View Full Version : Up up and away?

03-08-2004, 02:26 AM
If any of the experts can clarify.

When the pro`s become airborne from unbending there knees are they simply using up motion to get more topspin on the ball. Or are they trying to move there weight into the ball ?

I noticed that when im playing best I go airborne myself. I didn't notice this till I took a cam corder :-).


Bungalo Bill
03-08-2004, 08:14 AM
The lift players get should come naturally. It isnt forced as that has the potential to disrupt your swing path.

Advanced players know how to coil and uncoil into the ball. This uncoiling effect has a release of energy and has the potential to pull you off the ground. You will feel very "airy" when you hit. Very light easy flowing feeling. Almost like you can fly with ease.

The lift created helps the ball travel over the net. The topspin is created from a low to high swing path which brings the ball down in the court. Both are necessary to hit a HEAVY ball. But it takes practice because the lifting portion of the shot is a sensation that needs to be developed, not many players have the patience to learn what it should feel like.

For instance, we had a poster about a week ago complain that the "chair drill" or the "lifting drill" was old school and since it didnt work for him it can't work for anyone else. He also challenged me to prove that pros actually employ lift in their shots. Well, if anyone has a right mind this is easy to prove. You can tell when pros load their thigh muscles (their butts go down), coil (shoulder turn), then uncoil into the shot (rotation). The uncoiling naturally goes up. It is the timing of this uncoiling that is the key.

Learning how the legs play a role in your consistency can be only practiced with very slow balls hit to you - very slow for at least a month. If the ball is coming the slightest bit to fast, you will not "get it". Many players dont have the patience to practice this because it is boring or they just want a "workout" and hit. The pro players that employ this lifting sensation, simply know how to time their lifting so well that it is very fluid and part of their overall stroke.

03-08-2004, 09:07 AM
Thanks bill for the reply.

Alot of people have told me that I shoulnt come up on the shot. That I should just stay down with the ball. I have always naturally lifted up but I know for sure that at times I miss time it.

Im working pretty hard to get my strokes in check now. Ive been playing from 3 years now and Im looking for a career in coaching.

So thanks bill, apriciate it.

Bungalo Bill
03-08-2004, 12:29 PM
People get confused with "popping up" and a natural uncoiling of the legs and hips. Yes, you should get down lower then the ball. As your forward swing has reached its bottom, it will start rising. If you pop up at this point you will most likely frame the ball. But if you rise INTO the ball, you will get natural lift and the stroke will take care of itself. This is why it needs to be practiced slowly, to get the sensation that the legs can actually contribute to your stroke.

The other thing is some players rise but also raise their shoulders before they make contact. This too will cause mis-hits. Something in the brain tells the body to rise, so all the muscles want to rise. It takes time, patience and discipline to use the legs properly in a stroke. Which is why the chair drill is so effective. It isolates the legs.

Even after playing many years, I find myself back in a chair and practicing swinging forward while rising up from the chair. It is an excellent thigh workout as well as helps sync the arm and legs for the hit.