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View Full Version : Couple basic questions on FH and BH Technique


lkdog
10-03-2007, 04:41 PM
Been tweaking my groundstrokes and have a couple Q's. Am a 4.0+ player.

On FH I use a semi-western grip and a double bend stroke.
Use a smaller/lower loop like Gasquet or Blake instead of a higher one like Hewitt.

Not sure if it is a push or pull stroke as I am not clear as to difference.
Anyway here are questions on FH.

1) How far out in front is optimum contact? My grip is not an extreme SW.

2) Is there a suggestion about distance between elbow and side when coming through to the hitting zone. I see pros with varying amount of space between elbow and side. I moved it in more lately and seem to have more pop on the ball.

3) Been fooling around with how open hips and chest are at contact. Not sure what this means for ball rotation/power etc.Maybe another way to state this is sometimes I have my racquet dragging more behind the shoulders. Usually it is more with the shoulders and I my chest is sort of at a 45 degree angle at the hit.

On BH have one basic question. I have one hander and use full eastern grip.

1) What are keys to produce more topspin? I try to bend knees to get low, and come around outside of ball but still hit flatter than I wish.

Will try and get a video up here soon, but those are my basic questions right now.

Thanks.

smoothtennis
10-04-2007, 10:06 AM
On that one hander, try this for more topspin since you already have the shot well established (sounds like).

Take that grip, and oh so very slightly adjust it back so the face closes a tad more. Very subtle. Then get low, and release the same way into the ball with particular attention to a full follow through, but keeping it just as relaxed as before. Make sure you really coil on the takeback so your back slightly faces the net, then it is a matter of timing the release into the contact zone. Don't try to rip the ball, here, you just want clean contact out front.

This should definintely work for more topspin, but you just have to be aware of exactly what you are doing there. I use two different grips sometime, my normal topspin, and if I want a little more spin and less pace, I tweak that grip back as I described, get down, and really follow through over the ball as much as possible. If you catch the ball late however, it's going right into the net. And honestly, If you are after more topspin in general, you may need to address it another way.

Also, I wouldn't pass this advise out to anybody that didn't already have a very well established grip, and consistent backhand stroke developed.

Otherwise---your overall stroke mechanics might need an adjustment without messing with that grip. In my case, I follow through with more of a wiper motion using my shoulder for the pronoation, rather than the wrist as in a forehand WW stroke. Same motion, different bodyparts doing the wiper. My follow through is up and across my body fully, rather than staying out front on the left hand side of my body (right handed 1hbh). I hope that is not too confusing.

lkdog
10-04-2007, 05:54 PM
smooth-

Not confusing suggestions at all on BH. Thanks a lot!

My grip on BH is with my index finger knuckle on top bevel slighty off center toward the right if you were looking down at it so it is not an extreme Eastern BH. Will experiment a bit with that. Moving it does make it more closed-one better go get it out in front which is something I have to work on anyway I think.

I have noticed in some frame by frame analysis of some great one handers by pros that the racquet at least looks a tiny bit closed and is not exactly perpendicular.
I struggle to get that feeling (which I get on the FH side) where you are coming over the ball and that is really brushing up and staying on the strings a long time.

I used to try and get more topspin on BH by wristing it more on contact rather than hitting from shoulder with a fixed wrist (which is correct way as you describe). I have been trying to extend follow though as you describe. Good idea to take a look at that. I think I may be not as extended as you suggest.

I will try and get some video up here this weekend.

godprint
10-04-2007, 06:36 PM
awaits yr viudeo...:)

wihamilton
10-04-2007, 07:09 PM
1) How far out in front is optimum contact? My grip is not an extreme SW.

2) Is there a suggestion about distance between elbow and side when coming through to the hitting zone. I see pros with varying amount of space between elbow and side. I moved it in more lately and seem to have more pop on the ball.


Your contact point depends on your grip, as does the elbow position @ contact. Swing and then stop your racket out in front of you when the strings are facing the net (e.g. if you hit, the strings would be flat on the back of the ball). That's your contact point.

