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The 1-2 Rhythm: Forehand

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  • The 1-2 Rhythm: Forehand

    Let's get your thoughts on Nick Wheatley's article, "The 1-2 Rhythm: Forehand"

  • #2
    Glad this article has appeared.
    I've been teaching this 1-2 rhythm for years. I find it highly effective when teaching beginners and intermediates who struggle with timing as well as power. Often times, these students heard the old teaching cliche like "racquet back" and are so intent on literally taking their racquet back, tip lowering and pointing to the fence and losing a lot of speed and centrifugal force only to then wildly miscalculate the oncoming ball and swing too early or too late. More advanced players seem to have an easier time naturally setting up this rhythm.

    I'm sure many coaches do something similar to this and perhaps give it a different name.

    I've seen the 1-2 rhythm has immediate and positive impact on my students. They begin to rally more consistently, gain power and lessen the amount of off center shots/mishits.

    Kyle LaCroix USPTA
    Boca Raton

    Comment


    • #3
      Opposite Hand Off Racket Early

      http://www.tennisplayer.net/members/...enterSide2.mov

      Here’s a good example of a player taking opposite hand off racket early and still not getting back so soon that he disrupts transition to carry part forward. “Yeah, but that’s John McEnroe, and he doesn’t count.” But of course he counts. And anyone can try this. And should.

      If one looks at all the TP videos of McEnroe, one will find one where opposite hand is off of the racket even before he starts his backswing.

      But furniture 3 in the article invites comparison with furniture 7, the backswing of Murray vs. that of Federer with its late closing of strings at high point. Murray’s way is more apt to work for an ordinary player, in my view, because of less or no manipulation up top.

      Well, in the case of Murray and Federer, left hand does stay on racket for longer. Great as these players are, I think that one should learn a McEnroe type backswing and c-a-a-a-r-r-r-y stroke as well.

      Note: As far as the central premise of the article goes, who can argue with it? Slow, perfectly timed backswings are good in golf as well.
      Last edited by bottle; 11-06-2015, 06:30 AM.

      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks for the comments Kyle, and great to hear someone using this idea with successful results.

        It would be nice to think many coaches were using 1-2 rhythm in some form, but from my experience here in the UK, I don't see it. I've honestly never had a student who's had previous coaching, and mentioned anything related to 1-2 rhythm when I ask what they've been taught before.

        It would be great to hear from more coaches and players who have encountered this in some shape or form.

        For me, the concept was about a simple but effective way to teach, easy for the student to understand and feel, but at the same time incorporating the finer technical aspects that are so important to develop.

        Comment


        • #5
          Thanks for the comments bottle. Any 7-times Grand Slam winner definitely counts!

          With the opposite hand issue, I guess we have to ask how important it's role of staying on the racket is for 1-2 rhythm on an old-style swing like JM's. By old-style, I mean, racket head dropping below the wrist during the backswing, compared with the modern forehand where the racket head stays above the wrist during the backswing.

          With the old style swing path, it could be quite awkward to keep hold of that racket for too long. Holding on also doesn't promote acceleration of the racket from that higher position, as the racket is already low, and as we see with JM and others of that era, the racket naturally reaches a position above the wrist before accelerating, despite the low backswing.

          With the modern forehand, it's about generating more racket acceleration, and much of that comes from starting the acceleration when the racket is still up, and not quite at the end of the backswing. The opposite hand's role I think becomes far more important, as the natural tendency of the racket will be to drop down too early (and perhaps go back too far) if the opposite hand doesn't keep hold. Of course, if it drops down too early, the benefits of the 'superior' technique are then lost.

          I also love the simplicity of the old-style take-back though! The stroke has great 1-2 rhythm despite the very different technique. Perhaps it's simplicity makes it easier to find great 1-2 rhythm, whilst the modern forehand's greater complexity needs the opposite hand hold in order to get the 1-2 rhythm right. More comments welcome.

