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View Full Version : Taking it early, is it just a frame of mind?


Homey
10-17-2007, 10:48 AM
I need help with taking the ball early CONSISTENTLY.

I can take it early and RE-DIRECT the ball, but I have a hard time hitting with as much pace, compared to moving backwards, letting the ball rise and descend, then hitting it.

If I let the ball rise and fall and THEN hit it, I am able to drive it. However, when I take it early I can't drive the ball consistently.

Is it just a matter of practicing 100's of balls while taking it early???

Any help would greatly be appreciated.

burosky
10-17-2007, 11:14 AM
How do you define taking it early? If you want to hit it effectively, you need to hit it as it goes into your strike zone while it is still rising. It will be difficult to put anything on the ball with consistency if you don't hit in your strike zone.

Homey
10-18-2007, 05:57 AM
No, it is in the strike zone. Just about hip high.

It is just much EASIER to let the ball bounce up and then back down and THEN hit it, versus catching it on the rise.

When I take it on the rise, I tend to hit the ball with a lower trajectory. I am unable to brush up the back of the ball. The good thing about that, is that my shot is a "flatter" penetrating shot. The bad thing about that it seems to be a lower percentage shot.

Is it just a matter of practising it over and over???

Jackie T. Stephens
10-18-2007, 06:06 AM
As soon as the ball bounce hit it and get someone to drill you on that.

burosky
10-18-2007, 08:45 AM
It is just much EASIER to let the ball bounce up and then back down and THEN hit it, versus catching it on the rise.

When I take it on the rise, I tend to hit the ball with a lower trajectory. I am unable to brush up the back of the ball. The good thing about that, is that my shot is a "flatter" penetrating shot. The bad thing about that it seems to be a lower percentage shot.

Is it just a matter of practising it over and over???

Of course practicing a stroke over and over is key. This is the only way you will own the stroke. However, you want to make sure you are doing the right thing.

The timing is definitely different when you hit it on the rise. With how you describe your stroke, it will be easier to let the ball bounce and hit it on the way down because the ball loses velocity which makes it easier to time and it allows you to hit it up for better net clearance.

You mentioned that you hit a "flatter" shot. As such, I would suspect the reason why you are not able to brush up on the ball is because of your swing path. If you want to be able to brush up on the ball when taking it on the rise, you will need a steeper swing path during follow through.

Try this - make sure your follow through makes the back of your hand end up on your ear. If you are a righty, the back of your right hand should end up on your left ear. This will force you to have a steeper follow through. By the way, on your back swing, you still want the racket head to be on the same level or slightly lower than your point of contact. If you visualize this, your swing path will be relatively flat (parallel to the ground or maybe with a slight angle) until the point of contact then it sharply goes on a steep angle during follow through. In some instances, instead of finishing on your left ear, you may even find it helpful to finish on top of your right shoulder.

You can start by taking feeds from someone but if no one can feed the ball to you, the other choice would be to just rally with someone. When you do, position yourself inside the base line and force yourself to stay there to hit your groundies. Don't step back to go outside the baseline. You can start by asking your rally buddy to take some pace off the groundies at first. Once you get more comfortable, you can proceed with the normal pace. If your rally buddy can hit with some depth, you should be able to get a lot of balls to hit on the rise. If he hits a little short that will be your que to step in to take it sooner.

LuckyR
10-18-2007, 04:36 PM
Everyone can hit balls better when they are on the way back down after peaking as the ball is a lot slower. Hitting at the peak or even on the rise is a dangerous shot in that your timing must be a lot better, but will yield a much more difficult to handle shot. If you have the perfect timing, Mr Agassi, then by all means hit on the rise. For the rest of us hitting at the peak will get a fraction of the desired effect without all of the unforced timing errors of hitting on the rise.

Supernatural_Serve
10-18-2007, 05:38 PM
Everyone can hit balls better when they are on the way back down after peaking as the ball is a lot slower. Hitting at the peak or even on the rise is a dangerous shot in that your timing must be a lot better, but will yield a much more difficult to handle shot. If you have the perfect timing, Mr Agassi, then by all means hit on the rise. For the rest of us hitting at the peak will get a fraction of the desired effect without all of the unforced timing errors of hitting on the rise.It depends on the ball. When I take a ball on the rise, fiirst, I make sure that I pick a ball that I can step into (in the traditional forehand sense), so that I get a good knee bend and minimize the footwork problems that can contribute to timing issues. Also, I take a shorter swing, swing with less velocity (sometimes it feels like I'm doing very little more than blocking the ball with a follow through), and tend to hit more flat. These things neuter the risks associated with the mis timing issue you well pointed out.

Haven't we all taken a ball early and wondered "how did I generate that much pace with so little effort?"

LuckyR
10-18-2007, 05:56 PM
It depends on the ball. When I take a ball on the rise, fiirst, I make sure that I pick a ball that I can step into (in the traditional forehand sense), so that I get a good knee bend and minimize the footwork problems that can contribute to timing issues. Also, I take a shorter swing, swing with less velocity (sometimes it feels like I'm doing very little more than blocking the ball with a follow through), and tend to hit more flat. These things neuter the risks associated with the mis timing issue you well pointed out.

Haven't we all taken a ball early and wondered "how did I generate that much pace with so little effort?"


Absolutely. But the OP was talking about doing this for every shot, not picking and choosing the easy ones.

Supernatural_Serve
10-19-2007, 06:02 AM
Absolutely. But the OP was talking about doing this for every shot, not picking and choosing the easy ones.that's a good drill, taking every ball early. I had a hitting coach where we did this every session for a few minutes.

But, to do so in a match requires a lot of skill and if done well defines an entire baseline style of play, a very formidable style that steals a lot of time keeping an opponent on his toes.

I stick to the easier ones.

LuckyR
10-19-2007, 01:28 PM
that's a good drill, taking every ball early. I had a hitting coach where we did this every session for a few minutes.

But, to do so in a match requires a lot of skill and if done well defines an entire baseline style of play, a very formidable style that steals a lot of time keeping an opponent on his toes.

I stick to the easier ones.



As do I and all of the mere mortals I know. Mr Agassi (whom I referenced in my reply) is another matter...