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Ultimate Fundamentals: Forehand Volley

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  • johnyandell
    started a topic Ultimate Fundamentals: Forehand Volley

    Ultimate Fundamentals: Forehand Volley

    Would love to discuss my latest article, "Ultimate Fundamentals: Forehand Volley"

  • bottle
    replied
    One can accept the terms on the ground that their consistency is very useful and still mock one of them-- the one about "extension" of the wrist-- as utter foolishness starting from the date that some irresponsible scientist coined it. An extended wrist goes up from a level table on which the arm lies flat. No it doesn't. An extended wrist would take the fingers farther out along the table. Enough to make one a LUDDITE!
    Last edited by bottle; 12-06-2017, 07:10 AM.

    Leave a comment:


  • don_budge
    replied
    Originally posted by nickw View Post

    http://www.revolutionarytennis.com/R...dhandterm.jpeg

    Reading this thread reminded me of a great pic I once saw, managed to find it. Hopefully offers some clarification of wrist movement terms.
    Thanks nickw. Truly a great pic...worth every bit of thousands of words.

    Leave a comment:


  • stotty
    replied
    Originally posted by johnyandell View Post
    Good idea! Some terminology clarifications here:
    https://www.tennisplayer.net/members...serve_pg2.html
    Yes very useful.

    I remember when I first joined the website finding the terminology confusing. I didn't know where to reach to clarify what terms such as ulnar deviation and others meant. It's not a problem now of course because over time I have become more educated and familiar with terminology, but it might be a mistake to assume visitors to the website know what these fancy terms mean.

    Leave a comment:


  • johnyandell
    replied
    Good idea! Some terminology clarifications here:
    https://www.tennisplayer.net/members...serve_pg2.html

    Leave a comment:


  • stotty
    replied
    Originally posted by nickw View Post

    http://www.revolutionarytennis.com/R...dhandterm.jpeg

    Reading this thread reminded me of a great pic I once saw, managed to find it. Hopefully offers some clarification of wrist movement terms.

    John, great article. Beatifully simplifies the key aspects of the forehand volley, and re-inforces the way I teach this stroke.
    It's a good illustrative photo. I have often thought Tennisplayer could benefit from having a section devoted to educational photos or diagrams such as the one you posted. Tennisplayer often uses such terms but doesn't have a tennis dictionary anywhere on its website for people to reference the exact meanings. I may PM John about it.

    Leave a comment:


  • nickw
    replied
    Originally posted by don_budge View Post

    Actually cms56, I meant exactly what I said. Here's our conversation so far and I am looking forwards to your response. Excuse me if I came across as being ironic...but I am honestly looking forwards to you clearly explaining each of the terms that you used and how they relate to volleying.

    You made no mistake except maybe you overestimated some of the audience's vocabulary. I am anxiously and respectively asking for clarification. I didn't understand what you wrote. Thank you.

    Who was it that said, "If you wish to speak with me first define your terms"?

    http://liamscheff.com/2007/08/voltai...he-scientists/

    I appreciate the response that you made but am truly interested in a detailed explanation of the technical thoughts you are expressing.
    http://www.revolutionarytennis.com/R...dhandterm.jpeg

    Reading this thread reminded me of a great pic I once saw, managed to find it. Hopefully offers some clarification of wrist movement terms.

    John, great article. Beatifully simplifies the key aspects of the forehand volley, and re-inforces the way I teach this stroke.

    Leave a comment:


  • don_budge
    replied
    Originally posted by don_budge View Post

    The transcript...

    What are the ultimate forehand volley fundamentals? Watch Roger Federer in our new high speed footage hit this virtually perfect forehand volley. Love it. Gorgeous. Let’s see how you can develop the same impeccable technique as Roger or other world class players such as Alexander Zverev and Dominic Thiem on this surprisingly misunderstood shot. It’s not a punch...you’ve probably been taught the wrong grip and never taught the critical role of the shoulders. Mastering the real keys is simpler than you may think and the result can be dramatic and amazing.

