There is open stance, closed stance, and natural stance.
Natural stance on the forehand is practically open stance, unless you are in a hurry and hitting on a mad run.
Natural stance for the two-handed backhand is practically open stance.
Natural stance for the one-handed backhand is practically very closed stance.
Why are all these so? Because they better align the body to produce a more natural, more efficient, more controlled, and at the same time more powerful shot with less effort (unless you play tennis like baseball, where power, not control, is emphasized, or perhaps bunting the ball at slow speeds).
Tennis is not baseball, golf or cricket. It has it’s own movement, as natural as going shopping or running to catch your cat or your dog.
Which also applies to your thought level. No thought, just looking and feeling.
In simpler words, Find the Ball, Feel the Ball (brushing it up and across), Finish the stroke. That’s all. The rest, like a walk in the park!
What makes modern forehands so different from the strokes of the past?
Simply, the power is from the ball to the shoulder (or nearby), where in the past the power was applied from the backswing to the ball.
Further, today’s power is across rather than the linear idea of old.
The ball may be gone already, but the acceleration applied right at the impact makes the racquet-head’s windshield-wiper faster well beyond.
In the conventional forehand finish, the racquet pointed towards the placement. The modern forehand’s racquet ends up pointing back, behind the player. The butt of the racquet, rather, points to where the ball just went.
The two-handed backhand follows that model as well.
The new DVD, the Best of Oscar Modern Tennis Methodology, emphasizes this aspect. Make sure you avail yourself of it. It’s a superb guide to improve every stroke in your game.
Many people run towards the sideline for a ball, hit it back, and stay there looking. Your opponent has thereafter a lot of space to make you run.
There is a better way to strike and cover the court efficiently, so you don’t leave too much of an open court for your opponent.
You do so by hitting open stance and pulling across, not only with your hand (or hands for the two-handed backhand), but also by loading on the outside foot and pushing off on this foot towards the center, as the inside foot lifts or slides towards the center (and perhaps somewhat backwards) as you turn while you hit.
You may need to get closer to the ball initially to be comfortable with this technique. You may need to emphasize your finish as well.
This will increase your power and spin, aiding in the acceleration of your windshield-wiper stroke, and help your control of your balance too.
You shouldn’t run too hard towards the center, otherwise you open the side of the court from where you just stroked for a wrong-footing shot.
Be always ready to pivot and run straight. Side-stepping is good to wait around, but not to reach a distant ball.
Watch the new DVD, the Best of Oscar Modern Tennis Methodology to see how can this be emphasized for every stroke.
Tracking the ball with your hands, rather than worrying about your footwork, will align you with the ball. Your body, prompted instinctively, will help the hand or hands in the execution of the stroke.
Computing the other way around, thus making the hand dependent on your footwork and body position to hit the ball, complicates the process and inhibits your natural and instinctive play.
That is the failure of conventional tennis. It is based on the premise that footwork is the most important thing.
Modern Tennis Methodology is the other way around. It makes you trust the habits and instinctive moves you learned at a very young age. It focusses you on feel rather than on thought.
Further, with the hand tracking the line of the ball as long as possible, it is easier to hit across, which is the basis of longer feel, more spin, and more control.
The new DVD, the Best of Oscar Modern Tennis Methodology has been arranged, separately for each stroke, to emphasize this aspect. Make sure you avail yourself of it. It’s a superb guide to improve every stroke in your game.
Tennis is a fabulous sport to test your sensitivity despite the use of force and sometimes trying circumstances.
Take emotions, for example. The ability to stay serene during a long performance is a trait very sparingly emulated.
Bjorn Borg and Roger Federer are great examples of serenity and a light, well balanced approach. So were Pete Sampras and Ivan Lendl, a bit more serious, but calm non-the-less. Andre Agassi, Steffi Graf, and many more champions also showed a composure far greater than the norm.
In the modern era it is harder to determine the emotional level because of the outward decibel output and demonstrative manner in which a player acts.
Perhaps this is a more enthusiastic approach, perhaps a distraction.
Do what you like, but I counsel you to try serenity sometimes.
A tennis groundstroke has been thought, for a long time, to be a linear strike.
Today’s modern players yank the ball across it’s line of flight.
The windshield-wiper provides the topspin needed to make the ball drop sharply, the yanking gives the ball great speed without abandoning control.
The failure to recognize this and other aspects of modern tennis are the only reasons for the decline in the number of top players from the USA, Great Britain and Australia, previously the most successful countries in the game.
Get the advantage! I invite you to view a new two-hour DVD, “The Best of Oscar”, just released. It will show you what changed tennis in many countries around the world and that this sport is a much easier game than previously thought.
It is easy as well, with these techniques, to copy the best performers and improve your game substantially. Guaranteed.
In older times the ball was adressed squarely with the strings.
In modern tennis you approach the ball with the racquet’s frame, the upper edge, starting from below the ball for topspin, the lower edge, starting from above for slice.
Tennis today is more of brushing, massaging, deflecting the ball.
Not only is contact longer in this fashion, it also elicits spins and more control.
Power is no longer the main consideration. Modern racquets and strings have great response and generate ball speed with a lesser effort that racquets of old.
Even further, when you are looking at the ball you are about to strike, having the edges in mind increases your awareness of the racquet angle, especially of the vertical angle that determines the height of your shot.
It is almost as if playing tennis with the hand. The fingers have feel, have awareness. The racquet has not.