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Interactive Forum September 2020: Brandon Nakashima Forehand

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  • Interactive Forum September 2020: Brandon Nakashima Forehand

    Brandon Nakashima Forehand

    When I went to my last pre Covid tournament in Delray last March—seems like a decade ago given all that has happened—I wanted to film some young players I hadn’t watched, like Ugo Humbert. (Click Here.)

    But the big surprise was Brandon Nakashima. He had won a couple of ITF tournaments and played one year at Virginia. This was his first pro event. I saw my old friend Pat Cash on the practice courts coaching a young player—turned out to be Brandon.

    Brandon had a wild card and won two matches getting to the quarters. That got him immediately to 218 in the world. So here is his forehand, which is a weapon! But what was interesting to me was how in addition to wiper and reverse finishes, he also had so many over the shoulder finishes. So here it is. Your thoughts please!


  • #2
    Interesting in Nakashima's match today against Zverev, how the commentators (Including McEnroe) were speaking how solid Nakashima's had such a solid backhand but needed to work on his "awkward" forehand.

    Comment


    • #3
      I'm kinda new to this, so forgive me if I end up using the wrong terminology for what I'm attempting to explain. Though his forehand may be effective, I think I see 3 possible areas for improvement. 1) at times, it appears his hips aren't initiating/facilitating upper body rotation, but instead going along with the upper body. 2) He doesn't seem to be decelerating after contact resulting in a long sweeping follow-through. 3) His forward swing occurs in two stages instead of one. Instead of an initial pull that causes the racket to flip and lag, he's consciously flipping and lagging the racquet first and then he initiates his "true" pull towards the ball. You can see his racquet has a second lag/hesitation during the forward swing. As a result, the distance his racquet has to accelerate towards the ball is relatively short. Consequently, he may be using his upper body to rotate harder to compensate and create more racquet speed, which may also explain his long sweeping follow-through. Please let me know if I'm way off in my observations - I'm trying to learn.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by johnyandell View Post
        Brandon Nakashima Forehand

        When I went to my last pre Covid tournament in Delray last Marchseems like a decade ago given all that has happenedI wanted to film some young players I hadnt watched, like Ugo Humbert. (Click Here.)

        But the big surprise was Brandon Nakashima. He had won a couple of ITF tournaments and played one year at Virginia. This was his first pro event. I saw my old friend Pat Cash on the practice courts coaching a young playerturned out to be Brandon.

        Brandon had a wild card and won two matches getting to the quarters. That got him immediately to 218 in the world. So here is his forehand, which is a weapon! But what was interesting to me was how in addition to wiper and reverse finishes, he also had so many over the shoulder finishes. So here it is. Your thoughts please!

        Very very very average grip strength ... and, isn't a great athlete. That is tough to teach - grip strength - I have been able to enhance it - but, I am not sure he has it which will hurt him in the long haul - lets hope he is a student of the game because what is upstairs will be key for him. The hips are so-so as well - his coaches have done a wonderful, wonderful job with him - I can see they have pushed wide feet wide feet and wide feet on him - but, if he can get flexible and wide that will help a ton. The lateral width Novak/Roger control compared to this young man is significant. At 19 - he should be ahead of the field. He will need to get some real experts in this area to thrive with the big boys as his hips are not what I see as pro build. He's not special in terms of skill, talent, body, propensity for strength or raw farm boy power. 100 guys like him come up every 5 / 6 years. When you are a small guy at barely 6'0 you'd better be able to attack that ball on the front foot - and his ability to step to contact will prevent him from doing much if its not corrected. Less work you can do - the better a player you are. And at his size/with those genetics he needs to listen to every word his coaches give him because the only way he will ever win matches at the pro level is on pure intellect, getting to the net, cutting off angles and being technically sound - I hate spectacular looking athletes - the ESPN highlight to me is always some guy that is out of position making a 1/10 lucky shot that is not foundationally pro like solid. The real good pro's will figure out his timing real quick if he doesn't clean up that footwork soon. I see his coaches are putting a lot of variance to his game - that is smart because variance always drive progression in development.
        Last edited by hockeyscout; 09-05-2020, 02:26 AM.

        Comment


        • #5
          His stroke seems long to me. Like he is manufacturing speed from length rather than a flow across body parts. To me he needs more feel and less power in his thinking.

