PDA

View Full Version : Question about Takeback & Timing


user92626
01-27-2009, 01:04 PM
Hello All,

In a game, assume that you do not have to scramble for a groundstroke, where do you tie your takeback to, example as the ball bounces, as it comes up, etc.???

This is where I have a big problem. I'm either late or too early, and if I try having a fast racket head speed I'll mis-hit.

GPB
01-27-2009, 01:13 PM
As soon as I recognize the shot for a forehand or a backhand, I pull my racket back. Then I run to the ball, letting it fall slowly down at first and then increasing speed to the contact point.
Don't take my word for gospel truth, though.

user92626
01-27-2009, 01:27 PM
What do you mean by "then increasing speed to the contact point"? Do you start the forward swing from slow then gradually speed up?

SystemicAnomaly
01-27-2009, 01:37 PM
My preference is to make a partial takeback very early. Once I've determined which wing I'll take the ball on, I execute a unit turn fairly early with both hands on the racket for that partial takeback. That puts me about 1/3 of the way into my loop (if I am executing a loop swing). From that "set" position it is much easier to time the rest of my stroke as the ball gets to within striking distance.

I will definitely execute that partial takeback before the ball bounces, but I am not really tying my unit turn & takeback to the bounce of the ball. What if the ball does not bounce? Or what if the ball bounces near your feet? If you wait for the bounce, you'll likely be too late in either of these cases.

If I am on/near the baseline, I'll excute my unit turn/takeback before the ball crosses the back service line (ie, before it reaches NML) or before the ball bounces -- whichever happens first. This is somewhat dependent on the speed of theincoming ball tho'.

For elite players with better timing than me, the takeback may be somewhat delayed.

BU-Tennis
01-27-2009, 01:39 PM
The racquet does speed up as you hit the ball. You shouldn't try and put all of your power into the downswing, or fall of the racquet. Once the racquet reaches the bottom of the swing then you should engage your body and arm into applying power.

For me, I take the racquet back depending on the speed and spin of the ball that is incoming. I try to make it where I don't have to pause too long before I hit, just a half second or so is my racquet stationary at the top of the backswing.

user92626
01-27-2009, 02:15 PM
Thanks, guys
The part about timing and takeback is a little clearer now.

However, I'm totally amazed at how fast Tsonga can swing his racket (ie racket head speed) and still catch the ball at the right timing. Do they use one single speed rate or they sortof start slow and speed it up at contact?

LeeD
01-27-2009, 06:01 PM
Tsonga big boy. Big boy strong.
Anyone who swings a racket starts it slow, accelerates thru the ball, and lets the momentum come to a halt.
You can't get constant racket head speed without inital acceleration.

Ballinbob
01-27-2009, 06:07 PM
My coach talked to me about this. This is what he told me to do:

Since I'm a counterpuncher, he suggested shortening my takeback for better consistency. The change wasn't hard to make, but getting used to the lack of power was. Oh well, the trade off was consistency and I cant complain

Anyway, he likes to shorten the takeback. He also said when the ball is going down, then your racket goes down with it. When then the ball bounces up, your racket swings up with it. Basically, follow the ball path. Ball goes down, your racket goes down, ball goes up, you swing up.

Hope this helped. If you need clarification on anything I would be glad to help, and if I don't know it then i'll talk to my coach and see

LeeD
01-27-2009, 06:31 PM
You mean like high ball, high racket prep?
And if the guy hits you a low ball, you gotta prep racket low?
Especially important when you play the 6'6" guys who can bounce second serves over your head.

Ballinbob
01-27-2009, 06:37 PM
You mean like high ball, high racket prep?
And if the guy hits you a low ball, you gotta prep racket low?
Especially important when you play the 6'6" guys who can bounce second serves over your head.

Why would you want a high prep on any ball? You want to have a low prep so you can whip the racket up and generate topspin.

My coach is saying to track the ball with your eyes, and as the ball goes down, then get you and your racket down with it. You move with the ball. When the ball bounces up off the court, then you explode up towards the ball from your crouched position. See what I mean? I know its kinda hard to understand, took me awhile to get what he was saying.

I know this method works for me, maybe not others. Im also not sure if this is the proper teaching method for timing, but like I said, it works for me

mg.dc
01-27-2009, 07:16 PM
Tennis is not this difficult. I feel you shouldn't worry about this whatsoever. There is no strict program to follow so as to determining when to begin your stroke. Rather it's a balance between athleticism and practice. It should not be technical and rigid but rather natural and fluid.

Notwithstanding this, here's some related advice on this issue.

