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Tennis footwork is the basis of any shot ability.  In the modern game, quick footwork is needed as the ball is traveling faster.  In the past footwork was everything, because it was needed to hit through the ball, with standard size racquets.  The newer racquets have softened the need to square up to the ball, and have produced tennis elbow and lots of injuries due to arm generated shots.  Bigger racquets, seem to breed less concentration on the ball, and shorter swings.  I am not referring to the Pro game, the pros's use smaller racquets, and of course have great footwork.  As a experiment, try using a standard size racquet, like a wood racquet, or old T-2000 connors used.  Actually it is a good teaching tool for footwork, as you have to pay attention, and hit through the ball, with the right body position and balance.  The ball machine is a good tool to hone strokes, and work on proper  footwork. 

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Comment by Tim Prapong on February 24, 2011 at 7:27pm

Sorry, Mark. I don't need to find myself or your sentence. And as to that new sentence, I say, "Not necessarily so."

And I'm certain that no one on this site is going to use a T-2000 to get better footwork. A wood racquet maybe, but not the T-2000. ;) 

No hard feelings here, Mark.

Comment by Mark Munoz on February 24, 2011 at 4:19pm

Tim , good luck in finding yourself, you have your own understanding only you understand, And you missed what was in the first blog, you still cant find that sentence, but I bet anyone on this site can. one more time and I am finished with your rambling.   Word  for Word!!!!    Quote:  " I am not referring to the Pro game, the pros use smaller racquets , and of course have great footwork.   Here is the full blog

 

"Tennis footwork is the basis of any shot ability.  In the modern game, quick footwork is needed as the ball is traveling faster.  In the past footwork was everything, because it was needed to hit through the ball, with standard size racquets.  The newer racquets have softened the need to square up to the ball, and have produced tennis elbow and lots of injuries due to arm generated shots.  Bigger racquets, seem to breed less concentration on the ball, and shorter swings.  I am not referring to the Pro game, the pros's use smaller racquets, and of course have great footwork.  As a experiment, try using a standard size racquet, like a wood racquet, or old T-2000 connors used.  Actually it is a good teaching tool for footwork, as you have to pay attention, and hit through the ball, with the right body position and balance.  The ball machine is a good tool to hone strokes, and work on proper  footwork. 

 

Comment by Tim Prapong on February 23, 2011 at 11:15pm
No, you have precisely that problem you speak of, Mark. I said Agassi uses a loop swing, whereas Federer does not rely on a loop to generate racquet head speed. So what Agassi uses is called a C loop swing. Then you go and say on Richard's comment page Agassi does not loop the ball. That is clearly a misconstruction of my example. I am talking about the swing, not the trajectory. But in any case, look at the video. The evidence is there. It is clear that Agassi has the ability to create topspin trajectories in his practice session.
Secondly, you never had that sentence about pros using smaller racquets and having great footwork. You don't fool me with adding sentences when someone disagrees with you. But now that you've added it, I have to disagree with you again.
Murray uses a 106 sq in head, Nadal uses a 100 sq in and Federer uses a 90 sq in. Why on earth would you make the generalization of pros with small head sizes? Murray has great footwork, Nadal has great footwork, Federer has great footwork. Personally, I think getting good footwork has more to do with body awareness, not the equipment dictating to the player how to place his feet.
Don't attack me about my reading ability or my ability to comprehend meanings. Your blog is so disjointed and all over the board, from footwork to racquet head sizes to ball machines to T-2000s to tennis elbow, your continuity of logic is missing.
And why would you capitalize "Past"? Why not look to the future and the present ways as much as the past?
Comment by Mark Munoz on February 23, 2011 at 10:08pm
Ok, Tim, it seems you dont read or understand things very well, or miss the meanings, when someone says that Agassi is a flat hitter, it is not saying anything about the swing.  Your other comment about again you didnt read In the Pro game , the pros use smaller racquets, and have great footwork, its right there in the original blog,  ITS there, it didnt go anywhere.  Take a look at how the words are set in place, it seems you draw your own meanings to simular words.
Comment by Tim Prapong on February 22, 2011 at 11:54pm
Comment by Tim Prapong on February 22, 2011 at 11:47pm
Mark, I noticed you said on Robin's page you think Agassi's forehand is not a loop swing. So explain to me why Agassi starts often times, with the racquet head above his head level. Agassi can start at the level of the ball or he starts with a pronounced elevated swing, and drop his racquet head with his wrist below the ball to finish over his shoulder. He is known to be a flat hitter, but he also was known to hit spin shots as well.
Comment by Tim Prapong on February 22, 2011 at 11:39pm

