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Frequently Asked Technical Questions:

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THE 1-FOOT PIVOT Hewitt one foot pivot

Why do I hit a 1 foot pivot off an open stance and a back foot stance? Which one is better?

You hit off an open stance (feet pointing along the baseline and weight centred) when you want to take the ball on the rise and have less time. There is more chance to fall off balance on this stance, but obviously it is a simpler way to move to the ball.

You will hit off a back foot stance when you step back at 45 degrees and have 100% of the weight on the back foot when you hit. By stepping back you give yourself more time and more likely to hit with more topspin.

There is no better it is personal preference though a back foot stance enables you to hit cross court easier.

What are some common errors made when hitting a 1 foot pivot?

I sometimes call the 1 foot pivot a back foot pivot and the biggest error is straightening the non hitting leg instead of lifting the knee up towards the chest. A lot of players lift the leg before they make contact instead of on contact. They also move too far back off the baseline. The move is a rally move which means you need to keep your position on the baseline. I love this shot as a surprise down the line shot because this shot is very simple and if hit well very little can go wrong.

What are some good teaching points?

Keep the angles in the legs when hitting as this will help the swing line of the swing so you extend through the shot and it also helps you keep balance and hit with power.

Make sure you don’t rotate the hitting foot too far. Start with it pointing to the side fence (turn the hips) and finish with the toe pointing to the net. After the swing look over the elbow of the hitting arm as this will also keep you balanced.

Lift the leg after you hit otherwise you will miss time the shot.
How is a rallying 1 foot pivot different to a defensive back foot hop?

Both look really similar as they are both hit off one leg and off back foot stance. But, with a pivot you keep your foot on the ground and a hop you come off the ground. With a pivot you stay on the baseline and are maintaining control of the rally whereas a hop you move back from the baseline and are trying to regain control of the rally

Which 1 foot pivot is easier- the backhand or forehand side?

My experience is that players struggle much more with the backhand side so always teach the forehand first so they understand the timing and balance move of the knee lift. If they really struggle get them to try and hit the backhand of the front foot instead. In general you will hit a variety of contact move off the forehand than the backhand. I like to keep the contact move selection on the backhand as simple as possible. You have to experiment and use what feel goods and works for you.

What balance move do I use for down the line and cross court?

Pull the knee up towards the chest when hitting a forehand down the line but swing the leg backwards so it lands backwards at 45 degrees when hitting cross court this will clear the hips out of the way. When this leg comes around (I call it a reverse pivot), make sure when you land it is a push not a brake i.e. keep your balance so you are not falling onto the leg and you have good body control.
However, use a knee up balance move on the backhand when hitting down the line and cross court. You cannot get away with hitting the ball so late in the backhand as your hands are more in front off the grip.

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