          Comment


          • #6
            A lot of slapping at the ball that requires perfect timing and will take its toll on joints over the long haul.

            Comment


            • #7
              Actually Brandon is 6'1"

              Comment


              • #8
                I have been doing this five decades - doubt there is anyone better trained for uncovering the bullshit height/hype detector than me - the difference from 5'11 to 6'1 is millions of dollars in contract offers - scouts get blackballed for calling a barely 6'0 athlete 6'1 in any other sport - except tennis. Never in a million years would I be wrong on a height. I can't afford that price. The kid is barely 6'0 - likely measured in shoes - and, of course we never ever measure in mornings as that adds on a bit of height when the spine is decompressed. Even my 13 year old knows that LOL. So you got 1.5 added on. Barely 6'0. All these heights are fudged. Nadal/Federer are both listed at 6'1 - and, that is not accurate. Never seen a sport lie so much about height. 6'3's are 6'1.5 and 6'1's are 6'0 - crazy stuff.

                Anyways - 6'0 to 6'1 whatever - that is not important - apples to oranges - lets look at the bigger picture here ...

                1st off his body is not projectable at all - he's got no potential - and his lack of double joints/shoulder mobility and poor grip strength is a real dealbreaker for me - along with lack of hip range of motion.

                Give his coaches credit - they've played tennis gods, intervened and the kids overachieved on an epic scale...

                ... but ...

                hate to be the bearer of realistic news - even with the greatest coaching in the world you still need physical goods, joints, body type and genetics to succeed past a certain level. He's hit his potential, sorry. I ain't wrong on this often. Science is science, Maybe this boy will reach the top 100 - maybe - he might have been a top 50 if, if, if ... but, I think he will be ruined by making the jump to pro's when he is still a boy like so many before.

                Kids - go to school for four years, and then chase "the dream." Pro tennis does not need Brandon Nakashima right now ... he's not going to be selling tickets and getting signed to do national commercials anytime soon - see the writing on the wall for what it is people. Go be school - and, be Joe College Stud. US Tennis is the worse for creating hype machines on their young players - this kid should be in college - clearly he is not "special/first round projectable money player." These agencies - always in a big rush to recruit these kids and turn them pro. The (agencies) are not equipped in a million years to handle the development better the big time multi million dollar funded NCAA D1 school - never, in a million years. If they say they are - then, that's arrogance and stupidity on an epic stale. These kids on the pro tour - they are out on their own most of the time anyways with no guidance - I know - many has bummed meals from me over the years - so many of them I have had the dad/son conversation with of "kid, tennis is a hobby - go to school/use your time a bit better" ... we all know - we've seen it. I have always been a believer in being "over-ripe" before you even think about pro tennis - or, any sport. Pro tennis is not the place to develop a "PRO BODY." Good luck with that one - that is why you go to school - develop a pro body, and most importantly a pro brain. That is what College does for athletes - and we all want them to skip #1 and #2 in the equation? The kid should be in college - D1 - getting his school because he is not a sure fire 100% slam dunk Kobe Bryant. No one on this forum has went and said "wow - amazing - Pete Sampras 2.0 - star - stud - ETC." He's an average prospect - I tell you, more kids should listen to guys like Pete Sampras when they say genetics are the dealbreaker - this boy should be in school because he isn't a prodigy. Another classic case of an American being rushed - you have the best schools in the world - the best facilities - best everything, and you have the USTA kissing these kids asses, giving them wildcards, agents wanting to get in on the ground floor, building unrealistic dreams into these kids heads. I feel bad for these NCAA D1 college coaches - ain't no respect for what they do. The pro tour is fun for about the first 12/18 months - and then when your agent isn't calling back, the sponsorship dries up, your all on your own, no home cooked meals, no regular girlfriend, mom/dad have new life hobbies/interests you will be out on your own thinking - "oh fuck, I could be in school right now developing, frat parties with my buddies, working out more on my physical body, no pressure, getting free coaching, hanging out with other athletes, not traveling millions of miles and dealing with all this stress" ... Common sense people - please ... I guess I have been successful over the years because I tell athletes/parents what they do not want to hear, and don't care about their reaction. 10 years later they will always say - "that guy was right on - and, if I had a son in the sport his advice would be what I would give my son." I never heard a player in all my years say "I wish I had not gone to college ...", but I sure have heard a lot saying "I wish the adults did not rush me" or "I wish I had advisors/parents whose heads were not in the stars - and, I sure wish I had my 3/4 years in college/school and did not run into injuries on the pro tour" ... Why the rush into pro tennis? He will never get back these 19-22 years in college, and the percentage of kids who get a college education after dropping out is low and their success rates are even worse. You know the amount of pro's that have told me over the years - "All I know is tennis." It's sad - and the dumb "adults/parents/agents/advisors have set those guys up for failure. Trust me - these athletes as they get older will hate all of you for what you've done. Finish your NCAA school kids ... your not Serena, Roger, Rafa or Novak ... get a grip.
                Last edited by hockeyscout; 09-08-2020, 06:18 AM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by hockeyscout View Post
                  I have been doing this five decades - doubt there is anyone better trained for uncovering the bullshit height/hype detector than me - the difference from 5'11 to 6'1 is millions of dollars in contract offers - scouts get blackballed for calling a barely 6'0 athlete 6'1 in any other sport - except tennis. Never in a million years would I be wrong on a height. I can't afford that price. The kid is barely 6'0 - likely measured in shoes - and, of course we never ever measure in mornings as that adds on a bit of height when the spine is decompressed. Even my 13 year old knows that LOL. So you got 1.5 added on. Barely 6'0. All these heights are fudged. Nadal/Federer are both listed at 6'1 - and, that is not accurate. Never seen a sport lie so much about height. 6'3's are 6'1.5 and 6'1's are 6'0 - crazy stuff.