Federer has it right. Closed stance for balls in close to maximize his modified Eastern grip. Open stance for balls on the run or on the stretch. In either case, this ensures the shortest distance to the ball. Try it out. Place the ball diagonally within two feet away to the right. The shortest distance is the closed stance. It is the most ideal stance for stability and power transfer.

Next, place the ball five feet away to the right. Clearly, the open stance is the shortest distance to the ball then. More stability is to be had with the right leg flexed, not the left. This is where Papas is wrong and where Federer is right.

Comment by Tim Prapong on February 22, 2011 at 4:27pm

I do not recall your sentence, "the pro's use smaller racquets and of course have great footwork". I don't think I would overlook that sentence, since I have been an editor of poetry journals and manuscripts. I would have agreed with this sentence.

But anyway, Mark. What is great for the pro is footwork, regardless of the size of the racquet. Club players should know how each stance complements a type of swing. Why should we separate what is good for a pro and what is good for a club player? The club players should look to the pros for form.

Richard, I believe it is a blending of the sequential arrangement of the kinetic chain. At 100 mphs, less is definitely more and thus more compaction of the stroke is beneficial. Yes, Federer does turn his right shoulder around 45 degrees at the start of the swing, with the left arm parallel to the baseline. But the difference is Fed opens up that left shoulder and starts turning it right off the bat. He does not move it slightly and leave it there, as in the loop swing. That left shoulder may end up at 8 o'clock on the other side. If he is in a more open stance, that left shoulder may end up further.

So no, not all the power comes from solely on the legs. It is a combination of a greater shoulder turn radius, as well as a greater wrist radius, from a flattened pronation field. Plus, when Fed puts his weight forward into the ball, full tilt, there is more room for increased velocity, but with greater control. He doesn't need a loop like Agassi. 

The pecs do work when he is letting the ball come to him into the inside and turns the left shoulder at 10 and the right shoulder is at 4. Verdasco does the same technique, straight line from shoulder-chest-shoulder. That is for the super sling shot inside out.

 

Comment by Steven White on February 21, 2011 at 7:57pm
Nice job, Mark!
Comment by Richard Hasse on February 20, 2011 at 12:52am

I have seen a frame by frame sequence of Federers's forehand on the ITF website.  He apears to close his shoulder to 45 degrees in the sequence that I watched.  It is impossible to leverage the entire pectoralis complex unless you pull against the sternum.  If the ball is already traveling over 100 miles per hour then putting more on the ball is not as important.  I have thought a lot about this since reading Tims post. I have watched several of the frame by frame photos of different pros on the ITF website.  It is true that the open stance forehand is used all the time.  The only thing that all the pros seem to have in common is that they bend thier knees and load the hips before they hit.  It is pretty tough to believe that "all power comes from the legs", like I was taught over and over again.  Some of these guys are usually off of the ground when they hit.  I still believe that the closed stance is the best option for putting more force on the ball.  The question is whether or not it is worth the effort to gain a closed stance on every shot.  The advantage is there but it appears to be marginal.  I don't see a lot of elbow problems with the young people I work with.  I see shoulder problems with players who like to hit out of the open stance.  We need to think about this. ..The pros do not seem to have shoulder or arm problems.  What are they doing?  Warming up? Stretching?   For right now I will keep teaching Papa's foot work because I have nothing better to teach.  Mark; I don't know if we have missed the point or not.  The question that I have is whether or not footwork is still the basis of any shot ability and if so what is proper footwork?

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