          Comment


          • #6
            A very good answer. I'm old and just want to have fun and so am trying to incorporate both kinds of stroke in my game at the same time in the name of good orchestration. To my mind some of the either/ors in tennis are unnecessary.

            But I do think modern people successfully let go of the racket at different points and I try to do it pretty early, but this approach seems only to be bearing fruit at the age of 75 (had to figure out a new grip), so maybe I shouldn't be the example.

            I think I'm with you on the idea of keeping racket high at the point where it gets solid with body-- if you do think like me that casting in bronze happens just then and hitter's drop can come from body rather than independent arm.

            One can lead with the elbow to whip racket back and stay in the slot with big scope-- not take arm around too far.
            Last edited by bottle; 11-07-2015, 07:09 AM.

            Comment


            • #7
              Unlike Nick I have seen the 1-2 rhythm used here in the UK. It is almost never used these days but around 15 years ago it was being taught in some quarters for sure. Things go in cycles I guess.

              Lots of things go out of fashion. Look at volleys, for example. You hardly ever see them being taught these days, nor the overhead. The art of volleying is virtually extinct.

              But I do love Nick's article and the excellent teaching point it promotes. It helps makes students be aware of where they are in the stroke at the two most distinct phases. I also think one of the benefits of the non-hitting arm stretch is that it helps players to become more perfectly spaced from the ball.

              I think one of the major problems with British coaching is video analysis seems to be seldom used. I have had numerous players who have moved on to performance centres and yet never once had their shots analysed using high speed video...or even real time video. Many found this strange as during their formative years with me they were constantly given video feedback.
              Stotty

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by bottle View Post
                A very good answer. I'm old and just want to have fun and so am trying to incorporate both kinds of stroke in my game at the same time in the name of good orchestration. To my mind some of the either/ors in tennis are unnecessary.

                But I do think modern people successfully let go of the racket at different points and I try to do it pretty early, but this approach seems only to be bearing fruit at the age of 75 (had to figure out a new grip), so maybe I shouldn't be the example.

                I think I'm with you on the idea of keeping racket high at the point where it gets solid with body-- if you do think like me that casting in bronze happens just then and hitter's drop can come from body rather than independent arm.

                One can lead with the elbow to whip racket back and stay in the slot with big scope-- not take arm around too far.
                off topic of 1-2 rhythm forehand and main points of article which I think many agree is just another useful and effective way to get students to develop some excellent forehand technique.

                bottle,
                players can certainly let go of the racquet earlier, but what I see is that even when letting go of the racquet earlier, you still need to keep the hands relatively close, shoulder width apart to still promote the deep pro turn. Trouble is when many players separate hands early, those hands begin to drift apart and stroke gets a bit whacky.
                Go for it, separate the hands early, but keep it within shoulder width apart.

                Kyle LaCroix USPTA
                Boca Raton

                Comment


                • #9
                  Stotty, Kyle, et al,

                  That's what so great about what we are doing here--I said modestly...you guys had heard of 1-2 Rhythm. Not me. Bounce hit yes. Stretch the arm at the bounce, yes--well that one was mine.

                  In any case the 1-2 Rhythm thing spoke to me. Love it when it's something new, to me at least and I bet to a lot of subscribers.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Thanks for your comments Stotty. I couldn't agree more regards use of video analysis in the UK. I did some for Marcus Willis (highly skillful player, wins a lot of points with serve and from the net, has a wicked slice, but poor extension on his ground-stroke drives). He found it so useful to see this at high speed, and in comparison with established pro's, especially Nadal, who's a leftie like him.

                    The main point though, is that this guy is Top 10 in the UK, and around 400 in the world, 24yrs old, and had NEVER had any form of video analysis done or offered to him before we did it this summer. I was astounded to hear that, and he thought it was a similar situation with a number of other British players at similar level to him.

