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  • A New Teaching System: The Forehand Keying Process

    Would love to hear your thoughts on my latest article, "A New Teaching System: The Forehand Keying Process"!

  • #2
    This is a great piece, John!

    It does a nice job of eliminating all of those smaller elements that tend to get in the way, especially when I'm out there thinking too much. Like Shroud (another great article), I tend toward the analytical side in my mind. As a result, one of the things that I noticed happens to me is that I want to control the shot so much that I get excess tension throughout arm. Even with the key checkpoints that you describe and using visualization, which is great, having that tension seems to result in far less power on the shot.

    One of your writers, John Craig, has a great short video that has helped me a lot (http://www.performanceplustennis.com...algriptension/). It has to do with finding the ideal grip tension. As he puts it, you want to grip the racquet so that you can feel the weight of the head. For me, it greatly reduces tension throughout my entire arm and shoulder. That, coupled with your visualizations, can really free up the swing and result in effortless racquet head speed.

    Thanks for putting it all together in this piece.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by bmonsour View Post
      This is a great piece, John!

      It does a nice job of eliminating all of those smaller elements that tend to get in the way, especially when I'm out there thinking too much. Like Shroud (another great article), I tend toward the analytical side in my mind. As a result, one of the things that I noticed happens to me is that I want to control the shot so much that I get excess tension throughout arm. Even with the key checkpoints that you describe and using visualization, which is great, having that tension seems to result in far less power on the shot.

      One of your writers, John Craig, has a great short video that has helped me a lot (http://www.performanceplustennis.com...algriptension/). It has to do with finding the ideal grip tension. As he puts it, you want to grip the racquet so that you can feel the weight of the head. For me, it greatly reduces tension throughout my entire arm and shoulder. That, coupled with your visualizations, can really free up the swing and result in effortless racquet head speed.

      Thanks for putting it all together in this piece.
      Bmonsour,

      you might enjoy an article I put up here about Timing and the Feel of the Racket Head, under Classic Lessons



      don

      Comment


      • #4
        Bob,
        Thanks. Scott and GC did an awesome job. I am asking John Craig to put an article on grip pressure together for us.
        TC,
        Good to see you back and yes I remember that article!!

        Comment


        • #5
          You just have to believe imagery was absolutely key back in the days when there were no high speed camcorders or and our knowledge of biomechanics was far more limited. Gonzales spent his formative years watching other players and trying to copy the better parts of others' strokes. It's likely all the great players of the past learned their tennis way.

          A coach who works nearby has all his kids practicing their turn without a ball and freezing at the left arm stretch. He says he likes to embed this image. It works. All his students have a wonderful turn and a taught left arm stretch.

          It's wonderful to come across as if one knows what one is talking about as a coach, but it often wreaks havoc once students try to process that information on a court. Often the best thing we can do as coaches is get over our vanity and dumb down. Use minimal words and far more imagery.

          My son has a world-class backhand volley. He learned it naturally by watching Henman and Edberg. I never coached him on that shot once. Sometimes the best coaching a coach can do is to shut up, and the best shots are always natural anyway.

          Stotty
          Stotty

          Comment


          • #6
            John: Your article struck a chord! You did the grueling hard work by reviewing hundreds of various pro forehand images to identify critical elements in the range of correctness for the pro forehand(I would assume that a majority of pro coaches would concur on those keys). By using imagery on these elements, the player will naturally evolve their swing according to grip type, strength, flexibility, speed, etc. This non-invasive approach frees the coach and player from artificially trying to copy a style, but rather just focus on key elements. Experienced coaches should have the image -retention capability to observe if the key elements are present in a performance in real time. But the access to slow motion for image retention by both player and coach is essential. Now, if you can do the same for the serve!

            Comment


            • #7
              Bmonsour: I have had success with the "loose hand" drop volley among other drop volley types. Experimenting with this minimal hand tension will be useful in applying different degrees of hand tension in the ground strokes. Excessive hand tension tends to increase arm tension and vice versa.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by licensedcoach View Post
                My son has a world-class backhand volley. He learned it naturally by watching Henman and Edberg. I never coached him on that shot once. Sometimes the best coaching a coach can do is to shut up, and the best shots are always natural anyway.
                Stotty
                I'm so glad you said this. A quick run through the 15 videos in the backhand volley section of Tin Henman in the stroke archive isn't going to hurt anybody and will greatly help volleyers of a certain persuasion and may give complete beginners who are tabula rasa a nice idea.

