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A New Teaching System: Forehand: Preparation Part 1

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  • A New Teaching System: Forehand: Preparation Part 1

    Would love to discuss my latest, "A New Teaching System: Forehand: Preparation Part 1"

  • #2

    Originally posted by johnyandell View Post
    Would love to discuss my latest, "A New Teaching System: Forehand: Preparation Part 1"
    Very, very interesting. Preparation…the tennis player's mantra.


    • #3
      Mirror, mirror on the wall who has the best prep of them all..

      You needed an umbrella for shooting that clip!

      Very good. Encapsulates everything really well. I am big on preparation as doubtless any Tennisplayer coach would be...

      I have kids practice preparation in front of a mirror...or the reflection given by the clubhouse patio windows. It works a treat. They can watch their favourite player then emulate the same thing in the mirror. It's the one thing that a mirror really works best of all for...preparation.


      • #4
        Yes the mirror! And of course every player is looking at his favorite player!


        • #5
          All very clear, and fully agree with the strong emphasis on this being so important, and also so achievable for all players to master.

          It amazes me how many coaches still promote the bad ideas, even just this week I heard a high level coach talking about getting the racket back early on the forehand. Anyway, it's a separate debate to discuss why after 20yrs, this forehand prep isn't mainstream in the coaching industry, but it's right of you John, to highlight the point.

          I like the mirror idea Stotty. As usual, I always encourage loads and loads of shadows to feel and develop that prep, but doing them with a reflection to look at has to increase the value. We have a couple of indoor studios at the centre, with mirrors for walls....perfect


          • #6
            Nice dig at Oscar
            Last edited by johnyandell; 02-04-2016, 10:11 AM.


            • #7
              Well it's not just Oscar and the craziness (although he is crazy) is the idea of keeping the racket in front until the bounce. Actually better to get it back immediately than that.
              It just continues to stun me with all the information about what really happens how common destructive advice is!


              • #8
                Great video article, as always.

                I have a question about the hitting hand after the unit turn.

                My understanding from the video is that, from the unit turn, with the shoulders turned about 30 degrees, the hands are going to separate with the non-hitting hand going to the side (and also up), eventually to extend toward the side fence and get the shoulders turned about 90 degrees.

                What are your thoughts about the trajectory of the non-hitting hand from the unit turn position?

                I've heard one tip for both hands to go out to the side together. But that seems a little awkward, kind of like your 'bad' example in the beginning where the hands don't seem to separate at all. Looking at the example pros, it looks to me as if Fed and Djokovic's hitting hands go pretty much straight back, and not much to the outside. But also, there's the thought that the hand doesn't want to go too far around, if you want to keep the racquet to the side and hit an "ATP" forehand.

                So is it straight back, but not too far around, or is it just a matter of style and preference, like other elements of the backswing?


                • #9
                  Love the talk about preparation. Much needed as it is often overlooked for more "shiny" factors like backswing and finish and contact point. Not that any of those things are not important, but tough to execute those perfectly if you don't prepare.

                  Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance.

                  I like the rain drops. You will not let mother nature stop you. Determined to get your message across. Great Work John.

                  Kyle LaCroix USPTA
                  Boca Raton
                  Last edited by klacr; 02-04-2016, 04:20 PM.


                  • #10
                    I'm a bit confused by the reference to keeping the racquet in front too long.
                    Do you mean in front in the ready position or to the front in the unit turn position. Since the balls are moving very fast, the pros don't have much time to hold the unit turn racquet position very long. Even so, they get into the unit turn very fast and are usually not rushed to turn back. A recreational player has much more time before the ball bounces on their side, so I think it is import to emphasize holding the racquet in the unit turn position much longer and maintaining good footwork to stay in rhythm, making adjustments, and getting into good hitting position. I rarely see this and don't think it is taught enough. Recreation players have trouble feeling the non-hitting arm position because they do it do soon or too late. The players are too anxious to bring their arms back and this creates, poor foot adjustments and uneven momentum even if they go back like Federer or Djokovic. The key is being fluid and loading the energy in proper sequence. So I think.
                    Last edited by tennisudin; 02-04-2016, 09:03 PM.


