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user92626
11-16-2009, 09:02 PM
Does anyone change the degree of racket face, ie close it a bit, to cure a floaty, long-prone FH? Specifically move the grip toward western?

Today as usual I played around with different ways of hitting FH, and I changed my sw grip to be more western. I was suprised at how much control and spin I could get out of it.

Do you change the swing path or the grip/closeness of racket?

Bungalo Bill
11-16-2009, 09:42 PM
Does anyone change the degree of racket face, ie close it a bit, to cure a floaty, long-prone FH? Specifically move the grip toward western?

Today as usual I played around with different ways of hitting FH, and I changed my sw grip to be more western. I was suprised at how much control and spin I could get out of it.

Do you change the swing path or the grip/closeness of racket?

Please dont play with your wrist angle/racquet angle in fixing errors like this. You are asking for a never-ending cycle of tweaking. It is one thing to finesse the ball for a specific shot, it is another thing all together to turn the angle on the racquet face during a swing and try to control the exact angle when you hit the ball.

Developing players should hit the ball with a perpendicular racquet face and work on hitting through the ball with topspin no matter what kind of racquet path you take (nike swoosh or WW).

Let the angle of the racquet and your ability to finesse the ball take care of itself or do it for certain balls. Otherwise, keep it simple for your rally ball so you decrease your chances for errors. Let the racquet face angle happen on its own but aim to hit square with the ball as much as you can.

user92626
11-16-2009, 11:48 PM
BB, your advice is very interesting and makes me think.

My usual "sw" grip is the base knuckle touching the edge between two bevels and I hold the racket more L shape (in relation with the forearm). Tonight I moved the base knuckle to be completely on the bevel flat and extended the palm more along the handle, ie making it less L shape. First I did it to feel more comfortable.

i remember I kept the same swingpath, the same strike zone and the same concept of contacting the ball. I can't explain it well but I think by the time the racket contacts the ball it (racket) is already well on its way up and wrapping around in front, ie brushing & ww path, by the fact that my arm has already started curling and pronating.

raging
11-17-2009, 12:21 AM
user,
it sounds like you are on the right track, BB's advice is spot on.
Try to get a basic rallying grip (sw,eastern, extreme eastern... whatever you want) and then do everything, move your feet, to get this basic hitting position on your fh.
When you have got this rallying stability then start adjusting and tweaking.
Unfortunately that is exactly what happens when you start playing:twisted::twisted:
But at least you are getting your swing plane, grip basics down first and, the more you work on it, the better it will get :):).

dozu
11-17-2009, 07:30 AM
do what works for you!

you don't need other people to tell you what is right.... if closing the face / going more western gives you more control, then just do it.

this is exactly the reason that different people prefer different grips, don't get stuck on any artificial standard.

even the top pros tweek slightly on the grip from point to point.

if your opp hits low slices all day, cheat a little to the eastern side.... if a different opp sends high bouncing topspins your way all day, cheat a little to the western side.

play balanced, efficient, smart, tennis.

mike53
11-17-2009, 07:51 AM
Does anyone change the degree of racket face, ie close it a bit, to cure a floaty, long-prone FH? Specifically move the grip toward western?
Do you change the swing path or the grip/closeness of racket?

Although I am not above tweaking my grip, in the situation you are describing, I always concentrate on my swing path to get more topspin.

Slazenger07
11-17-2009, 08:04 AM
I change my swing path depending on the ball, and what I want to do with it. I always use an eastern grip, and hit very heavy topspin, most of the time I finish with the racquet over my head, and many times I finish with the racquet across my body, particularly when Im moving in to punish short balls.

Basically I quickly judge the ball and decide which swing path to use, but Id say I hit 70% reverse finishes, 30% across my body finishes. I dont change my grip.

LeeD
11-17-2009, 11:21 AM
I changed from Eastern to SW close to full Western 10 years ago to add topspin, but mainly to find a more solid grip that I could find every time.
I just lay the racket face down, grab it and good to go now.
For most forehands, my forward swingpath is slightly upwards, racketface slightly closed. When I retrieve wide balls with openstance, I slice high to low with face slightly open to slow the ball giving me time for recovery.
If you shots consistently go long, better do something to make it go shorter.
Don't flick your wrists.

