Reply To: Frank BH

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HI Herman

I hope that you are well and thank you for your feedback as always.

You asked me three questions from the video’s so I am going to try and reply here.

1. You identified a ball that was just in the ad court as a forehand rather than a backhand nd asked if Frank preferred his backhand / if he knows if that should be a forehand?

I think on this video it was honestly a bad feed from me and was too straight. He knew we were filming backhands to send to you so hit a backhand! Having said that he believes his backhand is more solid but he can hurt people more with his forehands, but also make more mistakes. So I have seen him in competitions take the ball on the backhand in the deuce court, but that is more about confidence after making mistakes. More often I have seen him run around to try and take more balls on the forehand side, even if he has not always been aggressive with that runaround FH shot which might lead you to ask why does he run around it if he is going to hit a passive shot?

2. Does he practice left handed forehands?

Earlier on in the year this was something that Alan highlighted. At that point we would spend time every time we hit on left handed forehands. I have seen an improvement. I saw him get more shape on the ball, as previously his backhand was quite flat. He is now making some really good cross court angles with the backhand. Now he knows how to hit flatter backhands and how to hit with more top spin, he needs to know when to use each shot. But I know he is capable of both.

In regards to points 1 and 2 they are and have been areas to work on. We have done a lot of practices with regards to both questions but not as frequently as we should in recent weeks and months. I am probably guilty of doing a lot of practice on one thing and then moving onto the next and not going back to the other regularly enough. I think I could vary this up more to make more enjoyable for Frank, but when we hit something hard for a few weeks, I normally see improvement and then go to the next thing that needs addressing.

3. You asked if Frank knows where to hit? When we are doing baseline drills I normally set up 4 targets (lanes), deep and close to both corners and short angle lanes between the service line and a coupe of yards shorter. You probably can’t see these on the videos I send through, as the black targets, or lines or sports don’t stand out as much. On this point I don’t always tell him where to hit it. He is quite smart and if I question him he normally knows the answer. He knows that when he is under a bit of pressure (deep and wide) he ha a better chance by playing cross with a bit of shape and margin – he is a very good defender. To the point where Alan has told him the exact opposite, when you are on the stretch in the corner, sometimes you need to be aggressive to hit your way out of trouble, rather than being predictable and vulnerable to someone coming forward / sneaking in. He hits with an older girl and she does this very well against him. Contrastingly he knows when he gets a shorter ball that it opens more angles (court geometry). He does that quite well. What he doesn’t do as well is hit the ball faster/flatter? A bit harsh but he has two speeds – passive and reckless. We have been working on hitting a faster rally ball speed and also the faster flatter shot. I believe to do the latter he needs to load the legs better, coil better, relax more and have a faster racket head speed.

Anyway, I would welcome more tactical advice and where to hit the ball in certain situations, or certain plays. I do listen to Fuzzy Yellow Balls as well and take some plays from there and encourage Frank to implement them in his game.

Thanks again for all your support. It is much appreciated.