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View Full Version : Hitting below the sweetspot - Optimum Contact Point for groundstroke


MichaelChang
12-19-2009, 10:57 AM
First thing first, for all who are going to post in this thread, please obey the rules:
1. No trolling/flaming.
2. No sales or any kind of market promotion.
3. Focus on the tennis technique only please.

For those who are not familiar with this subject, it was said, (written in the book, see picture), that the optimum contact point for a (topspin drive) groundstroke is to hit below the sweetspot.
http://i49.tinypic.com/70xutz.jpg

My question:
1. Which current pros (men or women), or retired pros, hit like this? (consistently).
2. Any up-coming juniors are being taught to hit this way?

ms87
12-19-2009, 12:39 PM
ignore this article, it's baloney

MichaelChang
12-19-2009, 01:16 PM
ignore this article, it's baloney

If you could please give a bit more detail reason. Thanks. This was not an article, but rather a page of a relatively popular tennis book.

travlerajm
12-19-2009, 01:44 PM
In my humble opinion, that's the optimum contact point for hitting the ball into the bottom of the net.

MichaelChang
12-19-2009, 01:58 PM
Not saying you are wrong, also not saying these guys are doing this on purpose (see pictures). But you can't hit dead-center all the time.

(if image doesn't work let me know).
http://buscador.emol.com/thumbnails/3/9/6/2d48a8ee.jpg
http://www.student.chula.ac.th/~51458729/andre.jpg

sureshs
12-19-2009, 07:42 PM
http://www.ace-tennis-coach.com/images/fanpix_roger_federer_forehand.jpg

http://www.theage.com.au/ffximage/2007/06/11/nadal_forehand_wideweb__470x290,0.jpg

sureshs
12-19-2009, 07:43 PM
OP, which book is this?

sureshs
12-19-2009, 07:46 PM
Does TW sell such a modern racquet with a modern sweetspot that extends to all the mains? I would like to buy one.

Bud
12-19-2009, 07:49 PM
Does TW sell such a modern racquet with a modern sweetspot that extends to all the mains? I would like to buy one.

Try the ProSupex Uniflex MP3... I really liked that frame... just didn't like the look of it.

crystal_clear
12-19-2009, 07:50 PM
OP, which book is this?

How to play better tennis in two hours

It sounds like "instant noodle" or "lottery ticket" to me.

julian
12-20-2009, 06:01 AM
Does TW sell such a modern racquet with a modern sweetspot that extends to all the mains? I would like to buy one.

You may consider using Power Tools of TW
http://twu.tennis-warehouse.com/learning_center/contours.php

Prince EX03 Red is a yardstick to compare

MichaelChang
12-20-2009, 06:18 AM
OP, which book is this?

<<Play Better Tennis in 2 Hours>>.
Page 150.

MichaelChang
12-20-2009, 06:20 AM
Does TW sell such a modern racquet with a modern sweetspot that extends to all the mains? I would like to buy one.

What is that Volk racket in that picture? :)

drakulie
12-20-2009, 06:59 AM
I have high speed footage of several pros. These are vids I took this year at the Sony Miami.

Not one pro hits in the manner described in this book. NOT ONE.

Players include: S. Bremond, Azarenka, Blake, Dent, Dulko, Federer, ferrer, Isner, jankovic, Murray, Mirnyi, Monfils, Nadal, Nalbandian, Schnyder, Tipsarivec, Troicki, Tsonga, etc, etc, etc,


Fed:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2zZsGa_YTCw

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

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


Lastly, as I have pointed out several times, the author is grossly incorrect in defining the ENTIRE STRING BED of the frame as the "modern sweet spot". he is full of it.

sureshs
12-20-2009, 07:45 AM
You may consider using Power Tools of TW
http://twu.tennis-warehouse.com/learning_center/contours.php

Prince EX03 Red is a yardstick to compare

My Prince Exo 93 has a bigger sweetspot according to the tools. Must be due to the extra weight.

But neither has the modern sweetspot shown in the picture. I think the military has taken over the technology once it was revealed in that book, and is keeping it classified.

sureshs
12-20-2009, 07:47 AM
On the page which OP has displayed, there is a reference to "a revolution in tennis teaching."

What do you guys think?

gzhpcu
12-20-2009, 07:53 AM
On the page which OP has displayed, there is a reference to "a revolution in tennis teaching."

What do you guys think?
I think it is just the emphasis on topspin shots from the very beginning...

julian
12-20-2009, 07:53 AM
My Prince Exo 93 has a bigger sweetspot according to the tools. Must be due to the extra weight.

But neither has the modern sweetspot shown in the picture. I think the military has taken over the technology once it was revealed in that book, and is keeping it classified.

Do you mean
Prince EX03 93 Mid?

sureshs
12-20-2009, 07:58 AM
Do you mean
Prince EX03 93 Mid?

