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A New Teaching System: Forehand: The Wrist

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  • johnyandell
    started a topic A New Teaching System: Forehand: The Wrist

    A New Teaching System: Forehand: The Wrist

    Would love to discuss my latest article, "A New Teaching System: Forehand: The Wrist"!

  • johnyandell
    replied
    JD,
    Actually, as I have written, the wrist is inhibited--the forward movement is restricted in order to align the racket head for the shot line. That's coming from Brian Gordon's 3D research. That's different than the rotation of the arm and racket in the shoulder joint--the wiper. The wrist flexs forward and only slightly to the left or right. Film your forehand in hs video and post it here. And there is no Tennisplayer. There is me, there are all the other writers. No orthodoxy.

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  • jdcremin
    replied
    It may well be true that the wrist is not manipulated (passively or actively) during the contact phase but that doesn't mean you should try to keep it laid back - that's a really bad thing to do. I'll continue to "use my wrist" to whip the racket head up and over the ball - as all players with decent topspin do - I don't really care what exact muscle, joint, or ligament is involved. I'd love to know how Tennisplayer.net advises to whip the racket head up and over the ball - or is that a myth too?

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  • johnyandell
    replied
    Uh sorry no. Palm of the hand sure.

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  • bottle
    replied
    George Bowman in Berryville, Virginia: "Lead with the wrist."

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  • johnyandell
    replied
    But as to the forehand think laid back.

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  • bottle
    replied
    Okay, thanks. Just shows that you shouldn't always think forehand.

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  • curiosity
    replied
    Originally posted by bottle View Post

    To translate into my own language: A possible tripartite choice for volleys: Wrist laid back, wrist straight, wrist laid forward.

    I do laid back and wrist straight but never have tried wrist laid forward, not once in my whole life...............................(edited).
    I'm not sure I follow: The three positions aren't all of use in a forehand volley or drive. You'll see the straight and bent back (extension) for forehand volleys and drives, the straight and bent toward the palm (flexion) on backhand volleys and some OHBH's (Sampras, for example, often).
    Last edited by curiosity; 09-01-2016, 10:53 AM.

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  • bottle
    replied
    Good. I'll never think about it again.

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  • johnyandell
    replied
    Never seen that once at contact in 20 years of high speed film.

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  • bottle
    replied
    Originally posted by curiosity View Post
    Just make a fist loosely, lightly, and then flex the "wrist" muscles by squeezing your fist. You should end up with (depending on a small bit of your guidance at the start) a particular angle of wrist flexion or extension, an angle that never varies, very repeatable...or a straight wrist if you did not let the wrist waiver one way or the other.
    To translate into my own language: A possible tripartite choice for volleys: Wrist laid back, wrist straight, wrist laid forward.

    I do laid back and wrist straight but never have tried wrist laid forward, not once in my whole life. Since I'm 76 and don't want to hurt myself any more than I'm already hurt, I'm looking for a confidence-builder-- someone to tell me that they often curl the wrist forward for fantastic acute angles and never have gotten hurt doing it. I guess I'll have to hear of two successful instances of doing this. Then but not until then I will immediately try it.

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  • bottle
    replied
    I'm a big believer in first-hand imitation, so I can't say much about Nastase's topspin-- just never have gone there. But I did try to imitate Tom Okker's topspin, also hit with a continental. The result was insufficient. I declare Nastase and Okker forehands as thin ice for me.

    But you are absolutely right that "McEnroe had to lower the whole arm." To that I would add "the whole shoulder" too. That is why I think the sections of Ed Weiss's book about Welby Van Horn's teaching of "aeronautical banking" (In SECRETS OF A TRUE TENNIS MASTER) could be so useful to anyone with a genuine interest in glomming on to any of the clear excellence in John McEnroe's forehand.

    You do it, this banking, with your whole body, could think of it as a big body wriggle in which rotating hips help to take the rear shoulder down. Works for me.

