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View Full Version : Forehand on high shoulder height balls for Winners?...


plum
07-10-2009, 06:29 PM
Need help please: Handling high balls-- mostly forehand. I don't mean overheads. I mean high bouncing chest to shoulder and head high balls. Some baseline but others at the service line. I play pretty much an eastern forehand. I might cheat a little toward semi-western but generally I do not play a full SW. I play a THBH but also play slice and even sometimes when stretched forward toward the deuce court line, play a OHBH with or probably more often flat. I realize THBH (non slice) is better for high balls but i am primarily concerned about developing a forehand winner for the higher and shorter balls. When I get one of these opportunities it seems that I really lose control. I am sure I get a little excited; I'm sure I go for a bit too much, but I cannot figure out why it feels so awkward to handle these shots? Maybe the problem is that I try to hit my same mediocre eastern topspin forehand, but in a position where the racquet face becomes out of alignment, hence sometimes framing slightly and hitting a really poor shot that feels awkward to my wrist. I've considered moving into a full semi-western for the put-away but Im not comfortable with that position yet and sometimes, probably more often than not, hit the net with too much topspin. Last but not least, today, in particular, i tired just hitting pure flat downward trajectory shots from the shoulder and actually hit a couple of good ones. I'm not convinced however that this is necessarily the best approach to this sho(i)t. Thanks very much for any feedback on this common situation: forehand winner from the shoulder high ball...

BU-Tennis
07-10-2009, 09:58 PM
Have someone feed you a bunch of balls like you described and just whack the crap out of them. Try to hit it into the back fence, without bouncing. I bet it doesn't go as far as you think it will. This mainly shows that you can still hit the ball but don't have to be afraid if it flies wildly on you. I hit balls in this type of drill, almost right at the net, and the balls bounced only a few feet past the net. I remember that i didn't do anything differently except making sure that your hitting shoulder is higher than the opposite one. Also, you do not need to use topspin as the ball is already above the net, so just hitting flat will cause the ball to drop quicker than topspin and clear the net. Finally, make sure to contact out in front of you to avoid opening the racquet face up.

Lsmkenpo
07-11-2009, 12:39 AM
Are you adjusting your takeback for the higher balls? It is a common mistake for players to use their normal takeback on the highballs and dropping too far underneath. Don't loop down as much
as you would on a normal height forehand.

This throws the timing of the forehand off and the racquet face opens up because they bend their arm up higher from the elbow to adjust to the highball at contact.

Make a note of your takeback height and arm level next time you hit a high forehand,see if this helps.

LeeD
07-11-2009, 08:41 AM
High takeback, flat stroke, flat followthru.
Since the ball is high, you have more margin for error.
Use body twist to accelerate racket head, NOT swinging hard from the shoulders. Vert racketface, flat hit, winner.

150mph_
07-11-2009, 09:45 AM
or you topspin it back and keep rallying/working the point until you get a short ball

LeeD
07-12-2009, 08:18 AM
Sure, when you get a slow moving shoulder high ball, you should push it back slower and higher, so you can sustain the rally and hog the court for another 2 hours, maybe getting to hit another 300 balls back and forth like a junior 10 year old ....... you get lots of practice and you bore everyone to sleep.:shock::shock:

150mph_
07-12-2009, 08:34 AM
Sure, when you get a slow moving shoulder high ball, you should push it back slower and higher, so you can sustain the rally and hog the court for another 2 hours, maybe getting to hit another 300 balls back and forth like a junior 10 year old ....... you get lots of practice and you bore everyone to sleep.:shock::shock:


OP didnt specify slow or fast...
some well hit topspin shots come at you fast as hell and bounce shoulder/head high... those you push back because hitting a winner off of one of those is difficult

LeeD
07-12-2009, 08:36 AM
What about the slow ones?
For a good player, EVERY high ball is a slow incoming ball.
Think about it!

OhDear
07-12-2009, 09:59 AM
Honestly, you could have just searched this and read one of the million similar threads.

150mph_
07-12-2009, 10:01 AM
What about the slow ones?
For a good player, EVERY high ball is a slow incoming ball.
Think about it!

if you are asking questions on the forum... then you probably arent good...
think about it

plum
07-13-2009, 05:47 AM
Lsmkenpo Thanks. I think your right. Not being sure how high the ball is going to be initially I'm sure I set up too low and then by the time i make contact my racquet face is all messed up, probably too open. I've been doing better this week by simply setting up higher by tracking the ball and then if it is high enough just flatten it out with no topspin. But i would still like to being to hit like a semi western topspin high ball. I thought thats what I have seen done, but maybe I am imagining it. I thought Soderling hits like this? P.S. as far as OhDear is concerned: mind your own business or contribute something more than wasted space. Since this is such a similar thread why in the world are you wasting your time here? Are you the repeat thread police?