1. Do not -- Do not! -- take your racket back early.
2. Do your unit turn early.
3. Choke the neck of the racket with your non-dominant hand till your ready to strike.
4. There's nothing wrong with big, loopy strokes -- that is, when you have time, of course.
5. The stroke should not break the plane. What this means is this. If your hitting a forehand and you're right-handed, the racket should not break the plane over to the left side of your body. Keep it to your right the entire time.

sukivan
01-27-2009, 07:31 PM
there is no magic formula; every shot is different
if you consciously try to time your stroke to match with certain "checkpoints" like the ball bounce, you are going to have severe timing issues with slow balls, high balls, low balls, heavy topspin that leaps forward, etc.

ballinbob's method may work at lower levels (for receiving and hitting one kind of ball) but as soon as you play people who give you different types of balls you are going to struggle.

what you should really be concerned with is not the ball bounce but when the ball is going to be in your contact zone. your brain is going to figure this out without conscious thought (as long as you are experienced and observant enough to recognize the what spin your opponent has put on the ball and what effect it will have on its trajectory).

sukivan
01-27-2009, 07:31 PM
mg.dc's post has good points if you want general guidelines regarding preparation

LeeD
01-27-2009, 08:12 PM
Take this case.... you opponent high bounces a top to your forehand side. It bounces between your service line and your baseline. You plan to hit it for a WINNER, like a real man. You step forwards, HIGH prep, flatten out your stroke and crush it flat, because you CAN, it's a high slow moving ball !! And you get to choose your winner either backhand or forehand side, and smile for the crowd and take a bow.
OR... you do the same low to high swing and continue playing the point on even terms:confused::confused:
Gee, what would I rather do..... Go for and hit a winner flat? Or maybe just restart the point, thank you.

user92626
01-28-2009, 11:28 AM
Thanks, everyone, and I appreciate Ballinbob's offer to help by asking his coach :)

IMO, suki and mg's advices are really and reflect my experience. When I first started I used to tie my takeback to the ball's passing over the net and down, and that worked extremely well against entry players. When I got to hit against more advanced players, it totally messed me up. So, now like suki points out, I just learn to estimate the ball to come up and fly horizontally into my strike zone where I already wait with the back stringbed facing my ear.

good stuffs, everyone.

Ballinbob: Why would you want a high prep on any ball? You want to have a low prep so you can whip the racket up and generate topspin.

I think the rationale behind that is that you just need to remember one thing, in other words just drop the racket from hi to low. If you prep low, you may need to bring the racket up first (to within a foot below contact point) before you can swing or you might be swing up too much. That makes a funny and inefficient swing path. Just my 2cents.

mordecai
01-30-2009, 07:34 AM
I try to model professionals. Most pros incorporate a shoulder turn and pivot step into the same movement the moment they see where the ball is going. This isn't actually a racquet take-back, because on the fore-hand the non-swinging arm is still holding the racquet, and on both wings the shoulders don't change their orientation to the hips-- they stay in-line with each other and turn to face the contact area together the moment the player reads his opponent's shot.

The actual take-back happens when the shoulders and hips torque and on the fore-hand, the non-dominant arm releases the racquet and points away to the side-line. A good rule to go by is to time the completion of your take-back with the bounce of the ball, but this obviously is not one-size fits all depending on the speed of the incoming ball, how early you are taking it, and how fast you swing, etc... but if you start from there and tinker with it you should eventually be able to build a rhythm around the bounce of the ball, which is the key to timing and consistency in the take-back.

Kevo
01-30-2009, 08:06 AM
The better you get, the longer you will have to wait before swinging, until of course you run into better players who hit the ball much faster. So there is no set timing, it's practice and experience.

As far as the high take back goes, it's very important for versatility. When playing better people you will run into shots that you have to hit from your knees, and shots that you will hit at shoulder height or higher. The high unit turn take back allows you to get the shoulders rotated and then drop the racquet to the desired height for any shot. The important thing is that the racquet is below the ball, not that it is low. I frequently hit shots with my racquet face near chest height when someone is hitting loopers or really spinny shots.

jules2
01-30-2009, 08:20 AM
ballinbob's method may work at lower levels (for receiving and hitting one kind of ball) but as soon as you play people who give you different types of balls you are going to struggle.



Venus Williams does, quite prominently, exactly what ballinbob is saying.

sukivan
01-30-2009, 02:08 PM
Venus Williams does, quite prominently, exactly what ballinbob is saying.

No she doesn't, and even if she did, she is not someone to emulate.