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  • Building A World Class One Hander: Disguise

    Let's discuss Chris Lewit's latest "Building A World Class One Hander: Disguise"

  • #2
    Deep turn and court surface..

    Originally posted by johnyandell View Post
    Let's discuss Chris Lewit's latest "Building A World Class One Hander: Disguise"
    Another great article from Chris.

    Seems the deep turn is the thing to teach talented, aspiring juniors. The benefits are multifold.

    The question I have is how much has court surface played its part in this kind of stuff. Being as most surfaces these days are on the slow side...even grass...has this facilitated the "deep turn" so prominent today? Would the deep turn be so consistently possible on fast grass or indoor carpet? Would players still find a way to do it when faced with low, shooting bounces?

    I just wonder how much court surface has influenced all this...
    Stotty

    Comment


    • #3
      Chris will know that answer.

      I used to coach Chris when he was junior player he practiced thousands of hours on one the fastest courts if not the fastest courts in the world. The surface is called Dynoturf and has been this surface since 1974. Even John McEnroe called it the fastest he's ever played on. Chris developed a very powerful game on this court which included a world class serve and volley game. He also had a beautiful and natural world class one handed backhand right from the start. I would say Chris benefitted by having to learn how to play at the highest speeds possible because he not only played and practiced on this surface but would have to learn how to play on slower surfaces during tournaments outside the clubs as well. He had great timing on all his shots including his backhand. I would say you would have to ask Chris that one.

      Comment


      • #4
        I have noticed in my coaching that an overemphasis on shoulder turn for the one-handed topspin backhand can lead to a bad stroke. If the coil of the shoulders is big but not tight enough, then the racket arm becomes too elongated behind the body, with the racket arm too straight at the end of the backswing loop.

        Ideally, the racket must always go through a place in the backswing loop in which the strings of the racket are facing the back fence, but close to the hip, with the racket elbow still somewhat forward, ready to unleash the topspin backhand with tremendous force. (A good rule is: No matter whether your strings face the back fence, always be ready to unleash the racket elbow forward in a straight line to the target, quickly & strongly -- similar to the backhand punch that i often talk about [but which is illegal in boxing].)

        I think the article did not emphasize enough the importance of getting behind the ball as you prepare to hit the 1-hand topspin backhand with disguise. If you get behind the ball well, it is somewhat easy to hit hard, either down the line or crosscourt. If you don't get behind the ball well, then is is difficult to hit either of those shots well -- & it is especially difficult to hit the cross court if you can't get behind the ball well. If you master the backhand punch motion that i talk about, it is so easy to decide to hit the ball crosscourt or down-the-line as u wish, at the last split second.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by alexdholder View Post
          I used to coach Chris when he was junior player he practiced thousands of hours on one the fastest courts if not the fastest courts in the world. The surface is called Dynoturf and has been this surface since 1974. Even John McEnroe called it the fastest he's ever played on. Chris developed a very powerful game on this court which included a world class serve and volley game. He also had a beautiful and natural world class one handed backhand right from the start. I would say Chris benefitted by having to learn how to play at the highest speeds possible because he not only played and practiced on this surface but would have to learn how to play on slower surfaces during tournaments outside the clubs as well. He had great timing on all his shots including his backhand. I would say you would have to ask Chris that one.
          Thanks for this post...interesting. It must have been fun coaching Chris.

          I think turns are deeper now than in previous generations, certainly on the forehand where the turn is a more conscious effort than on the backhand. Players from the wooden racket era tended to point the non-hitting arm out towards the incoming ball and not so much across the body as is commonly seen today. Some players today carry the racket back beyond the left shoulder before letting go. That in itself must produce a deeper turn than pointing at the oncoming ball?

          Forehands are so much harder to read today as a result...at least for me they are.

          I think turns are deeper on the backhand these days also. I mean look at Wawrinka with his racket tip up and wrap-around-the-body backswing. How's that for a deep turn.

          But I am curious to know whether deep turns are a result of coaching or whether slower courts have assisted in the process.

          I really, really like Chris's teaching methods. I like the idea of "set and hold". It seems right to me. Also the "quick turn" and fast coil. I am having lot of success with my students using Chris's teaching methods. Gradually my students are looking less rushed as a result. It's cool advice and something most students can learn...a never to late to learn thing.
          Last edited by stotty; 04-12-2014, 12:30 PM.
          Stotty

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by licensedcoach View Post
            Thanks for this post...interesting. It must have been fun coaching Chris.