Ripper014
11-17-2009, 11:40 AM
Please dont play with your wrist angle/racquet angle in fixing errors like this. You are asking for a never-ending cycle of tweaking. It is one thing to finesse the ball for a specific shot, it is another thing all together to turn the angle on the racquet face during a swing and try to control the exact angle when you hit the ball.

Developing players should hit the ball with a perpendicular racquet face and work on hitting through the ball with topspin no matter what kind of racquet path you take (nike swoosh or WW).

Let the angle of the racquet and your ability to finesse the ball take care of itself or do it for certain balls. Otherwise, keep it simply for your rally ball so you decrease your chances for errors. Let the racquet face angle happen on its own but aim to hit square with the ball as much as you can.

I absolutely concur with this advice... always try and hit the ball with as square a racket face as you can unless you are lobbing... you can adjust the amount of spin by the swing path of your swing and the speed of your swing. If you want more topspin just hit up more through the ball with more racket head speed.

Bungalo Bill
11-17-2009, 09:08 PM
BB, your advice is very interesting and makes me think.

My usual "sw" grip is the base knuckle touching the edge between two bevels and I hold the racket more L shape (in relation with the forearm). Tonight I moved the base knuckle to be completely on the bevel flat and extended the palm more along the handle, ie making it less L shape. First I did it to feel more comfortable.

i remember I kept the same swingpath, the same strike zone and the same concept of contacting the ball. I can't explain it well but I think by the time the racket contacts the ball it (racket) is already well on its way up and wrapping around in front, ie brushing & ww path, by the fact that my arm has already started curling and pronating.

The swing happens pretty darn quick which is why you just want to hit the ball square. You really should not be thinking anything else like having it at a certain angle. When you do this, you are open to so many bad things.

First, on such a violent swing, the brain can not control such precise details at contact. Again, by the time you have registered you hit the ball, the ball is already long gone.

The two most important things to work on are making clean contact and hitting on time. When you start worrying about your racquet face angle at contact, you are really asking for trouble.

Now, that is not to say that you can't do it on occasion or do it for a certain shot. I am just saying that for your rally ball, keep it simple, efficient, and effective.

user92626
11-17-2009, 11:18 PM
When you start worrying about your racquet face angle at contact, you are really asking for trouble.

Now, that is not to say that you can't do it on occasion or do it for a certain shot. I am just saying that for your rally ball, keep it simple, efficient, and effective.



I think those are the key point that one can use to "measure" an effective FH.

Since this is basically a fixed grip that I keep, have a predictable & simple contact point which I can replicate anytime, and more importantly for the first time my mind can sort of grasp the concept of where/how I can exert power into the stroke to make it powerful, ie the brushing and net clearance, without fearing that the shot would go out. Now the focus is on having a good form and adequate physical strength instead of ...well..random luck.

Thanks.

Golden Retriever
11-18-2009, 02:50 AM
For high forehands wouldn't it be necessary to close the racquet face a bit?

LeeD
11-18-2009, 08:36 AM
I don't know.
I've hit with and watched a few top pro players.
Seems when they go for extreme topspin, they contact the ball with slightly closed racket face.
When I hit a knee high forehand with extreme topspin, like doubles approach shots, I swing as hard as humanly (for an old folk) possible and close the racketface a bit. If I swing that speed and hit it square, it'd go waaaaaaaaaaay long. But normally, I'd open the face and slice it deep.
If you need to open to hit slice, wouldn't it stand to reason you'd close the racketface to hit extreme top? Not talking average groundie tops here.

salsainglesa
11-18-2009, 10:17 AM
for a high ball you adjust your contact point, the raquet face angle naturally changes thru the swingpath,you can keep a normal swnig path and be aware where is your raquet face starting to close... its very subtle... do it in practice....

for me, i hit the high ball further in front than a waist ball, thats the spot the raquetface is looking slighty downwards, and my swingpath isnt low to high, its across my body...
almost every stroke is across in my case, only on low balls i hit on an upwards path, and that is subtle too...

