

                          Perhaps you would like to post some of your young student's one handers as comparison so we can understand better your point of view. Because I think these swings are all quite smooth. Maybe the videos don't do them justice.
                          No,the videos do them justice. They look great and will only get better.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by stroke View Post
                            No, the videos do them justice. They look great and will only get better.
                            With luck the kids might all end up with a backhand like this.

                            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ABldyqDQaS8

                            How's that for a beauty.
                            Stotty

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              (
                              Originally posted by stroke View Post
                              No,the videos do them justice. They look great and will only get better.
                              But of course you're right...Some on this forum are nothing more then armchair theorist who haven't actually built games in the long term. Swing shapes and lines can be modified and cleaned up, and I agree that they look fine at this stage and will only get better. The important point. is the kids, with the slightly "stronger" grips, which raise the potential contact height, are already able to implement the stroke at an early age..I think this is key...

                              Besides, many of the great one handers in the last ten years or so, are slightly stronger then eastern, certainly not pseudo continental (or whatever yesteryear model ) as proposed by the likes of DB, WBC and company.
                              Last edited by 10splayer; 02-19-2014, 02:20 PM.

                              Comment

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