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September 2019: Coco Gauff Forehand

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  • #16
    Originally posted by don_budge View Post
    Cannot access the video for some reason. Anyone else?
    You don't see any video? Or do you see the video and it doesn't play for you? Make sure you are logged in.

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    • #17
      Logged in...click on "Fab Forum"...click on thread which defaults to page 2...click on page one and a page appears initially with a video icon with a play button which quickly reverts to the icon with a line through the play. No go.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by stotty View Post
        I have been coaching one of the best U12 players in the country (UK) for the last two years. Try as I might, I cannot get her to do an ATP forehand. I can get her to shave down the backswing and even tap into a bit of SCC, but when she comes back three days later she's gone back to square one; a big backswing and no SCC. Female players just seem to find it much harder to learn an ATP forehand than boys. BG says he can get the girls to do it as well as the boys at his academy, so long as they buy into the concept and approach it with discipline.

        There must be 10,000 coaches in the world who for the past 10 years have been trying to teach girls an ATP forehand, and the vast majority of those coaches - and we can use the WTA tour as evidence - are failing. Why is that? What is it about the mechanics that the female players find so difficult learn and embed? The first possible reason that springs to mind is physical strength. But then BG points out no strength is needed and that very young children can learn to do it. So it remains a puzzling mystery it seems.
        I think it might have to do with strength and the perception (or reality?) that a harder ball is better. Maybe there is a bigger payoff for a girl than a boy to hit a big ball using a big swing.

        I think boys are probably able to generate pace more easily and so they can shorten their swing at a younger age and still produce a ball with pace. In fact, I remember that for my three kids, two girls and one boy, the girls never had the issue of overhitting the ball. My son could pop a ball over the fence on the other side of the court at age 8.

        Also, a boys ball may come harder at a younger age so a long swing could be a liability. There is just less time to wind up and tee off on a ball.

        My son had to learn to hit topspin pretty young and he was never on the college tennis track.

        Girls can do it too. But the payoff comes much later.

        I think the same thing tends to happen with the serve. Flatter, harder has a payoff for girls but boys cannot keep it in the box.

        I do resonate with the throwing motion. Of my two daughters, my youngest can throw a ball more naturally. Her serve and forehand both have more spin. And her forehand is pretty compact.

        I subscribed to the Macci/Gordon mantra and think the power should come from a compact stroke with greater acceleration and not from elongating the swing. The longer swings tend to break down and my daughter's forehand is not the biggest but she can stand toe to toe with older girls exchanging forehands. The girls with the longer swings eventually cannot adjust their timing and miss long or into the net.

        They do hit more winners but as we know that is only 30% of the game. So if a girl hits 10% more winners than my daughter but makes 15% more errors then the math is in her favor.

        I have seen girls that had huge forehands against other players suddenly not be able to generate that kind of power against my daughter on the forehand side.

        When she was younger it was not the biggest forehand and it still is not. But now at 14 I can start to see how it is improving quickly and even becoming a weapon. Also, because it is compact we do not have to spend hours drilling all the different types of balls. So it will grow into a better forehand as she gets older and is readily adjustable to different balls.

        So, my guess is that if my goal is to win before age 12 and I am a girl, I will try to hit the biggest ball and be rewarded. This becomes very engrained and then when I get older it is just very difficult to adjust the biomechanics. And what incentive does a girl have to shorten the swing if the long one produces success?

        To do so would require a coach and the player to buy in to the notion that the more efficient compact stroke will be better in the long run.

        And today the long run is 6 months from now, not 8 years.

        The days of switching strokes or thinking about having the best game at 20 years of age is a luxury that most players hoping to make it cannot afford.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by don_budge View Post
          Logged in...click on "Fab Forum"...click on thread which defaults to page 2...click on page one and a page appears initially with a video icon with a play button which quickly reverts to the icon with a line through the play. No go.
          There is definitely a bug there. So instead go to the home page and click on the link where it says "New in Interactive Forum: Coco Gauff Forehand:" (or just click here)

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          • #20
            Thanks jeffreycounts...I just clicked there. And there it was...Coco Chanel and her disengaged forehand. Obviously she is young and a work in progress. It will be interesting to see how she develops. Adapts.