Yes, 93 is the qualifier. There is a 100 which seems to be an entirely different racquet.

Jagman
12-20-2009, 08:01 AM
Still photos are not a good medium for describing an action sequence. Virtually all of the context is missing and cannot, IMO, be adequately replaced by a narrative. Photos in a text are primarily illustrative, and designed to give the reader a visual representation of what the author is talking about, and not vice versa. "The map is not the territory".

That's why, IMHO, seeking to learn from a competent instructor is so important. There are so many nuances and progressions involved in gaining mastery of a technique that also have to be constantly adapted for individual eccentricities. You just can't get that out of a book. Books are very helpful, don't get me wrong. However, books simply mirror human interactions (even scientific texts deal with the human perception of the world around us). You can't remove the human element from the equation.

For the same reason, Drakulie's video streams are more valuable. The action sequence is largely intact and, given good camera angle, etc., there is less information to fill in or interpret.

I'm no expert on photography, but it also seems to me that still pictures present interpretative problems with varying focal planes and a lack of dimension. The focus on one object results in less resolution for things around it that are in a different proximal relationship to the camera. When you consider these factors together with the inherent lack of context in still photography, I think you have a situation ripe for the creation of optical illusions. Personally, I think this hypothesis offers more of an explanation for those bizarre pictures of Sam Querry in the racquet-flipping thread.

I like pictures, just like the next guy or gal, but IMO, you have to be careful about the conclusions you draw from them. Pictures are most helpful where you already have quite a bit of information about the process and perhaps, an experiential base to draw upon. I would certainly regard pictures as less than determinative where the process itself is in doubt.

At least the detractors of OW should be happy. I think the boards have finally highlighted at least one area in which his teachings radically depart from mainstream tennis instruction. :)

OP, the racquet in the photo looks very much like the old Volkl Catapult 10. That frame was a midplus, gray in color, with a thin, white pinstripe IIRC.

As for the whole concept of hitting beneath the sweetspot, I'll choose to retain a healthy skepticism. I hit a fairly clean ball, but I don't even know how anyone could do that consistently. :confused: This seems more akin to advising players to hit off the frame itself to keep your opponent guessing about where the ball is going. :shock:

Cheers!

drakulie
12-20-2009, 08:01 AM
On the page which OP has displayed, there is a reference to "a revolution in tennis teaching."

What do you guys think?


I've asked this question 14 times and have yet to get an answer from Wegner, or any of his cult followers.

5263
12-20-2009, 08:11 AM
I have high speed footage of several pros. These are vids I took this year at the Sony Miami.

Not one pro hits in the manner described in this book. NOT ONE.

Lastly, as I have pointed out several times, the author is grossly incorrect in defining the ENTIRE STRING BED of the frame as the "modern sweet spot". he is full of it.

MChang, since you have a sincere interest in this, I'll point out several flaws in the above post, as these flawed ideas seem to dominate the discussion by the detractors of Oscars statements about hitting lower on the sweet spot.

1st- Drak does not have and has not studied, anywhere near a reasonable sample size to draw any reasonable conclusion, and has picked a few pics to try and support a conventional conclusion. Oscar has studied an incredible # of strokes over decades, and under a variety of conditions and racket sizes, with eyes of a touring pro and National/International coach.

2ond- Drak seems to have no understanding of what a sweetspot is, even using conventional terms. The sweetspot for each racket and even different strokes; is different and has to do with where a ball can be struck with the racket giving a solid and powerful FEEL. There is not one sweetspot and it is rarely if ever in the center of the stringbed. Oscar's pic shows a large area to account for this variety. The INTENT and PURPOSE of the pic is to focus on where the ball is striking, right below the strng bed center, and not to define the sweetspot for that racket! The pic is made into a larger oval to demonstrate a grouping of some of the sweetspots that can be encountered in different situation, and is not intended to depict a sweetspot on any one swing or racket.

Science approximates the Idea of a sweetspot in terms of power return in a more sterile state (clamped, not swung usually), not accounting for different grips or swings. It does not account for Feel, which is the primary aspect of a traditional sweetspot, except to occasionally look a vibrations.

3rd- His last point of saying Oscar's sweetspot is the entire stringbed is the most obvious and clear mis-info, as all can see the area outside the circle, while appearing small, would measure well over 100sq in I expect.

4th- If you look at the TW power return diagrams, you will see that the area that Oscar recommends for groundstroke impact (intent of pic) sort of straddles the red/blue areas, which are the power areas of the stringbeds unless you start to really get lower towards the throat (which is the most rare area struck IMO).

sureshs
12-20-2009, 09:06 AM
as all can see the area outside the circle, while appearing small, would measure well over 100sq in I expect.