                  Anyways - 6'0 to 6'1 whatever - that is not important - apples to oranges - lets look at the bigger picture here ...

                  1st off his body is not projectable at all - he's got no potential - and his lack of double joints/shoulder mobility and poor grip strength is a real dealbreaker for me - along with lack of hip range of motion.

                  Give his coaches credit - they've played tennis gods, intervened and the kids overachieved on an epic scale...

                  ... but ...

                  hate to be the bearer of realistic news - even with the greatest coaching in the world you still need physical goods, joints, body type and genetics to succeed past a certain level. He's hit his potential, sorry. I ain't wrong on this often. Science is science, Maybe this boy will reach the top 100 - maybe - he might have been a top 50 if, if, if ... but, I think he will be ruined by making the jump to pro's when he is still a boy like so many before.

                  Kids - go to school for four years, and then chase "the dream." Pro tennis does not need Brandon Nakashima right now ... he's not going to be selling tickets and getting signed to do national commercials anytime soon - see the writing on the wall for what it is people. Go be school - and, be Joe College Stud. US Tennis is the worse for creating hype machines on their young players - this kid should be in college - clearly he is not "special/first round projectable money player." These agencies - always in a big rush to recruit these kids and turn them pro. The (agencies) are not equipped in a million years to handle the development better the big time multi million dollar funded NCAA D1 school - never, in a million years. If they say they are - then, that's arrogance and stupidity on an epic stale. These kids on the pro tour - they are out on their own most of the time anyways with no guidance - I know - many has bummed meals from me over the years - so many of them I have had the dad/son conversation with of "kid, tennis is a hobby - go to school/use your time a bit better" ... we all know - we've seen it. I have always been a believer in being "over-ripe" before you even think about pro tennis - or, any sport. Pro tennis is not the place to develop a "PRO BODY." Good luck with that one - that is why you go to school - develop a pro body, and most importantly a pro brain. That is what College does for athletes - and we all want them to skip #1 and #2 in the equation? The kid should be in college - D1 - getting his school because he is not a sure fire 100% slam dunk Kobe Bryant. No one on this forum has went and said "wow - amazing - Pete Sampras 2.0 - star - stud - ETC." He's an average prospect - I tell you, more kids should listen to guys like Pete Sampras when they say genetics are the dealbreaker - this boy should be in school because he isn't a prodigy. Another classic case of an American being rushed - you have the best schools in the world - the best facilities - best everything, and you have the USTA kissing these kids asses, giving them wildcards, agents wanting to get in on the ground floor, building unrealistic dreams into these kids heads. I feel bad for these NCAA D1 college coaches - ain't no respect for what they do. The pro tour is fun for about the first 12/18 months - and then when your agent isn't calling back, the sponsorship dries up, your all on your own, no home cooked meals, no regular girlfriend, mom/dad have new life hobbies/interests you will be out on your own thinking - "oh fuck, I could be in school right now developing, frat parties with my buddies, working out more on my physical body, no pressure, getting free coaching, hanging out with other athletes, not traveling millions of miles and dealing with all this stress" ... Common sense people - please ... I guess I have been successful over the years because I tell athletes/parents what they do not want to hear, and don't care about their reaction. 10 years later they will always say - "that guy was right on - and, if I had a son in the sport his advice would be what I would give my son." I never heard a player in all my years say "I wish I had not gone to college ...", but I sure have heard a lot saying "I wish the adults did not rush me" or "I wish I had advisors/parents whose heads were not in the stars - and, I sure wish I had my 3/4 years in college/school and did not run into injuries on the pro tour" ... Why the rush into pro tennis? He will never get back these 19-22 years in college, and the percentage of kids who get a college education after dropping out is low and their success rates are even worse. You know the amount of pro's that have told me over the years - "All I know is tennis." It's sad - and the dumb "adults/parents/agents/advisors have set those guys up for failure. Trust me - these athletes as they get older will hate all of you for what you've done. Finish your NCAA school kids ... your not Serena, Roger, Rafa or Novak ... get a grip.
                  Take Julio Iglesias who was a soccer player who also went to law school. Suffered a horrible automobile accident that landed him in the hospital. The nurse gave him a guitar so that he could improve his motor dexterity. The rest is history. He became one of the most well known singers in the world. His voice was good not great but he had charisma and a persona that transcended his time.

