Reply To: Frank FH

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Hi Herman

Thanks as always for your feedback. I always appreciate your analysis and it helps us a lot! I am disappointed in myself and the videos that I have sent you. We either practice one shot over and over again or we do a sequence of shots that might happen in a match. Normally in this drill I would feed him a rally ball, then a short ball, then a drive volley or volley and/or overhead. But I was worried about the length of video and also to get feedback on the forehand, rather than volley or overhead, which I hope I have captured in the subsequent videos. So he does know to come forward rather than go back or stay in no man’s land. But appreciate that is not captured in the videos I have sent you. I have duly noted that videos should be 20 -25 seconds top and you need a back view, front view and a side view! We will not rush to cut it off – which is something we have always done and I will get better at editing them to fit the 20-25 seconds max. I do try to recreate pressure of a match by scoring it. For example, if he gets it through the target then 5 points, if he misses in the net or wide then minus 2, sometimes giving him points for pace of shot and/or a point for getting it into a slightly larger target area of the court. Other times we will play the point out after say feed 3 or 4 on the drive volley or volley/overhead and play first to 7.

In a repetitive / blocked practice scenario, for example, Frank practiced hitting backhands when loading on the outside foot. I was hand feeding from just in front and mimicking a cross court shot, so he was in the BH cross court ready position about a metre to the ad court side of the T. He was split stepping and then moving to hitting a BH shot, he would hit 7 shots in a set (which took about 30 seconds), having a rest for a minute and we did 6 sets. So it was a physical workout as well as technical in terms of footwork to load the outside leg and recover with a cross over step. When we got home I showed his mum and then we all watched Frank and compared his video to Novak. I was very impressed with his footwork, so I think Frank does this pretty well and would welcome your analysis and feedback on him and also for me in the feeding and practice itself. I will send you videos of this – but I only have a front view at the moment. So maybe we will do it again with a back and side view – in fact the back view we didn’t take because I couldn’t quite fit it in – short run back at these courts – so maybe landscape camera if it captures all of him or shorten the distance he covers.

Anyway, Frank does love Carlos so I am sure he will be excited with the drills you have prescribed. I am looking forward to hearing what might be coming in the future.