                Comment


                • #9
                  John, I have your book "Visual Tennis", where you were the first writing extensively about visualisation in respect to tennis. I find the concept of visualization a great aid in many fields. One of my hobbies is theoretical physics, and I have been brushing up on the Standard Model of particles. Since the nomenclature is complex, overlapping and not easy to grasp, I drew all components on a large sheet of paper and using circles, arrows, colors, made an imagery which results in clarity and the brainmap-like structure is easy to keep in mind and understand. An image is worth a thousand words.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Humbug.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by licensedcoach View Post
                      You just have to believe imagery was absolutely key back in the days when there were no high speed camcorders or and our knowledge of biomechanics was far more limited. Gonzales spent his formative years watching other players and trying to copy the better parts of others' strokes. It's likely all the great players of the past learned their tennis way.

                      A coach who works nearby has all his kids practicing their turn without a ball and freezing at the left arm stretch. He says he likes to embed this image. It works. All his students have a wonderful turn and a taught left arm stretch.

                      It's wonderful to come across as if one knows what one is talking about as a coach, but it often wreaks havoc once students try to process that information on a court. Often the best thing we can do as coaches is get over our vanity and dumb down. Use minimal words and far more imagery.

                      My son has a world-class backhand volley. He learned it naturally by watching Henman and Edberg. I never coached him on that shot once. Sometimes the best coaching a coach can do is to shut up, and the best shots are always natural anyway.

                      Stotty
                      You're posts are nuts.

                      Everything you say flies in the face of conventional coaching wisdom - sorry.

                      "You just have to believe imagery was absolutely key back in the days when there were no high speed camcorders or and our knowledge of biomechanics was far more limited. Gonzales spent his formative years watching other players and trying to copy the better parts of others' strokes. It's likely all the great players of the past learned their tennis way."

                      Its called a fast eye. Every good athlete and coach has it, 100 percent. Can't say I need slow motion. I see it. I know other coaches who have coached good athletes who read scenarios quickly. Its an ability - to you the game is fast, but, to those who have put in the work its painfully slow. Biomechanics was not limited at all in the 1970's, and the Russian's, German's system were incredible. Only now, are we understanding the level of its brilliance. I learned Russian, and located all the writngs of the great Valeriy Lobanovskyi, and he was far ahead in biomechanics of soccer than you can imagine, as was Ben Johnson's sprint coach Charlie Francis. We sure tend to over-rate ourselves as a coaches, and refuse to respect the lessons of the past. Harry Hopman, Mike Agassi, Larisa Preobrazhenskaya - miles ahead of 99 percent of coaches today. They did not need slow motion to see it ... like every great coach and player they had the vision to slow it down.

                      "A coach who works nearby has all his kids practicing their turn without a ball and freezing at the left arm stretch. He says he likes to embed this image. It works. All his students have a wonderful turn and a taught left arm stretch."

                      Every kid is wonderful? Really? Ain't many wonderful tennis players I have seen coming from Britan. I think you are living in fantasy land.

                      It's wonderful to come across as if one knows what one is talking about as a coach, but it often wreaks havoc once students try to process that information on a court. Often the best thing we can do as coaches is get over our vanity and dumb down.

                      Dumb down? Kind of disrespectful to your athletes, don't you think? Maybe they are clever, and just don't listen to you?

                      Use minimal words and far more imagery.

                      That won't work well with verbal athletes. Great athletes and coaches generally like to talk about there passion, and work things out. If you ever have a great athlete or work with a world class coach - you will understand what I mean. Most love to communicate and there enthusiasm is infectious, and you never hear them saying its time to dumb down the athlete.

                      My son has a world-class backhand volley. He learned it naturally by watching Henman and Edberg. I never coached him on that shot once.