    Mild Grip
    Most players are taught a forehand volley grip that is slightly too strong. The index knuckle should be on bevel two and the heel pad very slightly on top, just creasing the edge of bevel one. The term continental is too general and usually leads to placing too much of the heel pad on top of the frame. As we’ll see the actual forehand volley grip is what makes the fundamentals of the stroke work so beautifully.

    Preparation...Unit Turn
    The first fundamental is the unit turn. Watch Roger’s feet, hips and shoulders and left arm all turn together. They rotate until they are all at about a 45 degree angle to the net. (1.41) This turn automatically prepares the racquet, there is little to no independent arm movement. Often players are taught the first move is to push that racquet out front. This destroys the body turn. In reality...the arm and racquet turn with the body until the racquet face is about even with the front edge of the front shoulder.

    Hitting Arm...”U” Shape
    The second component in the preparation is the hitting arm shape. The upper arm, forearm and racquet form a “U”. The forearm is roughly parallel to the court with the racquet tip either straight up and down or tilted slightly to the player’s right. Watch again how the preparation happens and how compact it really is. The unitary body turn and the creation of the hitting arm shape.

    Forward Swing
    The forward swing is the least understood component in the forehand volley. The common idea of a punch implies arm extension from the elbow. In reality...the elbow rarely extends fully and the hitting arm keeps the fundamental “U” shape. The real driving force in the motion is a push of the entire hitting arm shape, forward and around, driven by the rotation of the shoulders. The technical end of the forward swing is with the butt of the racquet pointing just across the edge of the front leg.

    Backward Arm Rotation Variations
    A major additional component that causes confusion in understanding the forward swing is the backward rotation of the hitting arm structure. The “U” shape can rotate backwards as a unit in the shoulder turn. The hitting arm then rotates back forward into the hit, adding additional racquet speed to the drive already coming from the shoulder. This backward rotation can be a few degrees or it can it can continue until the racquet face is literally parallel to the court. Critically though, the racquet hand itself, stays forward. Staying close to the edge of the front shoulder or at most moving back between the shoulders. This backward and then forward rotation is a variable. A supplement to the role of the forward shoulder motion. It is typically common on high balls and virtually absent on balls that are below waist level. It also tends to happen naturally and automatically once the underlying fundamentals are sound.

    Wrist
    With the relatively mild grip and the rotational push from the shoulder, the wrist stays partially laid back in the forward swing before, during and after contact. This allows the body to drive the swing. It goes against the old idea of “keeping the wrist firm” and using a stronger grip which usually leads to later contact and less natural leverage.

    Underspin
    The forehand volley is usually hit with mild underspin. Less than a thousand rpm’s, even at the pro level, far less than any other shot in the game. This underspin is generated by pushing the racquet head through the motion...with the shoulder...with the face only slightly open. Emphasis is on moving the racquet head forwards and only slightly down.

    Step
    The forehand volley can be hit with a variety of stances. It can be hit with an open stance, it can be hit with a neutral stance and it can also be hit with a closed stance. The variations usually depend on the distance of the player to the ball. Closer in can be open...wider can be closed. Often the player can step directly forward. Although it is probably a positive to step forward, the step is not a fundamental power source and usually the landing is after the hit.

    Modeling
    To model the forehand volley you need two positions. The turn with the shoulders and feet turned about 45 degrees and the hitting arm in the “U” shape. Second...the push with the back shoulder. Work to create the feeling and the mental image of these positions using the checkpoints we’ve outlined and your forehand volley will be compact, powerful and consistent.
    The video with the articles was a first rate lesson. Much food for thought. Very much looking forwards to the backhand volley. When will that be...next month I suppose?