Since the racquet looks like it is 100 or 105 sq in in head size, that means the modern sweetspot is 0 or 5 sq inches, yet touches all the mains and almost all the crosses.

As I said, this is a very unique racquet, possibly left here by an alien spacecraft, and seized by the military.

5263
12-20-2009, 09:08 AM
Since the racquet looks like it is 100 or 105 sq in in head size, that means the modern sweetspot is 0 or 5 sq inches, yet touches all the mains and almost all the crosses.

As I said, this is a very unique racquet, possibly left here by an alien spacecraft, and seized by the military.

Could you quote your ref on where the modern sweetspot is only 0-5 sq in??

benasp
12-20-2009, 09:24 AM
first, someone who focus on which string he will hit the ball is overanalysing a little bit.

then, if you apply topspin and your initial contact point is already below the center, your will probably end up framing it.

Jagman
12-20-2009, 10:43 AM
Upon reviewing the source material, Play Better Tennis in 2 Hours, I find myself unsure of what is actually being said or propounded as a teaching/learning tool.

The quote appears in Chapter 7, entitled "How to Return a Hard Ball". That chapter is very short, extending from pages 149-153. There are only two references to hitting beneath the sweetspot, with almost no elaboration elsewhere in the chapter or book. There is an italicized side bar that states "Hitting the ball off center helps keep the racquet closed". Then, in the text on page 150 is this small paragraph:

"The other critical factor in returning a hard ball is not to meet the
ball head on. Deflect it with the lower part of the strings. Just as
in martial arts, you turn your opponent's force around and send it
back in the direction it came from."
There is an interesting two-volume set of tennis instruction/coaching techniques published by the German Tennis Association entitled, simply, Tennis Course. Originally published in 1995, this was made available in English by Barron's in 2000. Volume 1 deals with "Techniques and Tactics". Pages 43-44 concern the ball's contact with the racquet face and ensuing trajectory. Two scenarios are presented: (1) the racquet strikes the ball directly on center, transferring energy to the ball with no spin, and (2) the racquet strikes the ball off center, creating spin. Hardly earth shattering, this is just a fundamental description of how the racquet imparts spin to the ball. What strikes me however, is that traditional tennis instruction speaks, understandably, in terms of the racquet striking the ball, whereas Oscar Wegner, at least in this particular instance, is placing emphasis on the ball striking the racquet.

I'm wondering whether the author is simply advocating the application of topspin to a hard hit return by the opponent, only using what appears to be a very backward explanation? After all, using topspin to control a hard hit ball is a better percentage play than trying to return it flat. And dealing with hard hit balls is the subject of the chapter.

Is this mostly a communicaton issue, because the chapter is not especially well written, and English does not appear to be the author's native tongue? Or is Mr. Wegner actually advocating using a particular part of the stringbed to strike the ball and recommending that players attempt this? 5263, as an MTM instructor, perhaps you could clarify this or offer some insight?

I seem to recall that Vic Braden did some research years ago and found that most players, including pros, did not make contact normally on the center of the sweetspot, but tended to go a bit north or south of there (I don't recollect which). It was along the lines of common myths that Vic was fond of busting with his excellent use of high-speed photography. I tried to find the reference, but had no luck. Still, noting what actually occurs in a stroke is a far cry from recommending that someone attempt to consistently strike the ball in a particular area of the sweetspot, let alone the stringbed. But then again, I'm not sure that's what Oscar Wegner is really saying.

FWIW, I'm not necessarily a proponent of MTM. I often make references to the "modern game", but do so only to contrast my classical training and traditional style of play with the more "modern" tendencies to hit groundstrokes from an open stance with excessive topspin. I have Oscar Wegner's book in my library, sitting not too far from several of Vic Braden's works. I have found Play Better Tennis in 2 Hours to quite helpful on occasion specifically because the author does offer a different explanation and emphasis on some common principles. It sometimes aids understanding greatly to use different words in an explanation or to come at a subject from another point of view. While I don't endorse MTM, I don't seek to diminish it either. I'm open to learning from all sources.

Cheers!

5263
12-20-2009, 11:55 AM
Upon reviewing the source material, Play Better Tennis in 2 Hours, I find myself unsure of what is actually being said or propounded as a teaching/learning tool.

