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View Full Version : Help! I consistenly hit too high in the stringbed...


andirez
09-20-2004, 04:36 AM
I am playing with gut, so if I look at the fraying of the gut after playing a couple of weeks, I see the following pattern:

http://users.skynet.be/bk230834/stuff/P5G2_modified.jpg

As you can see, I consistenly hit above the sweet spot of my racquet. I do notice this when hitting, most of the time I know that I am not on which result in more frame vibration and a hit that does not feel clean.

It is not racquet dependent, I seem to be doing this with all racquets. I also put in a lot of effort to look at the ball until it leaves the stringbed. Do you think this is something I need to solve by changing some stroke mechanics or footwork? Is there something wrong with my hand-eye coordination or isn't it unusual to hit high in the string bed consistenly? I can't recall the last time I hit too low. If I frame a shot, it always is at the top.

The racquets I have (PK 5Gs and Volkl C10 Pros) are all 27". Could my problem be solved simply by using a stretch racquet instead of a normal length one?

There is also a possible solution to add lead tape, but I really would prefer not to make my racquets head-heavier. I also wonder what amount of lead tape you have to add to raise the sweetspot about an inch.

All help is very welcome as I really don't have a clue how to solve this problem. If my stringbed was also frayed in the middle and a bit below the middle, than it clearly is my unability to hit the same spot each time. However the stringbed is only frayed as being displayed on the picture I posted.

andirez
09-21-2004, 01:23 AM
Went out for another hitting session yesterday evening and really tried to pay attention on where I hit the ball in the stringbed. I was able to have a bit more direct sweetspot hits, but whenever I started playing without thinking about it, I started hitting higher in the stringbed once again. I do this with all my shots (backhand (drive and slice), forehand and serve). Anyone outthere with similar experience? I really do wonder if switching to 27.5" could do the trick or that I just have to stick with my current equipment and just put a lot of effort in hitting a bit lower.

Tennis Guy
09-21-2004, 01:40 PM
Most pros hit high on the sweetspot. Using a western grip contributes. You should put some lead tape on the top to move the sweetspot up.

BTW, did you make the graphic? If so, did you just put a red circle on it with Photoshop?

andirez
09-21-2004, 03:08 PM
BTW, did you make the graphic? If so, did you just put a red circle on it with Photoshop?

Yeah, I just took the picture of a PK 5g from TW and added the red circle. Instead of Photoshop I used Fireworks, but you can do the same with PS of course.

The problem I have with adding lead to the top is that I am satisfied with the head lightness that my current racquets have. Well, I'll give it a try anyway and see what happens :)

papa
09-21-2004, 04:32 PM
Have the same problem and have tried the lead tape idea. Didn't seem to solve the situation but maybe I didn't give it enough time.
Wondered if it might be that we come up on the hit a little even though we watch the ball. In any event, I've encounted many who have the same problem.

skuludo
09-21-2004, 06:24 PM
You'll need to make 1 extra step closer to the ball. Or use a longer racket like 28 inches or something. You'll just need to practice cramming yourself in to the ball a bit more and get use to it.

I have the problem as well, but I need to practice more on moving my contact zone closer.

andirez
09-22-2004, 12:43 AM
You'll need to make 1 extra step closer to the ball. Or use a longer racket like 28 inches or something. You'll just need to practice cramming yourself in to the ball a bit more and get use to it.

I have the problem as well, but I need to practice more on moving my contact zone closer.

I noticed that if I do an extra effort, I can hit the ball a bit lower in the stringbed but my swinging motion seems more restricted when doing this (does not feel so natural). I would love to try out an 28" racquet, but they don't seem to make these anymore. All I can find are these head heavy 28" hammers which gives me the shivers by only looking at their specs.

Tim Tennis
09-22-2004, 03:22 AM
Hi Andirez,

I have always hit my shots high on the string bed, my solution was to use a tear drop shaped racquet head which moves the sweet spot up. That has worked well for me.

You got to love the game.

andirez
09-22-2004, 04:05 AM
Hi Andirez,

I have always hit my shots high on the string bed, my solution was to use a tear drop shaped racquet head which moves the sweet spot up. That has worked well for me.

You got to love the game.