                      I have yet to see a kid who is world class in anything at a young age. Never, ever, never. Give me a call when a kid is 15 or 16. I've been burned way to many times. I'd love to see what you think is world class ... but, really you are mistaking projection and potential for something that is not a reality (just yet). Get a grip. Please.

                      Sometimes the best coaching a coach can do is to shut up, and the best shots are always natural anyway.

                      Sounds like you are a burned out, and frustrated coach. Check out the video of Federer at 19 - not much there looks natural to me except the serve. Thats a great motion, and it hasn't changed. His backhand, and forehand weren't nice, but, with a ton of work on his hips, movement and nuerlogy he became a totally different player overnight around 19 to 21. Roger never swung the racket like a dream EVER in his life - he worked like hell to develop what may be the best technique ever in the game from the waist (up), and movement certainly never came naturally to the guy as he certainly doesn't have that type of natural propensity for proper gait or world class speed in any direction.

                      Check out Roger at 16, he looks nothing even close to the player he'd become much later when he figured out optimal technique.




                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by bottle View Post

                        I'm so glad you said this. A quick run through the 15 videos in the backhand volley section of Tin Henman in the stroke archive isn't going to hurt anybody and will greatly help volleyers of a certain persuasion and may give complete beginners who are tabula rasa a nice idea.
                        In my view, very sadly, the technique Henman utilizes on the the bh volley is almost completely absent among today's pro singles players. They all tend to use the much higher and bigger backswing that Federer uses. As a result they are at a great disadvantage when trying to make the shot Henman demonstrates in the last shot in his Backhand Volley archive:



                        Furthermore they are unable to execute the short stroke volleys he demonstrates here:



                        With the inability to play these kinds of volleys, they can not effectively utilize a serve and volley strategy... and don't! The predominant sentiment (just my opinion) is that the current ground strokes are too fast and too heavy to effectively volley... and that's true with the level and style of technique that players have in their front court games today.

                        don

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by bottle View Post
                          Humbug.
                          Merry Christmas to you. 😊

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by tennis_chiro View Post

                            In my view, very sadly, the technique Henman utilizes on the the bh volley is almost completely absent among today's pro singles players. They all tend to use the much higher and bigger backswing that Federer uses. As a result they are at a great disadvantage when trying to make the shot Henman demonstrates in the last shot in his Backhand Volley archive:

                            https://www.tennisplayer.net/members...tLevelSide.mov

                            Furthermore they are unable to execute the short stroke volleys he demonstrates here:

                            https://www.tennisplayer.net/members...evelFront1.mov

                            With the inability to play these kinds of volleys, they can not effectively utilize a serve and volley strategy... and don't! The predominant sentiment (just my opinion) is that the current ground strokes are too fast and too heavy to effectively volley... and that's true with the level and style of technique that players have in their front court games today.

                            don
                            Nice post.

                            Tim Henman's high backhand volley is one of the best I've seen, especially the type that borders on a backhand smash, but not quite. That shot is really tough but Tim could stick them away with real velocity.

                            I used to love watching Tim. He was the last great volleyer. He relied on his volleys because his groundies lacked penetration compared to Agassi and other top players around at that time.

                            He was unlucky in that 2001 Wimbledon semi with Goran. Tim had that match all won and dusted. Goran's game had completely collapsed. Then it rained. The match went on to be played over three days because the rain delays were so bad. Goran became a different player and eventually won in five. He went on to beat Rafter in the final.

                            Stotty
                            Last edited by stotty; 12-19-2016, 01:40 PM.
                            Stotty

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by tennis_chiro View Post

                              With the inability to play these kinds of volleys, they can not effectively utilize a serve and volley strategy... and don't! The predominant sentiment (just my opinion) is that the current ground strokes are too fast and too heavy to effectively volley... and that's true with the level and style of technique that players have in their front court games today.

                              don
                              Mentality is a major problem ... frankly, I see a lot of coaches (if they call themselves that) and parents with there heads in the clouds (dreamers) saying everyone has a wonderful left arm raise, and there son has a world class backhand. They are only kidding themselves.

                              Hypothetically tennis_chiro, if you had people who were balanced and willing to work, what would you specifically do to develop that type of game.

                              It'd be interested in your thoughts - its always nice to see you post here as I respect your thoughts.

                              Comment

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