            I think turns are deeper now than in previous generations, certainly on the forehand where the turn is a more conscious effort than on the backhand. Players from the wooden racket era tended to point the non-hitting arm out towards the incoming ball and not so much across the body as is commonly seen today. Some players today carry the racket back beyond the left shoulder before letting go. That in itself must produce a deeper turn than pointing at the oncoming ball?

            Forehands are so much harder to read today as a result...at least for me they are.

            I think turns are deeper on the backhand these days also. I mean look at Wawrinka with his racket tip up and wrap-around-the-body backswing. How's that for a deep turn.

            But I am curious to know whether deep turns are a result of coaching or whether slower courts have assisted in the process.

            I really, really like Chris's teaching methods. I like the idea of "set and hold". It seems right to me. Also the "quick turn" and fast coil. I am having lot of success with my students using Chris's teaching methods. Gradually my students are looking less rushed as a result. It's cool advice and something most students can learn...a never to late to learn thing.
            Good thoughts and questions. I think deeper turns are a result of players needing to hit the ball with more power. Today's game requires higher racquet speeds than the game of 30 or more years ago. I would surmise that the deep turn on the groundstrokes are a natural evolution driven by players and coaches seeking more power from their technique.

            Clay court players are always the leaders of innovation when it comes to building racquet speed, generally because the clay court game requires more racquet speed than on any other surface.

            So you may be on to something with that thought.

            Players usually innovate and then coaches pick up on a technical trend a start to teach it at the developmental level.

            Generally, great technical innovations are player driven, and not coach created, so always watch your talented players to see if they have come up with something cool and progressive that you as coach, never dreamed of!

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by licensedcoach View Post
              Another great article from Chris.

              Seems the deep turn is the thing to teach talented, aspiring juniors. The benefits are multifold.

              The question I have is how much has court surface played its part in this kind of stuff. Being as most surfaces these days are on the slow side...even grass...has this facilitated the "deep turn" so prominent today? Would the deep turn be so consistently possible on fast grass or indoor carpet? Would players still find a way to do it when faced with low, shooting bounces?

              I just wonder how much court surface has influenced all this...
              I'm interested if John or anyone else can provide evidence that the one-hander of today's modern era exhibits more degrees of turn on the preparation than, say, the one-hander in the 70's or 80's. I would think that you are right to suggest that the turn developed for a player who trains primarily on a fast court, like a grass court, would not be as pronounced as the turn for a clay court player.

              The court surface trained upon has a profound impact on a player's technical development, maybe more so than any other factor. In today's game, with the premium being so high on developing maximum power and racquet speed, I would think it is a disservice not to teach your player a maximum coil to produce maximum power.

              Remember--you can always teach a player to adjust their swing on fast surfaces.

              For me it is far better to teach a player how to create huge power with good modern technique, and adjust the swing for a faster situation, than the other way around, because it is easier to adjust a powerful swing, than to build power in a weaker stroke.

              But as Rick Macci likes to point out, and I'm a big fan of Rick's work: it's always optimal to develop maximum acceleration with as compact a backswing as possible, as in the case with the modern ATP forehand.

              But the modern one-handed backhand seems to challenge the opinion that as the game grows faster and faster, the strokes of the pros are inevitably getting smaller and smaller on the backswing.

              In the case of the one-handed stroke, as opposed to the ATP style forehand and two-handed backhand, it seems the opposite is actually true--that the backswing size may have increased. This makes the study of the one-hander and the backswing parameters in particular, really interesting vis-a-vis modern groundstroke theory.

              My only explanation for this paradox of the one-handed backswing is that power trumps preparation time. If modern players could hit the ball as hard with less deep coil and shorter backswing, they would. The fact that they don't either reveals a truth about the stroke: power rules. Players are taken those huge deep coils because they feel the power, and that is more important than preparation at the highest level.

              Let's face it, a player is not going to succeed at the pro level without hitting the ball with a certain amount of pace--a certain threshold of power. A compact backswing is great to have, but it cannot come at the expense of maximum power. Power, acceleration, is king in today's modern game.

              For this reason, I think coaches need to be careful about boxing in young players backswings too aggressively, at the risk of sacrificing power development.

              I think it is a big mistake to teach a shallow coil on the one-handed backhand. You may save some time on the backswing, but you will kill maximum power and limit the player to playing college ball somewhere rather than pro.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by alexdholder View Post
                I used to coach Chris when he was junior player he practiced thousands of hours on one the fastest courts if not the fastest courts in the world. The surface is called Dynoturf and has been this surface since 1974. Even John McEnroe called it the fastest he's ever played on. Chris developed a very powerful game on this court which included a world class serve and volley game. He also had a beautiful and natural world class one handed backhand right from the start. I would say Chris benefitted by having to learn how to play at the highest speeds possible because he not only played and practiced on this surface but would have to learn how to play on slower surfaces during tournaments outside the clubs as well. He had great timing on all his shots including his backhand. I would say you would have to ask Chris that one.
                Alex is a great guy, excellent coach, and I'm very thankful to have had his mentoring when I was a kid. Thank you my friend.