Interested in what racquet you are playing with, can you find anything with that head shape that is +12oz? You do mean a shape like this right?
http://av.warehousesports.com/tw/ProductImages/KI20.JPG

Actually I'm thinking now of extending my C10 Pro. I don't think it will be that difficult to do. The Volkls use grip pallets which are detachable. Underneath is a solid core which I can extend by a wood piece of 0.5 to 1" and glue to the solid core. Afterwards I'll put the grip pallets back on, covering the wood core. Must work, don't you think? Am a bit afraid though that it will become a bit too cumbersome.[/img]

Tim Tennis
09-22-2004, 04:24 AM
Andirez,

That is it. As far as the 12 oz. I don't know, surely there are some. I have been using the Gamma diamond fiber, tour light. great racquet, of course Gamma does not make racquets any more.

I am not a big fan of the extended length racquets unless you are 6' 4" . I have always said, most people (club players) would play better with a shorter racquet, under 27", they just can't bring it around, whatever.

You got to love the game.

fastdunn
09-22-2004, 04:03 PM
I also seem to hit a bit higher than the center of the head.
I prefer the feel from that area unless it's too high.
Most of the time I hit too high is when I serve....

Bungalo Bill
09-22-2004, 04:34 PM
I want to go over this quote you mentioned above. Also, I want to say, dont do anything to your racquet length. It is fine. It is you that is the problem.

really tried to pay attention on where I hit the ball in the stringbed. I was able to have a bit more direct sweetspot hits, but whenever I started playing without thinking about it, I started hitting higher in the stringbed once again

Chances are you kept your head still during the times you were trying to see the ball hit the sweetspot. You rotated properly into the ball and you did not pull your racquet path slightly off line by moving your head or posture.

When you take your eyes off the ball too soon, and you are not a professional or an advanced player, chances are your head is moving as well. It is either lifting up or pulling away slightly from the contact zone, causing your swing path to go off course very slightly. But this slightly, is enough to make you feel a "dead" feel in your racquet.

Some racquets are more deader then others. Some have a very small "sweetspot" radius. Other racquets like the Volkl Tour 10 (no longer in production and the racquet I play with), tend to feel like they have a generous sweetspot. Player racquets tend to move the sweetspot center downward. This promotes the compact swing and the ability of an advanced player to hit the ball more towards the middle of the racquet for better control and less racquet twisting. There is more meat towards the throat of the racquet.

My guess is you need to keep watching that sweetspot and keep your head still, before jumping to conclusions on thinking it is the "racquets" fault.

Kaptain Karl
09-22-2004, 05:08 PM
The wear pattern your image describes makes me think Bungalo Bill is correct. I suspect you are not “watching the ball all the way to your strings.” If you were, your wear pattern also be about half the size you described.

I don’t remember who did the “bit” during the US Open, but the point was that the pros tend to make contact on their strings differently for different shots.

(As a Junior, I learned from some terrific teaching pros. As a consequence I have long, smooth, “textbook” strokes and (still) very good footwork. My point is, a huge percentage of the time, my strokes are duplicates of the thirty just like it which preceded this one ... and I wear my strings in a small oval pattern “just above” center ... able to be covered by a standard sized business card. (I’ve seen wear patterns of several really good players, too. A fifty-cent piece will cover their sweet spot!)

Also, my father has taken (literally) thousands of pictures of me playing. It is notable how consistently my contact point is high for serves ... and low in the sweet spot for volleys. My topspin forehand and backhand make contact high (toward the racket top). My flat and slice ground strokes make contact low in the sweet spot.)

Hitting high in your sweet spot is not necessarily “bad”. But having such a big wear pattern as you indicate, supports Bungalo Bill’s findings, IMO. Work on [drills during your hitting. (Less match play.) Concentrate on seeing the ball make contact with your strings ... on every shot. Your wear pattern will (necessarily) shrink -- which will “lower” your contact point too.

- KK

andirez
09-23-2004, 12:23 AM
Thanks Bungalo Bill and Kaptain Karl, you really have given me something to work with :)

I'm not trying to blame the racquet, I was just wondering if it was just the way I played and if a longer racquet could solve this. I do realise now that I should first try to work on hitting lower (by really not taking my eyes of the ball, although I usually 'think' that I do) instead of going for other equipment. The longer I think about it, the more sure I get that you are right actually (as usual). I do watch the ball, but I'm not so sure about that millisecond before contact (sometimes I do, but I have to admit that most of the times I don't think I do). Should bring my camera to court, but actually I am a bit afraid of watching myself, who knows how clumsy I'll look ;)