    Leave a comment:


  • don_budge
    replied
    Originally posted by johnyandell View Post
    DB,
    Yep this article is pure fundamentals. Check out the classic articles in this issue on the forehand volley which touch on many of your points. Great point about the opposite arm.
    https://www.tennisplayer.net/members...nd_volley.html

    https://www.tennisplayer.net/members...nd_volley.html

    Gotcha Boss. Good stuff. Rock solid stuff. What is it going to take to resurrect tennis to the way it should be played? The way Richard Gonzalez played?

    You are a solid fundamental guy and your study of video has reinforced your teaching. Many thanks of the website...and the forum. Where decent people can talk tennis in their spare time.

    Just to sum up in a nutshell...the left arm.

    From the ready position to the unit turn...as you turn take the left hand from the throat of the racquet to the right shoulder. Touch the left shoulder with the left hand. The 45 degree shoulder turn is perfect as the standard...lay the racquet on a line parallel to the shoulders. In the "U" shape. Push forwards with the right shoulder and "swing" the arm holding the shape and finish with the strings towards the target.

    This left hand to the shoulder is an excellent exercise that has been around for many years. It's a great method to get the student to rotate the shoulders away from and back towards the ball. I love it on high balls...it sort of gives the player the correct length of backswing.

    The left hand to shoulder is an exercise. But if the player is to hold on to the concept and keep that left hand more in front of him you could see that both hands are moving simultaneously together which is indicative of shoulder rotation. I don't like to see that left hand off to the left of the player's body as if to wave "Hi Mommy" in the audience.

    By engaging the left hand in this manner it encourages the player to use both hands (shoulders) in the most efficient manner. No independent arm swing in the hitting zone. There is minimal swing in the backswing and the follow through. Afterall it is a swing...a short swing.

    Excellent articles. I think of all of the volleys that are in the video presentation I like Taylor Dent's the best. Fundamentally it looks to be the most efficient motion of them all. It's classic.

    Leave a comment:


  • stotty
    replied
    Jana Novota just died. What a shame.

    She had the best forehand volley you are ever likely to see. Fundamentally sound.

    Leave a comment:


  • stotty
    replied
    Originally posted by don_budge View Post

    The problem of coaching a nonexistent aspect of the game is that number one...as I mentioned there are few that can teach or even see it as a viable part of the game. But number two and probably even more important and currently disastrous is that there are no good models available. Dominic Thiem and Alexander Zverev are not poster boys for the volley stroke and in fact they rarely and if ever venture to the net unless they are forced to come forwards to chase down a drop shot or extremely short ball.

    Even Roger Federer has lost his past flair at the net.
    True. Today's players aren't the best at transitioning to the net.

    Actually, I think Roger has regained some of his past flair at the net. I watched serve volley a number of times this week and saw some of that lovely composure and 'time' that he used to have. I think he could totally regain the skill with little problem. You don't just lose a skill like that, do you? It must still be there, close to the surface, when you think about it.

    A very helpful transcript by the way....thank you.

    Leave a comment:


  • klacr
    replied
    Originally posted by don_budge View Post
    I think it's great that you delve into the realm of hitting the ball in the air. Seeing as this aspect of the tennis game has been virtually engineered out of the modern game. It's been so long that there are very few coaches that can teach the concept of hitting the ball in the air let alone teaching a player to get into position to make such a play on a ball.

    The problem of coaching a nonexistent aspect of the game is that number one...as I mentioned there are few that can teach or even see it as a viable part of the game. But number two and probably even more important and currently disastrous is that there are no good models available. Dominic Thiem and Alexander Zverev are not poster boys for the volley stroke and in fact they rarely and if ever venture to the net unless they are forced to come forwards to chase down a drop shot or extremely short ball.

