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Prince of tennis
10-27-2007, 03:37 AM
I use a western grip. If I take a big swing, I can't make contact with the ball cleanly and often shank it. If I shorten my swing, I seem to be unable to get enough pace on the ball. Please help.

paulfreda
10-28-2007, 01:14 AM
Sure you can. Try this with a short swing.
Stand semi-open with your shoulders 45 degrees to the net.
Hold the frame with your hand underneath [with a W grip] and your strings facing the net and perpendicular to the court. This is as clean and flush to the ball as is possible.
Now just take a backswing so the tip points to the back fence keeping the hoop perpendicular to the court. Now just swing thru the ball. Whala ! Clean contact.
Now admittedly it will feel very funny and weak at first because your hand is not behind the racquet and it will want to rotate/slip unless you hold it firmly.
Notice if you lay back your wrist you will get more a powerful hit.

This is a start at clean contact. You are hitting flat with a Western.
Oh my Lord ! Flat with a Western ? Ha .... It works.
Don't listen to anyone tell you not to do this.
Keep working with it and the natural topspin from a W grip will appear
and now you have the makings of a heavy ball.

Now you can experiment with larger swings or with suppinating or pronating thru the ball as it pleases you. [I do both depending on the ball]
Good Luck

tbini87
10-28-2007, 01:21 AM
why do you use western? could try semi western see if that makes any difference. but also footwork and eye contact with the ball play a HUGE part in getting good contact. maybe even more than the swing (or atleast the take back) has to do with it. make sure you are moving your feet and seeing the ball hit the racquet!

Bagumbawalla
10-28-2007, 12:10 PM
The more topspin you try to put on the ball, the better your timing has to be.

Imaging two bullets fired directly at each other as opposed to fired at a 90 degree angle to each other. The timing has to be increasingly exacting as the angle increases toward 90 degrees.

So, the first thing I would suggest is to decrease the angle/path your racket head takes through the ball. Try hitting more forward and through the ball and not so much upward and across the ball.

In the days of smaller headed rackets (like wooden rackets) pros with massive topspin (like Borg) would often hit the ball nearly straight up (off the frame) if their timing was off.

So, one possible solution is to get a racket with a slightly larger head.

Longer stroking motions require better anticipation, preparation, and timing. If you are having timing problems, already, then whatever choice you make-- retaining long, fluid strokes, or simplifying to a more compact style-- is going to require lots of practice and commitment.

Either style can be effective.