The quote appears in Chapter 7, entitled "How to Return a Hard Ball". That chapter is very short, extending from pages 149-153. There are only two references to hitting beneath the sweetspot, with almost no elaboration elsewhere in the chapter or book. There is an italicized side bar that states "Hitting the ball off center helps keep the racquet closed". Then, in the text on page 150 is this small paragraph:

"The other critical factor in returning a hard ball is not to meet the
ball head on. Deflect it with the lower part of the strings. Just as
in martial arts, you turn your opponent's force around and send it
back in the direction it came from."
There is an interesting two-volume set of tennis instruction/coaching techniques published by the German Tennis Association entitled, simply, Tennis Course. Originally published in 1995, this was made available in English by Barron's in 2000. Volume 1 deals with "Techniques and Tactics". Pages 43-44 concern the ball's contact with the racquet face and ensuing trajectory. Two scenarios are presented: (1) the racquet strikes the ball directly on center, transferring energy to the ball with no spin, and (2) the racquet strikes the ball off center, creating spin. Hardly earth shattering, this is just a fundamental description of how the racquet imparts spin to the ball. What strikes me however, is that traditional tennis instruction speaks, understandably, in terms of the racquet striking the ball, whereas Oscar Wegner, at least in this particular instance, is placing emphasis on the ball striking the racquet.

I'm wondering whether the author is simply advocating the application of topspin to a hard hit return by the opponent, only using what appears to be a very backward explanation? After all, using topspin to control a hard hit ball is a better percentage play than trying to return it flat. And dealing with hard hit balls is the subject of the chapter.

Is this mostly a communicaton issue, because the chapter is not especially well written, and English does not appear to be the author's native tongue? Or is Mr. Wegner actually advocating using a particular part of the stringbed to strike the ball and recommending that players attempt this? 5263, as an MTM instructor, perhaps you could clarify this or offer some insight?

I seem to recall that Vic Braden did some research years ago and found that most players, including pros, did not make contact normally on the center of the sweetspot, but tended to go a bit north or south of there (I don't recollect which). It was along the lines of common myths that Vic was fond of busting with his excellent use of high-speed photography. I tried to find the reference, but had no luck. Still, noting what actually occurs in a stroke is a far cry from recommending that someone attempt to consistently strike the ball in a particular area of the sweetspot, let alone the stringbed. But then again, I'm not sure that's what Oscar Wegner is really saying.

FWIW, I'm not necessarily a proponent of MTM. I often make references to the "modern game", but do so only to contrast my classical training and traditional style of play with the more "modern" tendencies to hit groundstrokes from an open stance with excessive topspin. I have Oscar Wegner's book in my library, sitting not too far from several of Vic Braden's works. I have found Play Better Tennis in 2 Hours to quite helpful on occasion specifically because the author does offer a different explanation and emphasis on some common principles. It sometimes aids understanding greatly to use different words in an explanation or to come at a subject from another point of view. While I don't endorse MTM, I don't seek to diminish it either. I'm open to learning from all sources.

Cheers!

Great Post you made here and nice background. Honestly, while I'm not interested in dismissing Oscar's take on hitting below the sweetspot on GS, it's not something I take a lot of interest in, which is a big reason I have avoided answering several questions about it. I have looked at it as something that can be related to a steep topspin swing, and as something that a player finds thru lots of reps, but not something to strive to do. Maybe this is wrong??

I don't think this is something that Oscar teaches to do, but states that it is something that often happen for better TS shots with pros. What does often mean in this case? Can't say.
I don't think it is a big issue, other than for someone trying to find something to disagree with.
always nice to converse with an objective poster!
thanks,

sennoc
12-20-2009, 11:55 AM
I have high speed footage of several pros. These are vids I took this year at the Sony Miami.

Not one pro hits in the manner described in this book. NOT ONE.

Check this one:

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

Jagman
12-20-2009, 12:30 PM
5263, Thank you, sir! You summarized pretty accurately what I was thinking. While I'm always fascinated by why and how things happen, that doesn't always result in useable information. Speaking for myself, this does appear to be one of those areas which, after scratching my head, I just remount my cap and move along. No big deal.

Thanks again for responding to my question and for your contributions on TT.

5263
12-20-2009, 12:40 PM
5263, Thank you, sir! You summarized pretty accurately what I was thinking. While I'm always fascinated by why and how things happen, that doesn't always result in useable information. Speaking for myself, this does appear to be one of those areas which, after scratching my head, I just remount my cap and move along. No big deal.

Thanks again for responding to my question and for your contributions on TT.

You are welcome.
Yes, I think this is one of those things that sort of explains things you might notice looking at some footage, and how it can still work on a good shot,
as opposed to something that is a training goal.
Oscar may have more to say on it if I'm off base too much here.
Happy Holidays!

Xenakis
12-20-2009, 12:41 PM
The Fed uses the top of the string bed in this slo mo footage...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QvZ7prb43Lk

Perhaps one could find examples of top players hitting with various areas of the string bed rather than one specific spot. What would this contribute to the debate?

MichaelChang
12-20-2009, 01:09 PM
I'm open to learning from all sources.


Thanks, that is what I am trying to do with this thread.


I don't think this is something that Oscar teaches to do, but states that it is something that often happen for better TS shots with pros.

5263, could you please stop talking this name please? I am not interested in who invented this technique. That is why I don't even mention who wrote the book. I am only asking if this is valid technique, and whether it is being taught/used on the pros tour. And my question has not been answered yet.