                  I am with you not this one. People are chasing a single dream when this might just be the road to something much greater. Maybe Brandon would make a great surgeon, lawyer, or human rights advocate. The book is not closed on him and maybe chasing his dream will lead him somewhere else. But the idea of rushing is very American. Everyone wants to get there first.

                  I will slip into Spanish here. To quote the song El Rey made famous by Vicente Fernandez. No hay que llegar primero, si no hay que saber llegar.

                  Loosely translates into "One doesn't have to get there first, only know how to get there." The connotation is that it's better to be fashionably late.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Hockeyscout—As much as I cringe at your cynicism, you are correct sir! Having taught U.S. collegiate athletes kinesiology for 40 years, I witnessed many marginal American football and basketball athletes caught up in the “pro” dream created by their parents and coaches, even though as youngsters, it was evident that they didn’t possess the “ minimum” athletic tools for PRO success. I also witnessed the second tier level of marginal U.S. secondary school athletes chasing the university scholarship dream which had no real room for an athlete’s academic interest in actually graduating, just the glory of the announcement that one or one’s child was “ on athletic scholarship”. U.S. Tennis is worse, as the reality of the new pro game’s expectations for athleticism has not yet really filtered down to tennis parents.

                    U.S. tennis is reaching a point where upcoming elites should at least have an understanding of the need for an eventual development of professional “combine” athleticism screening data for entry success at the pro level. The John McEnroe’s of yesteryear reaching pro level primarily with racket skill are almost extinct, save Federer. ( Unfortunately, as a dinosaur, I long for the uplifting aspects of the dead culture of “amateurism”).

                    Does any of this observation parallel or differ significantly in Europe?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Hockey scout- What does good and weak grip strength mean? Could you give an Example? Thanks

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        He played at our club in an exhibition about 2 months ago and he is not a little guy. He seems to be more like 6 3, 180 lbs with long levers. He hits his the groundstrokes really clean and he moves well. He is only 19 but he has 4 wins this year over guys in the top 100 and wins over former top 50 players Ryan Harrison and Bernard Tomic. He lost one match to Tiafoe 7-5 in the third. He won a round at the open before losing to Zerev. He played well in the World Team Tennis. I like the way he competes, he is very mature. I didn't see him play against Zerev but his forehand doesn't look awkward here. I think according to Brian Gordon that would be a classic ATP forehand. I did see him muscle a couple forehands on the WTT matches where he seemed to be over rotating his body on contact moves. Thank you, member of Brian Nashakima fan club!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by rohit1 View Post
                          Hockey scout- What does good and weak grip strength mean? Could you give an Example? Thanks
                          It's an inherent athletic trait - vice like grip - George Foreman is an example. Can't be trained into an athlete.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Tommy,
                            I am with you! Think he is gonna move up.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              A message to Brandon from Theodore Roosevelt:
                              ”It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

                              Comment

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