Lsmkenpo
07-13-2009, 07:17 PM
Lsmkenpo Thanks. I think your right. Not being sure how high the ball is going to be initially I'm sure I set up too low and then by the time i make contact my racquet face is all messed up, probably too open. I've been doing better this week by simply setting up higher by tracking the ball and then if it is high enough just flatten it out with no topspin. But i would still like to being to hit like a semi western topspin high ball. I thought thats what I have seen done, but maybe I am imagining it. I thought Soderling hits like this? P.S. as far as OhDear is concerned: mind your own business or contribute something more than wasted space. Since this is such a similar thread why in the world are you wasting your time here? Are you the repeat thread police?

Try the windshield wiper finish to add topspin to the high forehand, use the same, higher more linear swing plane as before, swing through the ball but turn your forearm over at contact as if you were checking the time on a watch, accelerate all the way through contact and follow through.

plum
07-14-2009, 05:37 AM
Interesting, somehow i get you but also confused. Sounds like your say hit straight but then add topspin with just the follow through. Is tht really possible. Have to try today. Sounds like your saying use a topspin follow through but with a flat and straight racquet preparation swing.

Sublime
07-14-2009, 06:06 AM
Like many have said. High take back. Don't let the racket hand go much below shoulder level if you're going to hit the ball shoulder or head high. If you're hitting from the service line, shorten up the take back too.

You also need to be sure that you aim low. This means that you close the racket face. If you think about closing your racket face, you'll probably overdo it. So just aim low. The closed racket face will impart some degree of topspin to the ball, so don't worry about generating topspin. Just aim low and swing through loose.

plum
07-14-2009, 07:47 PM
I like that advice. I had another poor day at the office of short high ball put aways. Seems like my racquet face is just at the wrong angle when i make contact. And I get this stupid feeling in my wrist like "I just made really poor contact with the ball". I'm starting to think I had it backwards thinking that the semi-western, which is as far as my grip sometimes goes, is the best grip for these balls. I am starting to wonder if I shouldn't treat these more like volleys and adopt the continental? All I know is even with a higher take back it seems that I just can't seem to time these shots properly. And what really upsets me is that these should be easy practically free points earned with a good serve that draws a short high return-- that I then proceed to just put away to either corner.

nyc
07-14-2009, 08:13 PM
as people said, don't let the racquet drop as low as you would hit in your regular hitting zone. Envision a more horizontal swingpath at shoulder height.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S5zweEQSnho

Bungalo Bill
07-14-2009, 09:28 PM
Need help please: Handling high balls-- mostly forehand. I don't mean overheads. I mean high bouncing chest to shoulder and head high balls. Some baseline but others at the service line. I play pretty much an eastern forehand. I might cheat a little toward semi-western but generally I do not play a full SW...

Well, an SW is a better choice for this shot as compared to an Eastern. With the SW you can use a sort of waving motion and go through the ball vs. up. You are in essence hitting flat but the waving motion will put topspin on it to bring the ball crashing down like your see in the pros.

The waving motion resembles the same waving motion that they do in the parades. Mak sure you hit flat through the ball.

albesca
07-15-2009, 12:32 AM
... Envision a more horizontal swingpath at shoulder height.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S5zweEQSnho

I don't seem it is so evident. I see the yellow line on the right side of video, second 1:14, is more horizontal when player hitting the lower. The greater difference i notice on comparison, is that on the higher contact, the hand is still lower then the contact point, on lower contact the hand is higher then contact point.
So doing, maybe at contact the racquet assumes a (little) closer face that produces the horizontal, or a bit high-to-low path we need to control that balls.

At second 1:04 of video, how sure you guys have noticed, the players goes down bending his knees more before hitting the higher ball ...

Do you think is this motion critical ?

Ciao
Alberto

Nellie
07-15-2009, 07:29 AM
What is your footwork like - I would move to a closed stance but keeping some distance away from the ball, and hit with an over- the-shoulder follow-through. An open stance is not the best for a high ball because you want to drive that shot

Lsmkenpo
07-15-2009, 12:45 PM
Perhaps it is not just the height throwing your timing off, but also the lack of pace.