Perhaps one could find examples of top players hitting with various areas of the string bed rather than one specific spot.

That is what I suspect. All the evidence points to this, so far.

MichaelChang
12-20-2009, 01:15 PM
INTENT and PURPOSE of the pic is to focus on where the ball is striking, right below the strng bed center, and not to define the sweetspot for that racket!

Thanks. I think this is what the Author tried to deliver to the readers.

sureshs
12-20-2009, 01:48 PM
Honestly, while I'm not interested in dismissing Oscar's take on hitting below the sweetspot on GS, it's not something I take a lot of interest in, which is a big reason I have avoided answering several questions about it. I have looked at it as something that can be related to a steep topspin swing, and as something that a player finds thru lots of reps, but not something to strive to do


We know your views already. You are the naughty one in the Oscar group. You never really believed in Oscar, did you? hehehe. I bet you don't teach modern tennis at all. I also suspect most MTM coaches don't, but just use it as sort of a credential to distinguish themselves from other coaches.

Jagman
12-20-2009, 01:50 PM
Xenakis and OP, I'm not sure if more pictures would be beneficial. For reasons previously cited, I have a lot of problems with still photography being used to support a particular contention. High speed photography is useful, yes, but it really needs to be done, IMO, in the format pioneered by Vic Braden, which precludes any actual footage of tournament play.

I'm not even sure if there is a debate here. There has been a lot of critical examination of some very brief statements by Oscar Wegner in his book Play Tennis Better in 2 Hours. Much revolves around the interpretation of statements by others that may not even reflect the intentions of the author.

I think everybody is in agreement that tennis players, including the pros, are likely to use all areas of the stringbed at one time or another during play. The question originally, as I understood it, was whether a prominent teaching professional (Mr. Wegner), had proposed players try to hit a particular area of the stringbed during groundstrokes (i.e., the lower portion of the sweetspot). To encourage someone to strive for this would indeed be revolutionary, and it is what drew my interest. After re-reading the quoted material in context, and receiving input from 5263, who is an MTM instructor, I really don't believe this is the case.

The tennis professional that instructs my 15 year old hails from Brazil. He is USPTA/PTR certified and speaks very good English. Still, there are times when his prose lapses and I find myself wondering what the heck he just said. If I think it's important, I'll ask him to clarify. Sometimes the meaning will dawn on me. Other times, I'll figure it just doesn't matter that much in the end, and carry on. This seems to me to be one of those occasions.

If Oscar Wegner, the author, did intend a radical departure in the thinking about how a ball does and should contact the racquet, I'm sure we'll hear more at some point in the future.

BTW, I'm a big fan of David Nalbandian. I regard him as an exceptional tennis talent, a fine gentleman, and wish him the very best in 2010. I'll be plugging for him in the Grand Slams.

Cheers!

Wegner
12-20-2009, 02:10 PM
Thanks. I think this is what the Author tried to deliver to the readers.

MichaelChang, thank you.:???: Here is one of my old tips, accompanied by video that a friend found and forwarded to me.

Tip of the Week: Off-center hits

One of the most common mantras in tennis is: hit the ball in the sweet spot. Is that now a misconception of old tech?

With the new racquets, this sweet spot has expanded. On the old ones, the size was about 3 inches in diameter. Today it is about twice as large.

Regardless of the size of the sweetspot, players today hit either on the sweetspot edge or outside of it. In many instances they almost seem to frame the hit.

Why is that? Well, first of all, modern racquets are very responsive. Too responsive in the sweet spot. And quite light, thereby not dependable as to stability.

It is much better to hit closer to the edge, especially on groundstrokes. Top players hold the racquet quite loose, and if they hit above the center the racquet tends to open and they overshoot the target. Hitting on the center is too wobbly, a quarter of an inch up and the racquet tends to open, a bit below the center and the racquet tends to close.

And that is the secret. Even though players may not know it consciously, they most likely feel it and learn it from experience. The result of low center hits is to keep the racquet closed, and therefore the ball safely in the court. Mind that top players assure net clearance by taking quite a margin above it. Sit at court level and you'll see this aspect of the game. Plenty of net clearance.

The problem of overhitting the target is usually hitting too flat. Hitting near the bottom edge of the racquet ensures more topspin, and keeps the racquet closed.

The opposite is true for volleys and slice. The contact is then above the center, which helps keep the racquet angle open. On volleys, though, very seldom pros go as close to the frame as they do on groundstrokes.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jk1eqm_vazU

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=inQvbT8uEGk

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xNPaZj4yn00

Wegner
12-20-2009, 02:21 PM
Tip of the Week: Off-center hits

One of the most common mantras in tennis is: hit the ball in the sweet spot. Is that now a misconception of old tech?