                I think fast courts can help develop quick reactions--eyes and hands, shorter backswings, quicker preparation time, and an aggressive mentality, among other areas.

                And of course, there are great benefits to playing on slow clay, which I have discussed at length in my new book for example.

                And I just think it's very interesting that in the sport of tennis, unlike many other sports, the rules of the game allow tennis to be played on many different surfaces with different speed and bounce characteristics, which I believe has a profound influence on developing players' techniques.

                In fact, I would argue that if the speed and bounce characteristics of tennis were more uniform across the world, we would all see much less disagreement about technical instruction, and tactical instruction too, for that matter.

                Many times, when coaches vehemently disagree on how to teach the game, it is because they are talking about "tennis" but the game of tennis on Dynoturf or grass is almost a completely different sport than the game of tennis on slow clay.

                The myriad court surfaces allowed officially in the game of tennis create points of view about technique and strategy that are often in deep conflict, more so than you would see in a sport with a standardized court surface.

                This is one reason why tennis has so much confusion about how to "best" teach technique and so many disagreeing view points, even among renowned coaches. Also a reason why John has a popular and successful magazine and website, trying to help clear up the confusion and noise out there.

                Chris

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by worldsbesttenniscoach View Post
                  I have noticed in my coaching that an overemphasis on shoulder turn for the one-handed topspin backhand can lead to a bad stroke. If the coil of the shoulders is big but not tight enough, then the racket arm becomes too elongated behind the body, with the racket arm too straight at the end of the backswing loop.

                  Ideally, the racket must always go through a place in the backswing loop in which the strings of the racket are facing the back fence, but close to the hip, with the racket elbow still somewhat forward, ready to unleash the topspin backhand with tremendous force. (A good rule is: No matter whether your strings face the back fence, always be ready to unleash the racket elbow forward in a straight line to the target, quickly & strongly -- similar to the backhand punch that i often talk about [but which is illegal in boxing].)

                  I think the article did not emphasize enough the importance of getting behind the ball as you prepare to hit the 1-hand topspin backhand with disguise. If you get behind the ball well, it is somewhat easy to hit hard, either down the line or crosscourt. If you don't get behind the ball well, then is is difficult to hit either of those shots well -- & it is especially difficult to hit the cross court if you can't get behind the ball well. If you master the backhand punch motion that i talk about, it is so easy to decide to hit the ball crosscourt or down-the-line as u wish, at the last split second.
                  For sure, the backswing could get too big and loopy-so this is a fair point. But be careful not to shave the swing so much that you sacrifice racquet speed. Racquet speed is king. Power is king--and the key if you ever want to develop a pro player, not a college player.

                  As to positioning behind the ball, this is an important part of footwork, and it is heavily emphasized in the Spanish system of training.

                  Best
                  Chris

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I have noticed that emphasizing shoulder turn too much often can actually decrease the leverage that the player gets into the 1-hand topspin backhand stroke.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      wbc,

                      How have you measured this loss of leverage?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        When the coach says "turn shoulder, turn shoulder" too much, the student tends to have a straight angle (an "I," not an "L" as most great players have) as the angle between forearm & racket throat at the end of the backswing. Also, when "turn shoulder" is emphasized too much, the racket elbow is often not in a position to blast forward into the shot. In other words, if "turn shoulder" is emphasized too much, the racket arm tends to get into a position in which it's tough to execute that powerful "backhand punch" I mention so much in my posts.

                        Of course, I have not measured the leverage, just as you have not measured the leverage. But as I have pointed out in earlier posts in various threads, all pro players with good 1-hand topspin backhands have a similar position during the loop of their backswing. That position is the strings being close to the left hip (for right-handers) & pointing to the back fence. If the tennis player turns the shoulders too much, then that important position will be missed.

                        I stand by my comments. Perhaps you think my comments are crazy. That is ok. Let's just agree to disagree. I am not trying to disparage what you say. I was just trying to add some information based on my experience teaching. If you think I am wrong, I respect your opinion.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Using the resources here on tennisplayer.net. Can you give me some players who can be used as an example of what you are talking about?

                          Thanks

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            http://www.tennisplayer.net/members/...anceFront1.mov

                            This?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              That shows a great turn with the shoulders even with the neutral stance. Gaudio was pretty amazing.
                              Last edited by johnyandell; 04-17-2014, 08:36 AM.

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