                    I hope you can keep in touch with those students of yours who move on, and they can still come back and get some video done with you from time to time.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Good point Kyle, the full turn needs the hands to stay close if they do separate early. Ferrer is a rare example at pro level of someone who separates hands a little early, but he stays close with the left hand/arm after separation. I still wonder if it's part of the reason he can't get the power on his forehand that most of his rivals can. You can't argue the guy has great rhythm and timing, but the early separation means the switch from part 1 to part 2 is a little less defined in his stroke, and perhaps as a result he loses some of the explosiveness that I love to associate with part 2, especially in the form of potential racket acceleration.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by klacr View Post
                        off topic of 1-2 rhythm forehand and main points of article which I think many agree is just another useful and effective way to get students to develop some excellent forehand technique.

                        bottle,
                        players can certainly let go of the racquet earlier, but what I see is that even when letting go of the racquet earlier, you still need to keep the hands relatively close, shoulder width apart to still promote the deep pro turn. Trouble is when many players separate hands early, those hands begin to drift apart and stroke gets a bit whacky.
                        Go for it, separate the hands early, but keep it within shoulder width apart.

                        Kyle LaCroix USPTA
                        Boca Raton
                        Love it.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by klacr View Post
                          off topic of 1-2 rhythm forehand and main points of article which I think many agree is just another useful and effective way to get students to develop some excellent forehand technique.

                          bottle,
                          players can certainly let go of the racquet earlier, but what I see is that even when letting go of the racquet earlier, you still need to keep the hands relatively close, shoulder width apart to still promote the deep pro turn. Trouble is when many players separate hands early, those hands begin to drift apart and stroke gets a bit whacky.
                          Go for it, separate the hands early, but keep it within shoulder width apart.

                          Kyle LaCroix USPTA
                          Boca Raton
                          Great observation. Again this is what makes Sock's forehand a little different. The left hand on some of his shots separates away (drops down) a little too far from the racket hand but then finds it way back close to the right hand again. I find his synchronisation odd.

                          http://www.tennisplayer.net/bulletin...ead.php?t=3090

                          Jack's got one mad forehand...
                          Stotty

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by nickw View Post
                            Good point Kyle, the full turn needs the hands to stay close if they do separate early. Ferrer is a rare example at pro level of someone who separates hands a little early, but he stays close with the left hand/arm after separation. I still wonder if it's part of the reason he can't get the power on his forehand that most of his rivals can. You can't argue the guy has great rhythm and timing, but the early separation means the switch from part 1 to part 2 is a little less defined in his stroke, and perhaps as a result he loses some of the explosiveness that I love to associate with part 2, especially in the form of potential racket acceleration.
                            Originally posted by bottle View Post
                            Love it.
                            Originally posted by licensedcoach View Post
                            Great observation. Again this is what makes Sock's forehand a little different. The left hand on some of his shots separates away (drops down) a little too far from the racket hand but then finds it way back close to the right hand again. I find his synchronisation odd.

                            http://www.tennisplayer.net/bulletin...ead.php?t=3090

                            Jack's got one mad forehand...
                            Berdych a good model. He separates hands a bit early than most, but keeps them tidy and controlled

                            http://www.tennisplayer.net/members/...and/index.html

                            http://www.tennisplayer.net/members/...Berdych_HD_HS/


                            Agree on Sock forehand. The synchronization makes it appear more wild and new age than it probably is.

                            Kyle LaCroix USPTA
                            Boca Raton
                            Last edited by klacr; 11-08-2015, 11:12 AM.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Yep, have to agree Berdych separates a little early and does an excellent job of hitting strong powerful forehands. Keeps that racket up nicely after separation and accelerates from there (unlike Ferrer). Still, inconsistency prevents him from reaching the next level.

                              Jack Sock, where to begin! His left hand almost wants to grab the racket back at one stage! The other interesting thing with him is that he does do the left arm hold and separation conventionally a fair bit of the time, appears to be when he's under little pressure when hitting the shot. I wonder if he is aware he uses the two variations?

                              Comment

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