    Even Roger Federer has lost his past flair at the net. In the year 2001 he played Pete Sampras in the quarterfinals at Wimbledon in five scintillating sets of nonstop serve and volley action. Goran Ivansievic defeated Patrick Rafter in one of the ugliest Wimbledon finals ever to compel the ATP braintrust to engineer the courts so that it played like velcro. It was the end of the post classic era of tennis which lasted approximately 17 years starting in 1984. Federer is not the volleyer he once was and even now he only uses it to mix up he tactics to keep his opponent off balance. He doesn't use it consistently to "maintain pressure on his opponent". Lack of models is going to make any transition back to the all court game nearly impossible in the foreseeable future.

    One problem with the video presentation here on the volley here is that the players are stationary. You do touch on most of the fundamentals but one fundamental is missing and that is this shot is more often hit with the player advancing forwards. This may change the fundamentals slightly or it might just change the jargon. But whatever...it does change something. When teaching the volley...as soon as the stroke is discussed and experimented with just standing still...as the models in this video are...the student must learn to hit this ball while trying to get as close to the net as possible. This will help to discourage them from swinging at the darn thing.

    Another point that I would like to see discussed in the forehand volley is the role of the opposite hand and how this can help to get the student to understand the all important shoulder rotation that you effectively emphasize through out the video. I think there is a bit more discussion left in this volley presentation. Take it with a grain of salt.

    Thoughts to follow.
    Great volleys, especially the first one are often hit in transition. Good post don_budge! Love John's focus on the volleys right now, starting with the fundamentals.

    Kyle LaCroix USPTA
    Boca Raton

    Leave a comment:


  • johnyandell
    replied
    DB,
    Yep this article is pure fundamentals. Check out the classic articles in this issue on the forehand volley which touch on many of your points. Great point about the opposite arm.

    Leave a comment:


  • don_budge
    replied
    I think it's great that you delve into the realm of hitting the ball in the air. Seeing as this aspect of the tennis game has been virtually engineered out of the modern game. It's been so long that there are very few coaches that can teach the concept of hitting the ball in the air let alone teaching a player to get into position to make such a play on a ball.

    The problem of coaching a nonexistent aspect of the game is that number one...as I mentioned there are few that can teach or even see it as a viable part of the game. But number two and probably even more important and currently disastrous is that there are no good models available. Dominic Thiem and Alexander Zverev are not poster boys for the volley stroke and in fact they rarely and if ever venture to the net unless they are forced to come forwards to chase down a drop shot or extremely short ball.

    Even Roger Federer has lost his past flair at the net. In the year 2001 he played Pete Sampras in the quarterfinals at Wimbledon in five scintillating sets of nonstop serve and volley action. Goran Ivansievic defeated Patrick Rafter in one of the ugliest Wimbledon finals ever to compel the ATP braintrust to engineer the courts so that it played like velcro. It was the end of the post classic era of tennis which lasted approximately 17 years starting in 1984. Federer is not the volleyer he once was and even now he only uses it to mix up he tactics to keep his opponent off balance. He doesn't use it consistently to "maintain pressure on his opponent". Lack of models is going to make any transition back to the all court game nearly impossible in the foreseeable future.

    One problem with the video presentation here on the volley here is that the players are stationary. You do touch on most of the fundamentals but one fundamental is missing and that is this shot is more often hit with the player advancing forwards. This may change the fundamentals slightly or it might just change the jargon. But whatever...it does change something. When teaching the volley...as soon as the stroke is discussed and experimented with just standing still...as the models in this video are...the student must learn to hit this ball while trying to get as close to the net as possible. This will help to discourage them from swinging at the darn thing.

    Another point that I would like to see discussed in the forehand volley is the role of the opposite hand and how this can help to get the student to understand the all important shoulder rotation that you effectively emphasize through out the video. I think there is a bit more discussion left in this volley presentation. Take it with a grain of salt.

    Thoughts to follow.

    Leave a comment:


  • don_budge
    replied
    Originally posted by johnyandell View Post
    Would love to discuss my latest article, "Ultimate Fundamentals: Forehand Volley"
    The transcript...