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            • #21
              In reply to Don Budge's first response: totally agree. And really like the characterization as "dangling." That's a great way to describe the unsupported right arm when it separates early. As importantly, it doesn't just separate, it begins to reach and stretch too early. The really radical ATP swings (e.g., Jack Sock -- see, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CWqrVOW_-SE) hardly begins the stretching of the right until a fraction of a second before the forward swing; external rotation and supination don't happen at all until the forward swing. That's been the trend in ATP swings for some time, and while some WTA players have gestured in this direction, few tend to fully incorporate that aspect of ATP forehands. The why of that is intriguing, and not without controversy.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by cms56 View Post
                In reply to Don Budge's first response: totally agree. And really like the characterization as "dangling." That's a great way to describe the unsupported right arm when it separates early. As importantly, it doesn't just separate, it begins to reach and stretch too early. The really radical ATP swings (e.g., Jack Sock -- see, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CWqrVOW_-SE) hardly begins the stretching of the right until a fraction of a second before the forward swing; external rotation and supination don't happen at all until the forward swing. That's been the trend in ATP swings for some time, and while some WTA players have gestured in this direction, few tend to fully incorporate that aspect of ATP forehands. The why of that is intriguing, and not without controversy.
                Big shots are important but they break down under pressure. Osaka has fallen off now and Chardy might have a huge forehand. But can it get them all the way to the top. Sock is great but when time is taken away from him he is in trouble.

                Again, I am not a pro or ever trained one. So the premium on power to go up the ladder is probably worth it. The problem I see is that at some point it becomes a liability because someone will be able to return that big shot. And then it comes down to efficiency of the shot.

                To me the Macci/Gordon forehand is the way to go. It is much more efficient with very little loss of power as far as I can tell.

                The only downside for girls is that they won't have the blow out weapon in their young teens.

                Comment


                • #23
                  Originally posted by stotty View Post
                  I have been coaching one of the best U12 players in the country (UK) for the last two years. Try as I might, I cannot get her to do an ATP forehand. I can get her to shave down the backswing and even tap into a bit of SCC, but when she comes back three days later she's gone back to square one; a big backswing and no SCC. Female players just seem to find it much harder to learn an ATP forehand than boys. BG says he can get the girls to do it as well as the boys at his academy, so long as they buy into the concept and approach it with discipline.

                  There must be 10,000 coaches in the world who for the past 10 years have been trying to teach girls an ATP forehand, and the vast majority of those coaches - and we can use the WTA tour as evidence - are failing. Why is that? What is it about the mechanics that the female players find so difficult learn and embed? The first possible reason that springs to mind is physical strength. But then BG points out no strength is needed and that very young children can learn to do it. So it remains a puzzling mystery it seems.
                  I had one more possible reason for the inability to change. My daughter has a really nice topspin one handed backhand. But somehow everyone has gotten it in her head that it is a problem. Girls should not hit with one hand. They are too weak. Blah, blah, blah.

                  She has practices where she will hit one hundred percent topspin backhands. Then she gets in a match and it is all slice. It's a nice slice but her topspin disappears.

                  When I ask her why she says that matches are not the same as practice.

                  So for her match play is associated with a slice backhand.

                  I think we fall back to what is comfortable for us. The big backswing is comfortable for her.

                  You could try classical conditioning or some other unconscious way to get her to change. My sense is that there has to be some kind of associative trigger that will change a behavior.

                  Unconscious or procedural learning is very powerful. To overcome it requires us to create some cue that will elicit the new shot.

                  For example, have her hold her racket longer or some physical cue that she associates with the new stroke. She needs to forget the old forehand and learn the new one.

                  Doing it consciously is very difficult. You are battling unconscious learning with conscious learning.