Bungalo Bill
11-18-2009, 10:22 AM
I think those are the key point that one can use to "measure" an effective FH.

Since this is basically a fixed grip that I keep, have a predictable & simple contact point which I can replicate anytime, and more importantly for the first time my mind can sort of grasp the concept of where/how I can exert power into the stroke to make it powerful, ie the brushing and net clearance, without fearing that the shot would go out. Now the focus is on having a good form and adequate physical strength instead of ...well..random luck.

Thanks.

We have a lot of players here trying to tweak their technique when there are other glaring weaknesses in their game. They may hit long too often for their likening, so instead of solving the problem, they work on the obvious which is usually the symptom of the problem such as their racquet face angle.

However, when a player is rallying, there is so much more going on that contributes to a clean and on-time contact with the ball. The most important area to work on for your rally strokes is not the angle of your racquet face or having a certain finish like Federer. The most important things to work on are the following:

1. Your tennis conditioning: Your ability to move and hit the ball is paramount in tennis. You need to constantly work on your tennis conditioning with three main goals in mind:

a. Improve your ability to get to a ball on-time that you couldn't get to before.

b. To keep your court closed after you hit the ball to the best of your ability and always looking to improve your ability to keep the court closed.

c. To move in such a way where you take less steps, cover more court, and arrive on time to take the ball in your strike zone to help improve your consistency.

Working on this aspect is just plain 'ol hardwork. However, before doing anything to your game, ask yourself if you are tough enough on yourself? Are you pushing hard enough? Are you going all out to be better than you were last year? This one area will improve a tennis player the most and the fastest and certainly more than angling your racquet face differently.

The other area is simply using good simple and duplicatable technique in your strokes. Such as:

1. Using your legs in your shot.

2. Bending at the knees and having a natural well-timed rise through the ball.

There are many aspects to technique and I agree with a lot of people that it can get as complicated as one would make it. The key difference is understand the fundamentals to technique that must be there in your shot and practicing them. There are technique guidelines in all areas from the legs on up. It is important for a player to master good technique while using their own style and talent to develop.

Key areas to technique are:

1. Movement

2. Legs, knees, feet

3. Hips

4. Torso

5. Shoulder/arms

6. Head

For movement, a player needs to develop footspeed and foot patterns. Conditioning is huge here and being able to do more with less oxygen in the tank.

For legs, knees, feet, a good knee bend is important to free the hips and to allow for a natural rise through the shot and a lift on the ball.

For shoulders/arms a good rotation is needed along with a good arm shape through the swing.

When I provide advice, if you notice it is usually the same thing over and over again. Why do I do that? Because it is duplicatable and can be repeatedly worked on all the time. It is fundamental and allows a player to still develop their own style and approach to the game.

Keep it simple and duplicatable. Something you can improve in. Maintain a square racquet face through contact and make sure somehow you are going low to high for topspin. If you master the fundamentals you will not worry about racquet face angle.

user92626
11-18-2009, 11:28 AM
^^^ this post of bb's goes straight to my tennis article archive :) Thanks.

user92626
11-18-2009, 09:28 PM
In this clip, Roddick really hits with a significantly closed racket face, most noticeably @ 1:00
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GpocoSPRkMA&feature=player_profilepage#


I do not hit with that much closed face, but i can feel the ball needs to be hit in such a way in order to get topspin and stay in.