Are you rushing the shot when you see the high sitter, getting too far ahead of it?

Try to slow down your timing by getting into position,stay relaxed, track the ball to the bounce and tell yourself wait, wait, hit. See if it helps your timing.

plasma
07-15-2009, 02:00 PM
maybe you should wake up and stop trying to crush high short balls with a modified Eastern Grip??? Get in where you fit in, pick your spots, Plum. pick your spots.... that's a ball to crush for more extreme less classical grippers, you should be slicing that shot or hitting a hard flat drive straight across.
Going for a winner on that shot is not a great idea. Going for a strong shot is ok. Kinda like dating, in that situation a strong intro will work 80% of the time, you're trying to get lucky too soon, never works.....gotta earn it

Piet Faasen
07-15-2009, 06:42 PM
A very common mistake for players on the high balls is not having enough space. space to the front and space to the side.

Getting too close to the ball.

Use your left arm to pull across and put it out to the right, kind of in your strike zone. This will help with the proper shoulder position(turn) as well as judging the height and distance to the front and side.

Using your non-hitting arm is very important to generate power as well as balance and distance.

This will also help with having the right angle with your racket face as well as wrist angle(being laid back)

Hope this helps.

Piet Faasen
onlinetennisforums@gmail.com

paulfreda
07-16-2009, 01:09 AM
Op said he wants a winner on this ball.

I found that full flexion release of the wrist with my SW grip results in huge pace on the short balls near the service line, hitting down on it just a bit.

From the back court hitting a winner is probably not a good percentage shot. Go for and practice pure contact with placement and depth.

plum
06-22-2011, 04:40 PM
well almost two years later and still can not seem to handle the high shorter ball (shoulder to head high) well. Should I be hitting continental eastern or semi western.

I have seen some of the women on tour hit a straight arm shoulder type shot that looks like a cross between and overhead and a high forehand.

When I try to use semi-western which is approx my normal grip now I can not seem to get my racquet face in the correct position.
I either hit long or in the net.

I am going to try to look at the back swing again.

When I change my grip to a eastern/continental I tend to just want to straight arm it and lose pace and it gets awkward.

Can't seem to find the right shot.
It is so frustrating especially on short balls that i know should simply be pounded for winners!

Please help me again...:oops:

toly
06-22-2011, 06:41 PM
well almost two years later and still can not seem to handle the high shorter ball (shoulder to head high) well. Should I be hitting continental eastern or semi western.

I have seen some of the women on tour hit a straight arm shoulder type shot that looks like a cross between and overhead and a high forehand.

When I try to use semi-western which is approx my normal grip now I can not seem to get my racquet face in the correct position.
I either hit long or in the net.

I am going to try to look at the back swing again.

When I change my grip to a eastern/continental I tend to just want to straight arm it and lose pace and it gets awkward.

Can't seem to find the right shot.
It is so frustrating especially on short balls that i know should simply be pounded for winners!

Please help me again...:oops:
First of all you should clearly understand how to hit flat FH (hit through the ball). Please try to read thread http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=368887 (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=368887) posts 8, 18, 24, 27.

dozu
06-22-2011, 07:05 PM
Plum, I am guessing that you arm the ball. i.e. you use your arm to swing the racket trying to hit a high ball.

forget about take back, swing path, blah blah.... contact point and swing path becomes very dependent on the grip, therefore what works for others with SW, will NOT work for you with Eastern.

you need to use your entire body, to toss your arm/racket unit up there, and then let the racket release... this way you will have a FH strike zone that is SEAMLESS to your FH overhead smash.

Try it, it's a very powerful feeling when you have 20 lbs of mass going up there and release.... with Eastern grip, you will likely have contact point a bit late, to the side of you, instead of forward like the SW players... you can hit close or neutral stance, doesn't matter, and you will follow thru over your head.

toss up high, easy as pie.

plum
06-23-2011, 03:29 AM
this way you will have a FH strike zone that is SEAMLESS to your FH overhead smash.


Well that would be amazing if I understand you correctly.

BTW, my forehand really looks to be in-between the eastern-SW.
My knuckle is right in-between bevels 3 and 4 on the angle.
Sometimes I push it around just a bit to get more spin, but any more than SW and I start hitting balls down into the net.
Any less and I have a hard time generating spin.

I guess I really need to have someone feed me a hundred short high balls and start pounding them.