I meant:

One of the most common mantras in tennis is: hit the ball in the sweet spot. Is that now a misconception OR old tech?

sureshs
12-20-2009, 02:22 PM
Oh man where is drakulie? I think I will not respond at all but just leave it to him. Whenever I say something, the thread gets deleted and then there is no more fun.

Wegner
12-20-2009, 02:24 PM
Oh man where is drakulie? I think I will not respond at all but just leave it to him. Whenever I say something, the thread gets deleted and then there is no more fun.

Suresh, did you check the three videos I attached?

Wegner
12-20-2009, 02:27 PM
Oh man where is drakulie? I think I will not respond at all but just leave it to him. Whenever I say something, the thread gets deleted and then there is no more fun.

Suresh, I think is either playing at the park or sufing with BB in Hawaii. Take over!:shock:

sureshs
12-20-2009, 02:29 PM
Suresh, did you check the three videos I attached?

Yes I did. You may not remember, but in a deleted thread, I was the FIRST person to bring up this topic. In that post, I said I had noticed that Nadal seemed to hit topspin from the lower half of his frame. If I had not made that post then, we would not be discussing it now.

Then drakulie posted video evidence that pros hit all over the frame depending on circumstances, and then others pointed out that where they hit it is not a conscious decision but the outcome of the swingpath, racquet face angle, and so forth.

sureshs
12-20-2009, 02:34 PM
Suresh, I think is either playing at the park or sufing with BB in Hawaii. Take over!:shock:

BB is no longer in Hawaii. I will be there though (Big Island) week after Christmas.

Since I have you here, please look at:

http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=302954

I did not want to mention it in that thread, but in one of your videos which I viewed from a link once opened up that I don't want to discuss, you said the a similar thing about the twist serve: for a twist, snap your wrist. Now in the above thread, a MTM coach is saying similar to what was in the video - swing slowly before impact, and then use a wrist snap for a twist. This coach is recommending accelerating after the impact, and slow racquet motion before the impact. This is opposite to what is taught.

Please answer the above in that thread.

Wegner
12-20-2009, 02:40 PM
Yes I did. You may not remember, but in a deleted thread, I was the FIRST person to bring up this topic. In that post, I said I had noticed that Nadal seemed to hit topspin from the lower half of his frame. If I had not made that post then, we would not be discussing it now.

Then drakulie posted video evidence that pros hit all over the frame depending on circumstances, and then others pointed out that where they hit it is not a conscious decision but the outcome of the swingpath, racquet face angle, and so forth.

Correct, Suresh, and let me thank you first for bringing this fact to the surface. If you look at those videos, you'll see that they sometimes hit anywhere, including above the sweet spot. But if you look at percentages, it's mostly below the center, as you spotted. In the Federer video, which is the last one I posted on that tip, Roger hits a couple above the center and the racquet opens up slightly. But most of the hits are below. And you are right, it is not a conscious decision, it's instinctive, something they learned that feels better, and has better results (they'll know it consciously as well if they are coached by me, Ha Ha).

MichaelChang
12-20-2009, 02:43 PM
MichaelChang, thank you.:???: Here is one of my old tips, accompanied by video that a friend found and forwarded to me.

Tip of the Week: Off-center hits

One of the most common mantras in tennis is: hit the ball in the sweet spot. Is that now a misconception of old tech?

With the new racquets, this sweet spot has expanded. On the old ones, the size was about 3 inches in diameter. Today it is about twice as large.

Regardless of the size of the sweetspot, players today hit either on the sweetspot edge or outside of it. In many instances they almost seem to frame the hit.

Why is that? Well, first of all, modern racquets are very responsive. Too responsive in the sweet spot. And quite light, thereby not dependable as to stability.

It is much better to hit closer to the edge, especially on groundstrokes. Top players hold the racquet quite loose, and if they hit above the center the racquet tends to open and they overshoot the target. Hitting on the center is too wobbly, a quarter of an inch up and the racquet tends to open, a bit below the center and the racquet tends to close.

And that is the secret. Even though players may not know it consciously, they most likely feel it and learn it from experience. The result of low center hits is to keep the racquet closed, and therefore the ball safely in the court. Mind that top players assure net clearance by taking quite a margin above it. Sit at court level and you'll see this aspect of the game. Plenty of net clearance.

The problem of overhitting the target is usually hitting too flat. Hitting near the bottom edge of the racquet ensures more topspin, and keeps the racquet closed.

The opposite is true for volleys and slice. The contact is then above the center, which helps keep the racquet angle open. On volleys, though, very seldom pros go as close to the frame as they do on groundstrokes.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jk1eqm_vazU

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=inQvbT8uEGk

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xNPaZj4yn00

Thanks. I appreciate your input, and the way that we are only, purely, talking about tennis technqiue.

