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A New Teaching Method: Forehand Stances

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  • A New Teaching Method: Forehand Stances

    Would love to discuss, "A New Teaching Method: Forehand Stances"!

  • #2
    This makes sense. But if I have an eastern grip though which stance should I use. Who is the guy stepping in in the article?


    • #3
      Of all the ultimate fundamental articles, this was the most poignant for me. Often times, players have a desired and/or predetermined way of hitting the ball that they feel is best at all times and that bias or favoritism gets in the way of truly letting their stroke adapt and evolve and letting the natural hitting motion shine through. To me, this is most apparent in the stances with lower level players. They were told by a coach the benefits of one stance and feel that under no circumstances can they adapt or need to adapt to the situation.

      Good piece!

      Kyle LaCroix USPTA
      Boca Raton


      • #4

        That's Karsten Popp. Scott Murphy's great friend and a guy who was good enough to play for a while on the tour years ago. Scott wrote this article about his forehand:


        Very interesting because even well over 50 he can hold his own with the very best club players in Marin County California and the level in Marin is high.
        Karsten takes the ball early and the neutral stance works well for that. There is no problem with the eastern grip provided you can rotate through the shot til your shoulders are parallel to the net, as Karsten does.

        What I have noticed is that some players aren't flexible enough to do this and end up twisting against the front foot. So you might also experiment with semi open to make sure you really get the torso through.
        Does stepping in add power? Maybe, but the big gain might be how it makes the swing path more linear through the contact.
        Last edited by johnyandell; 04-08-2016, 06:42 AM.


        • #5
          Classic forehand…The Don Budge Forehand

          Originally posted by johnyandell View Post
          That's Karston Popp
          I thought so.


          • #6
            Stance on the forehand is interesting. I think I'm like most people in that I don't really think about it on the court. I prefer semi-open. I hit semi-open when rallying for practice. Almost everybody does, if they don't actually hit open. Neutral only shows up for short ball practice and some volleys.

            When playing points my upper body is preparing based on the incoming ball, and I'll do some semblance of the unit turn and racket take-back and lowering... regardless of what my legs and feet are doing, though at the start of a match I may openly pray that my legs do the right thing during the points.

            I remember Stefan Edberg's reply when asked (at the time) why he retired. He answered that a time comes when the legs do not automatically work with the upper body. That time had come for him, he said. That time came for me some years ago. I now cut my legs some slack. I'm willing to hit a forehand on the run lunging onto my front foot. Sometimes it even works.


            • #7
              Stances and weight transfer


              Wonder if someone can clarify how the weight transfer changes with stance? One hears about the importance of loading the outside leg (right leg for a right handed like me). Is this the same for neutral or closed stance? For neutral and closed stance should there be a leg thrust from the left leg (I.e. Is the weight on the left leg for the stoke) or does it just step? Is the main difference between open and closed stances whether weight is on the right or left leg?



              • #8
                The answer is not much. The "loading" is similar. But make sure you don't lean or get off balance trying to over emphasize it. The key is in the body turn and the rotation up of the left side.

                In a neutral stance you keep your posture upright and step forward. There is no big emphasis on the weight because you may impede your uncoiling trying to "shift".

                Similar with the semi open stance. As part of the forward swing the weight naturally moves to the left foot. You should be able to stay on balance.

                Lots of times I see people focus on weight transfer trying to increase the role of the body and actually inhibiting it. Look at the examples of Scott toward the end.


                • #9
                  Thanks John, sounds like for either neutral or semi open stance you are really pushing off of the right leg?

                  Speaking of uncoiling, when you load and push off that back leg, are you rotating the right hip forward to start the uncoiling process before the shoulders come around?


                  • #10
                    I wouldn't worry about pushing. In fact I think that's unnatural. Same for trying to intentionally rotate the hips.

                    Get properly turned and coiled. Use the hand to swing for the extension position. (That's coming up in the May article.) Usually the rest takes care of itself.

                    The push/rotate guys tend to overrotate and dissipate energy in the air.


                    • #11
                      For me at least I think that the benefits of a semi open/semi closed stance are manifested in that I hit much better forehands running around my backhand and on the left side of the court than from the right side of the court. Maybe Because hitting inside out almost necessitates a more closed stance. But at the same time....my stance might still be " the same" when looked at " relative" to where I am hitting my shot, and also my inside in forehand is better, too.


                      • #12
                        I bet your forehand side forehands are still a little too open.


                        • #13
                          So why not neutral for eastern grip club players?


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by johnyandell View Post
                            I bet your forehand side forehands are still a little too open.
                            Probably but I'm getting better. I really only go fully open and off my back foot on normal shots when I am getting tired/lazy. The worst ones are when it is a little short and wide. On those I will often have my right foot in front of my left.


                            • #15
                              Getting better. I like that.


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