I just don't want to scare my main partner because once I get this I'll have gone from a 3.5 to 4 overnight.

dozu
06-23-2011, 05:09 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SjbXWfACf2M

starting 0:07, some very high contact points.

this is what it looks like with a SW/W grip - the kid is not using the arm to raise the racket up there, he is using the entire body, legs/hips/core to toss the arm/racket unit up there, and then let the racket release thru the ball.

a simple drill maybe able to let you get this feel.... without a racket, just let you arm hang loose and relaxed, and do some shadow swings, and see how you can toss that arm up there.... you will feel the arm muscles themselves are barely engaged.. most of the momentum is generated from the racket drop from the top of the backswing, then assisted by legs/hips/core.

Federer has a SW grip that is not very extreme... watch his match videos and see how he handles high balls.

the problem with emulating Fed is that he is an extremely flexible human being :) .... I don't know your age/physique.... for me it's hard to emulate, so I (also with E/SW grip), usually just toss the unit up there, and let it fly over my head... you can see a few hits in my signature, one ball was above my eyes and I was able to put juice on it.

arche3
06-23-2011, 06:12 AM
Love that video. Kid is probably 15 lol.... Makes us look like tools here.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SjbXWfACf2M

starting 0:07, some very high contact points.

this is what it looks like with a SW/W grip - the kid is not using the arm to raise the racket up there, he is using the entire body, legs/hips/core to toss the arm/racket unit up there, and then let the racket release thru the ball.

a simple drill maybe able to let you get this feel.... without a racket, just let you arm hang loose and relaxed, and do some shadow swings, and see how you can toss that arm up there.... you will feel the arm muscles themselves are barely engaged.. most of the momentum is generated from the racket drop from the top of the backswing, then assisted by legs/hips/core.

Federer has a SW grip that is not very extreme... watch his match videos and see how he handles high balls.

the problem with emulating Fed is that he is an extremely flexible human being :) .... I don't know your age/physique.... for me it's hard to emulate, so I (also with E/SW grip), usually just toss the unit up there, and let it fly over my head... you can see a few hits in my signature, one ball was above my eyes and I was able to put juice on it.

dominikk1985
06-23-2011, 12:00 PM
you can do it with good strength, but why not take them a little earlier?

A chest high ball is a lot easier to crush than a shoulder high ball. It's only a couple of inches but at that height it really makes a big difference.

plum
07-02-2011, 10:32 AM
.... I don't know your age/physique....

HEY, I'm your age, my Birthday is December 24 1968.

Well you have me by 1/2 year...

I'm starting to think there is a shot between an overhead and a chest/shoulder high forehand.
Is that what is meant by "throwing one's racquet up there"?

ssonosk
07-02-2011, 11:01 AM
Either hit it flat or hit a high punch volly

plum
07-02-2011, 08:01 PM
I just had a Thought.

When watching the video (thanks), I noticed the young man is hitting the head-high-balls with the Racquet at more of a 45 degree angle instead of 90 Degrees.

Something that looks like in-between a forehand and an overhead.

Yet the swing looks like a regular forehand.
Maybe I am trying to hard to keep my Wrist straight when hitting high forehand -- in order to keep the racquet face parallel to the ground?

When I should be allowing the racquet race to move geometrically toward an overhead, meanwhile keeping my shoulder down?

Xizel
07-02-2011, 08:09 PM
I just had a Thought.

When watching the video (thanks), I noticed the young man is hitting the head-high-balls with the Racquet at more of a 45 degree angle instead of 90 Degrees.

Something that looks like in-between a forehand and an overhead.

Yet the swing looks like a regular forehand.
Maybe I am trying to hard to keep my Wrist straight when hitting high forehand -- in order to keep the racquet face parallel to the ground?

When I should be allowing the racquet race to move geometrically toward an overhead, meanwhile keeping my shoulder down?

If hitting with the racquet face opened makes your balls sail long, then yes, closing the racquet face can help you with that. The more the face opens, the more topspin you need. You need to find the right balance of the racquet face angle and the topspin. I had a bad balance in that I hit with a closed face and also heavy topspin, thus my bail dipped into my own court because of the downward angle and heavy spin.

Caesar
07-02-2011, 09:07 PM
Sounds to me like the easiest fix is just to change your forehand grip.

I'm a decent enough rec player (about a 4.5-5) and there's no way I could play quality high forehands with an eastern grip. The greater topspin imparted by the 'brush through' semi-western stroke is vital, otherwise I couldn't control it.

Heck, I'm pretty impressed that you can play a topspin eastern forehand at all. If you can do that, a fairly weak semi-western grip should be a doozy - I'd have thought it'd improve your game all around.