Now that you mentioned that pro hitting below the center may not be fully aware of this, but rather based on their feel/experience. I tend to think the same. I think maybe nobody was really taught to hit below the center.

Wegner
12-20-2009, 02:55 PM
BB is no longer in Hawaii. I will be there though (Big Island) week after Christmas.

Since I have you here, please look at:

http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=302954

I did not want to mention it in that thread, but in one of your videos which I viewed from a link once opened up that I don't want to discuss, you said the a similar thing about the twist serve: for a twist, snap your wrist. Now in the above thread, a MTM coach is saying similar to what was in the video - swing slowly before impact, and then use a wrist snap for a twist. This coach is recommending accelerating after the impact, and slow racquet motion before the impact. This is opposite to what is taught.

Please answer the above in that thread.

Suresh, that posting is incorrect. That happens when someone is trying to explain things from his own viewpoint, without carefully analyzing it. Complications, false data. I am sorry that misrepresents me or my tech. But I don't own anybody, so I just explain it in the simplest way possible, so it's easy to understand, and hoping it is going to be kept simple (and short) so it is easily duplicated by anyone.
And the part "Try forgetting everything you've learned. It didnít work, correct?" is a put down. I object to that.

Wegner
12-20-2009, 02:59 PM
Thanks. I appreciate your input, and the way that we are only, purely, talking about tennis technqiue.

Now that you mentioned that pro hitting below the center may not be fully aware of this, but rather based on their feel/experience. I tend to think the same. I think maybe nobody was really taught to hit below the center.

Thank you, MichaelChang. It's a fun game and worth every minute spent on and off the court, learning about people and about the game. I learn new things every day.
I have to sign off now, but I will check the thread and your postings tonight.
Best wishes and Happy Holidays, Oscar

MordredSJT
12-20-2009, 03:00 PM
The problem of overhitting the target is usually hitting too flat. Hitting near the bottom edge of the racquet ensures more topspin, and keeps the racquet closed.

The opposite is true for volleys and slice. The contact is then above the center, which helps keep the racquet angle open. On volleys, though, very seldom pros go as close to the frame as they do on groundstrokes.


I have a few problems with drawing the conclusion that players are either consciously or unconsciously hitting the baller lower or higher on the stringbed in order to create a desired effect. I find it much more reasonable to explain the fact that there is a tendency to mishit low on the racquet during more extreme low to high swings (though there are certainly plenty of examples of mishits towards the top edge as well) as a consequence of the fact that the racquet is moving in an upward direction at an extreme speed. When you combine this with a ball that is also traveling at an extreme speed, and a racquet that is already approaching the ball slightly closed...it seems reasonable to theorize that most mishits would be low on the strings and not high.

You see the opposite in regards to the volley, but not as extreme, because the motion is generally high to low...however the speed of the racquet is generally much lower on a volley than in a topspin groundstroke.

I'm also not sold on the idea that the deflection of the racquet after impact has an effect on the path of the ball. The real determining factors are going to be the magnitude and direction of the force applied to the ball. The ball/racquet contact event is very, very short in duration and the ball is off of the strings before any large amount of racquet deflection would occur. Whether or not it would have a noticeable affect on the ball during a very high speed topspin groundstroke...I find doubtful. This is one of the very reasons that the loose grip is a good idea. It allows you to swing faster, and trying to resist the deflection of the racquet is not really helpful anyway.

Considering the factors involved...it just seems more reasonable to believe that at those kinds of speeds, people are going to mishit all over the racquet to one degree or another...though they will probably tend to mishit more often in opposition to the direction that their racquet is traveling.

I fail to see how the racquet closing after the contact event will impart more spin to the ball....

sureshs
12-20-2009, 03:02 PM
Suresh, that posting is incorrect. That happens when someone is trying to explain things from his own viewpoint, without carefully analyzing it. Complications, false data. I am sorry that misrepresents me or my tech. But I don't own anybody, so I just explain it in the simplest way possible, so it's easy to understand, and hoping it is going to be kept simple (and short) so it is easily duplicated by anyone.
And the part "Try forgetting everything you've learned. It didnít work, correct?" is a put down. I object to that.

OK we will let that go. But what about the twist serve video clip of yours? You recommended swinging slowly before impact, then snapping the wrist. Let us forget the whole wrist snap vs pronation debate and assume you meant one of them, so as not to digress. Then how do you reconcile with the fact that students are taught to swing as fast on the second serve as the first, only putting more spin? If they have a slow swing before impact, and then a hard pronation/wrist snap, is that the technique you are teaching?

(Because that is the only thing I have found so far to be revolutionary for me. Things like delayed preparation and finding the ball are things I do by instinct and they can be so broadly interpreted that every opinion is correct.)

Bungalo Bill
12-20-2009, 03:09 PM
MichaelChang, thank you.:???: Here is one of my old tips, accompanied by video that a friend found and forwarded to me.