                    • #11

                      Great video! My takeaway is the whole body nature of the setup, with the emphasis being on getting the body turned and coiled rather than focusing exclusively on the racquet.

                      I especially liked your point regarding the opposite/front leg getting lazy during the unit turn. For sure I am guilty of this. Great fodder for the next hitting session.


                      • #12
                        A Pinwheel is too Sophisticated

                        Originally posted by bdole View Post

                        Great video! My takeaway is the whole body nature of the setup, with the emphasis being on getting the body turned and coiled rather than focusing exclusively on the racquet.
                        Yes to body coil, no to unfocussed racket. Focus on the racket a lot, making sure that its tip comes at ball from the left. The operative word will be "pinwheel" as in a crude pinwheel in which the axle is embedded in the end of a dowell, not in the side of the dowell. Side of the dowell would be a right-angled birthday party toy that is too sophisticated.

                        We want our forehand to be primitive and effective, not all gussied up with loops and furbelows. Face it, forehands somehow got stupid when somebody designed them so that everybody would swing rather than spear. That dull designer got all the forward motions of a forehand circling too much in the same direction. Balance, close to the outset of tennis, became forever lost.

                        Have great virtuosos over the decades been able to overcome this handicap? Of course. But they had to work too hard and many quit to go into Real Estate.

                        One needs to put a powerful push on a tennis ball while administering spin to it at right angles. Nothing else counts but this spear with a pinwheel on its end to substitute for a sharp point.

                        The room for error is not in leaving forearm too open to ball but on the too closed side. This lends absorption or dwell to one's contact since forearm can be springing somewhat back even as one wipes.

                        The launch of this stroke resembles the classiest thing that ever happens in baseball, an infielder's throw to first base.

                        One coils at the elbow, uncoils arm to a right angle, mondoes and wipes.

                        If this more economical way of hitting a tennis ball works for a 76-year-old it can work for a 14-year-old. The goal is clean hits. The future is here.
                        Last edited by bottle; 02-05-2016, 03:03 PM.


                        • #13
                          t udin,
                          Once the turn starts the racket should never stop moving. The motion should be continuous to the full turn position with the left arm stretch. What changes is the rhythm and timing of this movement.
                          The goal is to reach the full turn around the ball bounce. It's about a second between the rackets in pro tennis, but surprisingly maybe in club tennis it's only about a second and a half or two seconds at low levels. Very little time.
                          I have filmed dozens and dozens of club players who just don't make the turn in time, and if they try to "stalk" they inevitably late.
                          If I had to choose I would rather see the racket back too early. Serena and Venus get full turns but the racket gets ahead so you sometimes see them double pump, but they have done alright
                          I actually think you said it right when you said the key was being fluid and loading in the right sequence. For me this means continuous motion.


                          • #14
                            But I'm not Defeated This Easily

                            Continuous motion comes if one separates hands immediately. Face it, one can aid turn of the body by hanging on to racket with opposite hand forever or doing that some then pointing across or just by pointing across.

                            One coils arm from same time hands separate in the third choice. The arm bunches up like the infielder preparing his throw. If the snake wanted to, it could coil all day long for one strike. A timed coil equals continuity again. Now comes flip and wipe-- the whole thing is one motion but with less to do in it than in conventional forehands.

                            Might not look like much but...

                            If Type III ATP edited down conventional topspin strokes by making them shorter then I think I'm continuing the progression by paring away the dogpat.

                            Or do you, any reader, think I'm a pretender? The test so far has only been in seniors doubles for one day. But there is more doubles tonight. If the new shot is not the best way ever of hitting a tennis ball I will let you know.
                            Last edited by bottle; 02-05-2016, 01:06 PM.


                            • #15

                              Yeah rotate the whole body like it's a cylinder and as we will see in the next article step up into a semi-open stance or neutral depending in the ball.


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