                  It's an unfair battle, unconscious learning will win every time.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    If she can hit a topspin backhand in practice but hasn't the confidence in matches, then it is likely the backhand is flawed. Players will never use a shots in matches they are not fully confident in. Good coaching is rooted in developing shots that students can be fully confident in so they will use them in matches - it's the acid test.
                    Stotty

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by stotty View Post
                      If she can hit a topspin backhand in practice but hasn't the confidence in matches, then it is likely the backhand is flawed. Players will never use a shots in matches they are not fully confident in. Good coaching is rooted in developing shots that students can be fully confident in so they will use them in matches - it's the acid test.
                      It is still developing is how I would say it. Here is a video from last Thursday.

                      https://drive.google.com/open?id=1Vj...4zoHX7oqBgik4T

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by arturohernandez View Post

                        It is still developing is how I would say it. Here is a video from last Thursday.

                        https://drive.google.com/open?id=1Vj...4zoHX7oqBgik4T
                        Thanks. Three backhands all fed in so she is having to play the ball at difficult heights; one around chest height, one above the shoulder line, and one quite a bit above the waist. But even on the one above waist height she doesn't lower the racket head to get underneath the ball.

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

                        I prefer Justine's style of take back over the more vertical racket shaft of your daughter. Having the racket vertical like that can create timing issues because it is just so difficult to do. The backswing kind of has to wrap round the body and many players who adopt this kind of backswing find they are often late and/or cannot create enough time to lower the racket head before impact with the ball.

                        It's tough to make a decent judgement off watching just three backhands but that's the way it's looking at the moment.
                        Stotty

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by stotty View Post

                          Thanks. Three backhands all fed in so she is having to play the ball at difficult heights; one around chest height, one above the shoulder line, and one quite a bit above the waist. But even on the one above waist height she doesn't lower the racket head to get underneath the ball.

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

                          I prefer Justine's style of take back over the more vertical racket shaft of your daughter. Having the racket vertical like that can create timing issues because it is just so difficult to do. The backswing kind of has to wrap round the body and many players who adopt this kind of backswing find they are often late and/or cannot create enough time to lower the racket head before impact with the ball.

                          It's tough to make a decent judgement off watching just three backhands but that's the way it's looking at the moment.
                          The pro who is working with her wants her to cradle the racket a bit more and not keep it so upright. She just started working on it so it may take some time for her to get the hang of it.

                          But, yes, I like Henin's take back as it is much simpler. I myself stumbled on this after a forehand lesson of all things. I transferred the feel of keeping my racket a bit away from my body on the forehand take back to my backhand.

                          So my forehand lesson yielded double benefits. Next time I am out with her I will remind her of what the pro said and even mention your advice as well.

                          Here are a couple more so that you can take a look at a better contact point.

                          But I would agree that she needs to come under and over the ball. Maybe the high racket head take back might be making that harder rather than easier.

                          I appreciate any suggestions for exercises you might have.

                          https://drive.google.com/file/d/1DaV...ew?usp=sharing

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by arturohernandez View Post

                            The pro who is working with her wants her to cradle the racket a bit more and not keep it so upright. She just started working on it so it may take some time for her to get the hang of it.

                            But, yes, I like Henin's take back as it is much simpler. I myself stumbled on this after a forehand lesson of all things. I transferred the feel of keeping my racket a bit away from my body on the forehand take back to my backhand.

                            So my forehand lesson yielded double benefits. Next time I am out with her I will remind her of what the pro said and even mention your advice as well.

                            Here are a couple more so that you can take a look at a better contact point.

                            But I would agree that she needs to come under and over the ball. Maybe the high racket head take back might be making that harder rather than easier.

                            I appreciate any suggestions for exercises you might have.

                            https://drive.google.com/file/d/1DaV...ew?usp=sharing
                            We are probably clogging up Coco's thread here so you might want to post a separate thread for daughter.

                            Thanks for the further two backhands you posted. I always tell kids 'get the ball where you want it and not where it wants you'. If a child is learning to topspin a backhand, it makes sense to feed balls so they can contact the ball below waist height because it will then be easier for them to learn the mechanics of getting under the ball. Swiftly after that, students should be given more random feeds and encouraged to read the flight of the ball and to quickly to get in the best position possible. It's a tough ask for juniors to hit shoulder-high ball with topspin. I usually educate kids to slice these.
                            Stotty

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