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  • stotty
    replied
    Why I think the story of the wrist isn't fully told is because of McEnroe himself. Take McEnroe and Nastase. Both used a wooden racket; both a continental grip. Nastase was wristy while McEnroe was wristless. Nastase got oodles of topspin while McEnroe was predominately flat...or just a modicum of spin. McEnroe had to lower the whole arm to get topspin; Nastase lowered the wrist (or so it seemed without the benefit of high-speed video). Nastase could get a lot more topspin than McEnroe.

    On this basis you have to consider the wrist my not just be about alignment. Sure, Nastase's wrist lowered to align but his wrist might just have been be adding something more.

    In depth biomechanics is far from my strongpoint, so I stand to be corrected.

    Stotty

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  • bottle
    replied
    Great. An expansion of my little world. My only real caveat has to do with the part about McEnroe's forehand. I just see that stroke as having low racket head speed which enables his or anybody's body to do everything. In fact, I don't see the racket head having a speed that's different from the body speed.

    And I think if one understands this one can imitate McEnroe's forehand to great effect-- probably as a supplement to fast racket strokes-- no matter how ordinary a person one is. Everybody goes ooh and ahh when I hit my McEnrueful, that's what I know-- and it goes in quite a lot.

    Of course, it may be I don't hit the shot anything like John McEnroe. I think the most important story in tennis is the one recently told by the regular forum contributor Stotty. I'd heard it before but Stotty told it a little differently this time. About how Pancho Gonzalez would acquire strokes.

    He would walk around a bunch of courts until he saw someone hitting a stroke he liked. Then he would steal it, just go out and imitate and practice it until it was ready. The difference in the way Stotty told this was that often Pancho would change the stroke as he imitated it. In that case, it seems to me, there was no imitation at all, just inspiration.

    Well, if I had a real caveat to my response to your post, curiosity, there must be an unreal one too. Although you say you are, you are not idiosyncratic, at least not in this particular post.
    Last edited by bottle; 08-30-2016, 08:14 AM.

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  • curiosity
    replied
    The wrist is interesting. Excuse me if my views are idiosyncratic: I learned long ago, from another sport, that the wrist when flexed (the small muscles of the forearm) takes one of three positions. You can try it yourself. Just make a fist loosely, lightly, and then flex the "wrist" muscles by squeezing your fist. You should end up with (depending on a small bit of your guidance at the start) a particular angle of wrist flexion or extension, an angle that never varies, very repeatable...or a straight wrist if you did not let the wrist waiver one way or the other.

    It is that "very repeatable angle" forward, backward, or straight, that lets a pro-level pistol shooter gain a repeatable grip on the run, in speed competitions. It is, it seems to me, that repeatable (also called "strong") position that lets tennis volleyers establish their initial racquet position, racquet head a fixed angle up from the forearm, before soft hands and touch come into play. If you squeeze the racquet hard you're going to get one of the three strong positions.

    I believe that two important realities come into play with the wrist. The first is that the biggest disaster in a tennis stroke is to allow into its form any action that causes unnecessary deceleration or wobble. Therefore, the logic of the forehand is that we must either lock back (or let inertia pull fully back....) the wrist, therefore the racquet, when we begin the forward swing, or lock the wrist straight and keep in there. Put another way, taking the wrist back half way through the swing would bring deceleration and also unwanted small muscle movements, ergo inaccuracy.

    A second forehand wrist reality is that the wrist has to be bent back if you are going to achieve maximum racquet head speed compactly. I won't belabor this, but illustrate it: If you swing a hammer with a straight wrist (and with the hammer either somewhat up or straight out), you'll have a very difficult time generating speed because you are giving up one axis of pivot. You will also have a devil of a time hitting the nail on the head. (There were not a lot of McEnroes in the tennis world for a reason. Timing and touch.)

    With the wrist locked back or in lag, and with the shoulder externally rotated (creating the flip, really) we're set for a powerful pivot and internal shoulder rotation into the hit. Or so it seems to me. The rest is art! Critique is welcome.
    Last edited by curiosity; 08-29-2016, 05:42 PM.

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