I wouldn't mess w/elbow positions, etc. too much. Focus on the macro and the micro has a way of working itself out.

lkdog
10-04-2007, 08:33 PM
Your contact point depends on your grip, as does the elbow position @ contact. Swing and then stop your racket out in front of you when the strings are facing the net (e.g. if you hit, the strings would be flat on the back of the ball). That's your contact point.

I wouldn't mess w/elbow positions, etc. too much. Focus on the macro and the micro has a way of working itself out.

Will- Thanks for the reply. It seems that the more extreme the grip the further out one's contact point is unless I am mistaken?

I think I may be a little late when I see how far out I should be with my moderate SW.
When I go to a more pronounced SW which is closer to a Western the contact point seems to move out even further.
Interesting.

wihamilton
10-04-2007, 08:54 PM
Tony,

Generally speaking, that's correct. There are a bunch of ways you can manipulate your contact point, though. For example, Federer has a pretty conservative grip but sometimes he really lays his wrist back and makes contact w/the ball way out in front.

How's the kick serve?

smoothtennis
10-05-2007, 11:01 AM
LKDOG - As far as hitting late goes...I was hitting late for a long time on my one hander, and didn't know it. I guess I was about an inch or two further back than I needed to be. This caused a lot of problems. My ball would sail LONG, as in 'really' long for no good reason. When late, the spin doesn't get put on the ball properly. Some guys think they are overhitting when in reality, they are just plain late to the contact zone. Then they hit softer, and late, and shot becomes a tentative duck, and it's back to the safe slice for the test of the match, LOL.

Also, when late, obviously, this caused my weight transfer not to be happening optimally. I would pull up and back a lot, so darned uncomfortable I couldnt' stand it.

When I started realizing this, and adjusting the contact zone out front more, it really changed the stroke. ie, I had that 'feel' you talk about on the forehand side, where it really comes over the ball with some bite into the string bed. I gotta say, when I made this adjustment it was a radical change for my stroke. That thing started going IN and my weight naturally began to transfer forward.

Good luck working this stroke.

lkdog
10-05-2007, 04:36 PM
Tony,

Generally speaking, that's correct. There are a bunch of ways you can manipulate your contact point, though. For example, Federer has a pretty conservative grip but sometimes he really lays his wrist back and makes contact w/the ball way out in front.

How's the kick serve?

On my serve I have not had a chance to work on moving the toss more to left and letting the ball drop a bit more as I have just played a couple sets and hit this past week.
I did experiment on a few serves in my sets and did manage to hit a couple that had my opponent leaning right and then having to block back a BH. Was getting some of the action I was hoping for. Sometimes it works by accident. :D
Will be working on it this weekend I hope.

lkdog
10-05-2007, 04:40 PM
LKDOG - As far as hitting late goes...I was hitting late for a long time on my one hander, and didn't know it. I guess I was about an inch or two further back than I needed to be. This caused a lot of problems. My ball would sail LONG, as in 'really' long for no good reason. When late, the spin doesn't get put on the ball properly. Some guys think they are overhitting when in reality, they are just plain late to the contact zone. Then they hit softer, and late, and shot becomes a tentative duck, and it's back to the safe slice for the test of the match, LOL.

Also, when late, obviously, this caused my weight transfer not to be happening optimally. I would pull up and back a lot, so darned uncomfortable I couldnt' stand it.

When I started realizing this, and adjusting the contact zone out front more, it really changed the stroke. ie, I had that 'feel' you talk about on the forehand side, where it really comes over the ball with some bite into the string bed. I gotta say, when I made this adjustment it was a radical change for my stroke. That thing started going IN and my weight naturally began to transfer forward.

Good luck working this stroke.

Thanks for the ideas. Sometimes when I think I am making a correction on a stroke-it is really not enough yet. I think i need to exaggerate making contact earlier on the BH to get more comfortable really going and getting it. Yes-when I miss it is always long and rarely in the net. After a few of those one can get tentative. My slice is a steady bail out shot so I do revert to that when I am not hitting the topspin like I want to that day.

Will keep plugging away and let you know how the grip and contact point works out.