I'd like to hear from those who usually hit hard, when you do that do you still keep in mind to keep the racket face perpendicular at contact point?

salsainglesa
11-18-2009, 10:24 PM
raquet angle could be thought theother way around, with the BALL in mind.
There is a relationsip between the height of the ball and the depth where you strike it with the angle the ball leaves your strings in order for it to land on the court.

example...

three difrent balls
a) ball lower than the height of the net at the baseline
b) ball higher than net and in your strike zone below your shoulders still at the baseline
c) ball higher than your shoulders,at the baseline too.

on each of them you hit the ball in a diferent place of the ball...

so, if you strike the bottom part of the ball, the ball will go upwards.... ball in case A.

if you strike it on the plane perpendicular to the ground, the ball will leave the raquet stringbed in a parallel trajectory to the ground... case B

if you hit the ball on the top of it, theball will travel downwards... case C

thevariation is not much, but it helps a big deal to differentiate this three diferent strike zones, so you are not thinking of the angle of the raquetface, but, where you must hitthe ball for it to go in the trajectory you desire...

if the ball is above the height of the net, you dont need to hit it upwards to makeit land on the other side of the court.
you can control the depth with the force you put into the stroke.

if you move farther back from the baseline, to a defensive position, a waist to shoulder height ball would be wise to be hit underneath, so you have more time to recover to the bisector of the possible responses...

so, what i do, is i have three fixed contact spots... low, medium and high...

high and low, are a little bit more in front of me than medium, theone perpendicular to the ground, because those are the natural places in my swingpath on wich the ball is struck in the correct angle.
the swingpath of the lowball is low to "high"
the swingpaths tothe other balls, are across my body...

they all finish in similar places with the stringbed looking almost to the ground.

also, i hit the ball as far from my body as possible, that makes the swingpath as reliable and constant as it can be, so you have to use your feet and move to keep the distance from your body to your CONTACT point CONSTANT! all three of them... actually, its only 2 different distances as stated before.

one last thing, as you get closer to the net, the angles become steeper... that you have to take into account, i had a lot of troubles with short balls, until i learned that they had to be handled differently...I like WW strokes, or sliced when very close to the net.

i forgot one more thing... feeeeel the ball, and trust your feeling, with time that feeling will tellyou how you stroke the ball more than anything

user92626
11-18-2009, 10:56 PM
Sal,

Interesting that you introduce the concept of hitting different places of the ball.


How can you "strike the bottom part of the ball" while not minding the angle of the racket face or while keeping it perpendicular to the ground? I would think that the racket has to face up in order to reach the bottom part. If you keep the racket perpendicular, there's no way to reach the bottom part of the ball.


"so, what i do, is i have three fixed contact spots... low, medium and high..." on the ball?



"the swingpaths tothe other balls, are across my body..."
See, I can also hit across the body like you said, and I used to do as a regular fh but when I began to work with power it easily became a long ball. So on top of hitting across the body I also employ the ww motion (a mild form of it).

user92626
11-18-2009, 10:56 PM
deleted dup. post

salsainglesa
11-18-2009, 11:22 PM
first i will tell you what not to do to hit with this aproach...
a ww by nature will present the raquet face in a fixed angle in reference to the floor for the most important part of the swingpath, that is prior to contact, and the contact itself, so, i am not talking about the WW....

this is a classic swingpath from low to high in wich the raquet face opens the more it advances...

in the swinpath across the body, the raquet changues the directon it faces....

it has to do with the angle of the arm in respect to the body...
a 90 angle ofthe arm and body will achieve a crossing siwngpath, a 45 degree angle, will change the swingpath from low to high...
so, the raquetface changes in a different way depending on this angles....

an angle above 90 degrees, would act the same way as an angle below 90 degrees, but in opposite directions, hence the raquet face closes as it advances.
that is why, there are only two diferent distances on contact points and the higher one is the same as the lower one...

some shadow swingpaths should help understand

salsainglesa
11-18-2009, 11:27 PM
and the problem you have hitting long, another soultion is hitting mildly above the ball... in a swingpath across your body.
The swingpath should be in an angle higher than 90 degrees in relationship to your body...

this is mostly conceptual, you have got to feel it....

also, you cant hit UNDER or ABOVE the ball exactly
using the clockface analogy, you would behitting at the 2 or 4 positions more or less if you are righty... at 10 and 8 if you are lefty or on your bh side.