    What are the ultimate forehand volley fundamentals? Watch Roger Federer in our new high speed footage hit this virtually perfect forehand volley. Love it. Gorgeous. Let’s see how you can develop the same impeccable technique as Roger or other world class players such as Alexander Zverev and Dominic Thiem on this surprisingly misunderstood shot. It’s not a punch...you’ve probably been taught the wrong grip and never taught the critical role of the shoulders. Mastering the real keys is simpler than you may think and the result can be dramatic and amazing.

    Mild Grip
    Most players are taught a forehand volley grip that is slightly too strong. The index knuckle should be on bevel two and the heel pad very slightly on top, just creasing the edge of bevel one. The term continental is too general and usually leads to placing too much of the heel pad on top of the frame. As we’ll see the actual forehand volley grip is what makes the fundamentals of the stroke work so beautifully.

    Preparation...Unit Turn
    The first fundamental is the unit turn. Watch Roger’s feet, hips and shoulders and left arm all turn together. They rotate until they are all at about a 45 degree angle to the net. (1.41) This turn automatically prepares the racquet, there is little to no independent arm movement. Often players are taught the first move is to push that racquet out front. This destroys the body turn. In reality...the arm and racquet turn with the body until the racquet face is about even with the front edge of the front shoulder.

    Hitting Arm...”U” Shape
    The second component in the preparation is the hitting arm shape. The upper arm, forearm and racquet form a “U”. The forearm is roughly parallel to the court with the racquet tip either straight up and down or tilted slightly to the player’s right. Watch again how the preparation happens and how compact it really is. The unitary body turn and the creation of the hitting arm shape.

    Forward Swing
    The forward swing is the least understood component in the forehand volley. The common idea of a punch implies arm extension from the elbow. In reality...the elbow rarely extends fully and the hitting arm keeps the fundamental “U” shape. The real driving force in the motion is a push of the entire hitting arm shape, forward and around, driven by the rotation of the shoulders. The technical end of the forward swing is with the butt of the racquet pointing just across the edge of the front leg.

    Backward Arm Rotation Variations
    A major additional component that causes confusion in understanding the forward swing is the backward rotation of the hitting arm structure. The “U” shape can rotate backwards as a unit in the shoulder turn. The hitting arm then rotates back forward into the hit, adding additional racquet speed to the drive already coming from the shoulder. This backward rotation can be a few degrees or it can it can continue until the racquet face is literally parallel to the court. Critically though, the racquet hand itself, stays forward. Staying close to the edge of the front shoulder or at most moving back between the shoulders. This backward and then forward rotation is a variable. A supplement to the role of the forward shoulder motion. It is typically common on high balls and virtually absent on balls that are below waist level. It also tends to happen naturally and automatically once the underlying fundamentals are sound.

    Wrist
    With the relatively mild grip and the rotational push from the shoulder, the wrist stays partially laid back in the forward swing before, during and after contact. This allows the body to drive the swing. It goes against the old idea of “keeping the wrist firm” and using a stronger grip which usually leads to later contact and less natural leverage.

    Underspin
    The forehand volley is usually hit with mild underspin. Less than a thousand rpm’s, even at the pro level, far less than any other shot in the game. This underspin is generated by pushing the racquet head through the motion...with the shoulder...with the face only slightly open. Emphasis is on moving the racquet head forwards and only slightly down.

    Step
    The forehand volley can be hit with a variety of stances. It can be hit with an open stance, it can be hit with a neutral stance and it can also be hit with a closed stance. The variations usually depend on the distance of the player to the ball. Closer in can be open...wider can be closed. Often the player can step directly forward. Although it is probably a positive to step forward, the step is not a fundamental power source and usually the landing is after the hit.

    Modeling
    To model the forehand volley you need two positions. The turn with the shoulders and feet turned about 45 degrees and the hitting arm in the “U” shape. Second...the push with the back shoulder. Work to create the feeling and the mental image of these positions using the checkpoints we’ve outlined and your forehand volley will be compact, powerful and consistent.

    Leave a comment:

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