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View Full Version : FLAT FOREHAND WITH PACE ... HOW? HOW? HOW?


cervelo
09-15-2004, 02:10 PM
It must be truly amazing to hit like Andre Agassi ...

My usual partner and I were hitting around recently when I got the big idea of trying to hit very flat, heavy strokes. I wasn't trying to swing harder, just flatter and longer with as much extension as possible. Also, if the ball wasn't high enough at contact, I didn't try it ...

I honestly cannot do it ... I goofed around with the grip, the take-back, swing length, shoulder turn, contact point, wrist angle and grip angle ... you name it, I tried it ... The end result was that most balls went long but not routinely, many would drop well short of the target ...

Any advice would be most appreciated ...

finchy
09-15-2004, 02:38 PM
here are some tips for you:

1. keep eyes on ball
2. sw grip if you want to emulate agassi
3. initiate full shoulder turn
4. drive with butt of cap
5. swing from side to side, not low to up as much
6. finish across chest with arm wrapped around body, not over shoulder

Rickson
09-15-2004, 03:28 PM
Good tips, Finchy. I hit flat on high balls, but I take a semi-western as well because an eastern will send the ball flying past the baseline. I usually generate good power, as long as I have a trajectory that angles down, otherwise, I need to put some topspin low to high on the ball. Remember, balls that bounce above the net height can be hit flat and hard with a sw or western grip, and balls that are below net height take a topspin low to high motion.

papa
09-15-2004, 03:36 PM
finchy wrote:

1. keep eyes on ball
2. sw grip if you want to emulate agassi
3. initiate full shoulder turn
4. drive with butt of cap
5. swing from side to side, not low to up as much
6. finish across chest with arm wrapped around body, not over shoulder

Good list but I'd like to add one of BB's favorite - balance.

finchy
09-15-2004, 03:47 PM
hehe, thanks. funny thing, i used all of these things in my forehand today and they were coming off hard with pace and decent spin and most importantly, the balls were going deep.

to make sure you facilitate a full shoulder turn, be sure to gring your racquet back with the opposite hand. in my experience, after taking it back, i keep it parallel to the net, also seen used by federer/ferrero.

and make sure you shift your weight to your front foot. or, if you want to jump like the pro's, push off with your back foot to achieve weight shift.

and balance is also a key factor as papa said. you dont want to lean to much into the shot or it will end up in the net. the only thing that should have foreward momentum is your arm, which will in turn come back around.

cervelo
09-15-2004, 04:35 PM
Cool advice but check this out ... I'm good about watching it and I'm SW and my shoulder turn is good but I wonder about my hips ... I mean, if I had letters on my jersey, my opponent could see them on my take-back (and that's how I usually swing for topspin also) ... But I wonder if my balance is off b/c my hips and shoulders are goofed up in terms of my balance ... like I'm over-torqued up high maybe ???

I don't know ... I do notice that I tend to lean off the ball occasionally ...

Also, swinging level across the body puts wicked side spin on the ball ...

Am I a lost cause ... (I have a decent topspin forehand but I just wish I had more variety on that wing ...)

finchy
09-15-2004, 04:50 PM
by combining the elements of driving butt cap and swinging through the ball more, it should result in topspin, not sidespin. and also, be sure to keep a layed back wrist at all times.

when you swing, make sure your shoulders start the rotation. your trunk and lower abdomen will follow naturally.

mistapooh
09-15-2004, 05:52 PM
drive with the buttcap? Does that mean the buttcap should be going in front instead of racket head first? Wouldn't that add like a sideway slice or you have end up using your wrist so that you can aim it straight. Please inform me...

cervelo
09-15-2004, 06:03 PM
I only get the side spin if I "try" to swing level (like sweeping books off of a desktop) ... I'm trying to get almost flat with no spin ... Imparting topspin is never a problem for me ...

Re: the hip/shoulder thing: an open stance may/may not require the hips to turn much. I can sit at my desk and turn my shoulders 90 degrees from my PC, my hips never move. My question is: should my hips close off when I hit a flatter forehand?

Rickson
09-15-2004, 06:17 PM
drive with the buttcap? Does that mean the buttcap should be going in front instead of racket head first? Wouldn't that add like a sideway slice or you have end up using your wrist so that you can aim it straight. Please inform me...
It just happens naturally when you keep a loose wrist. If you didn't lead with the buttcap, wouldn't you be hitting every forehand crosscourt?

finchy
09-15-2004, 06:18 PM
there is no way to hit exactly flat. all balls will always have spin.

anyways, i find it more usefull to put topspin on shots. in fact, what i described to you were the basics to fed's forehand. lol. well, have fun.

btw, driving with the butt of the racquet helps impart topspin actuallly.

Rickson
09-15-2004, 06:20 PM
there is no way to hit exactly flat. all balls will always have spin.

Trust me, I've seen balls hit with virtually no spin.

MChong
09-15-2004, 07:00 PM
Trust me, I've seen balls hit with virtually no spin.

Lol, virtually no spin would mean there still was spin.

Anyways, as already given, driving with the butt cap helps and I advise to hit flat on the higher shots and not the lower ones for obvious reasons.

Rickson
09-15-2004, 07:39 PM
No, chong, the flat balls I've seen wouldn't even reach half a rotation, which is flat to me. There is such a thing as a flat hit.

mucat
09-15-2004, 09:35 PM
I think the vertical angle of the racket face during contact is very important, since there is no or very little topspin to bring down the ball, the vertical angle of the ball when leaving the racket is very important, assumming you want to really hit hard into it.

Kobble
09-16-2004, 09:18 AM
Rickson is right. I too have seen almost flat balls, and it was probably the air resistance causing it to be less than perfectly still. I played a guy many years back that would hit balls so flat that you could see the label coming right at you.

Getting back to the topic. The biggest forehand I ever saw hit had the racquet traveling on a nearly straight plane. You could draw a line from the tip of the racquet on through the butt cap, and through center of the ball. The racquet followed an almost perfect straight line to the ball, and his finish was directly across the left shoulder. As for his shoulder turn, it only maxed out at 90 degrees to the incoming line of the ball, which indicates that a huge shoulder turn is not needed. He also shifted his weight quickly from the back foot to the front, and coming off the ground as a result. His shoulders also stopped rotating once they were squared up to the net, and the racquet slingshotted out in front to make contact with the ball. Overall, it followed all the rules Finchy indicated.

Rickson
09-16-2004, 09:29 AM
Rickson is right. I too have seen almost flat balls, and it was probably the air resistance causing it to be less than perfectly still. I played a guy many years back that would hit balls so flat that you could see the label coming right at you.

That sounds flat to me.

Camilio Pascual
09-16-2004, 09:31 AM
Okay, k-rect a ball with virtually no spin IS spinning. But, I'll go with Rickson on this. While it is literally true that almost every single ball will spin, what we are really talking about is the effect the spin has. Example: A properly thrown knuckleball does about 1 and 1/2 rotations on the way to home plate. So it is spinning, but it's behaviour is vastly different from most spinning baseballs. The same thing applies to tennis balls, there are flat shots with what I will call, ahem, NO spin.