Tip of the Week: Off-center hits

One of the most common mantras in tennis is: hit the ball in the sweet spot. Is that now a misconception of old tech?

Not really. Maybe it got muddied up over the years by us nobodies. :) Sometimes things or sayings get like that and we have to revert back to the orginal defintion. Unless you were not aware of its meaning or someone didn't tell you, Jeff Cooper of About Tennis has this to say regarding the definition of a sweet spot:

Definition: Every racquet has three different sweet spots, but in a general sense, the sweet spot is the area of the string bed that produces the best combination of feel and power. The most powerful spot on the string bed is that with the greatest coefficient of restitution. The one with least vibration is found at the node of the first harmonic. The one with least shock is found at the center of percussion. Source: http://tennis.about.com/od/tennisracquetsfaq/f/faqracquets46.htm

So the definition has been around a long long time.

With the new racquets, this sweet spot has expanded. On the old ones, the size was about 3 inches in diameter. Today it is about twice as large.

I guess you are including all head sizes? 93 sq. and above? But I do agree in general that the sweet spot area has increased.

Regardless of the size of the sweetspot, players today hit either on the sweetspot edge or outside of it. In many instances they almost seem to frame the hit. Why is that? Well, first of all, modern racquets are very responsive. Too responsive in the sweet spot. And quite light, thereby not dependable as to stability.

Which racquets are you talking about? Are you including my racquet (see below) in this? Also, when you say players today do you mean pros as well? What about weighted racquets. I think you are implying that it is difficult to hit directly on the sweet spot or Center of Percussion?

It is much better to hit closer to the edge, especially on groundstrokes. Top players hold the racquet quite loose, and if they hit above the center the racquet tends to open and they overshoot the target. Hitting on the center is too wobbly, a quarter of an inch up and the racquet tends to open, a bit below the center and the racquet tends to close.

Oscar can you provide the study on this? I don't know if I am following you so I want to make sure. Doesn't this depend and vary? I do see this but is there a study on it that proves this is the only way pros hit the ball? Can it also depend on grip? Ball height? Player preference?

Federer:
http://cache.daylife.com/imageserve/09uA4415Rq0VX/800x.jpg

http://z.about.com/d/tennis/1/5/e/C/federer-forehand-poc-upper-belly-high.jpg

http://2008.usopen.org/images/pics/large/b_033_federer.jpg

And that is the secret. Even though players may not know it consciously, they most likely feel it and learn it from experience. The result of low center hits is to keep the racquet closed, and therefore the ball safely in the court. Mind that top players assure net clearance by taking quite a margin above it. Sit at court level and you'll see this aspect of the game. Plenty of net clearance.

Oscar, please explain this further. There are players (as shown above) that hit above the center to compensate for the collision between the ball and the racquet. Therefore, they will hit slightly ABOVE center so that the racquet squares at impact. Since the ball is only on the strings less than how fast you can blink your eye, I don't understand how you are getting that your way is what pros are doing when it is obvious not all of them are.

You are getting into an area that has some variables in it. One of them you mentioned above (net clearance), but come on, a player can hit with a square face and keep the ball safely in the court as well.

Hitting the ball with a slightly closed or square racquet is good, I just don't find your information as "the secret" because it isn't.

Here is Nadal:
http://www.theage.com.au/ffximage/2007/06/11/nadal_forehand_wideweb__470x290,0.jpg

http://static.zooomr.com/images/269592_be575665f8.jpg

http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/news/photos/2009-01-30/200901301233308420609.html

To be fair Oscar, here is a picture that supports what you are saying:

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/44775000/jpg/_44775552_nadal_416.jpg

The problem of overhitting the target is usually hitting too flat. Hitting near the bottom edge of the racquet ensures more topspin, and keeps the racquet closed.

So this is the only problem? Aren't we are talking about variables here Oscar? Swing speed, spin, swing path, how a person uses their legs, how a person uses their rotation, their technique, grip pressure, and what a player is doing with the ball?

A player can think about a slightly closed racquet face and drive the ball into the net as well right? A player can think about a closed racquet face and frame it bu misjudging the ball right such as spin and pace off the court?Doesn't Federer frame balls some? Doesn't he hit like you describe? Much of this is a players ability to keep track of the ball and concentrate along with coordinating their swing. Some of it comes from too big of a backswing or overrotation. They also can be out of balance and send the ball into the net or over the baseline.

The opposite is true for volleys and slice. The contact is then above the center, which helps keep the racquet angle open. On volleys, though, very seldom pros go as close to the frame as they do on groundstrokes.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jk1eqm_vazU

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=inQvbT8uEGk

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xNPaZj4yn00

Oscar, I think we are actually going the opposite way not that I don't agree with you. Are we suppose to go out there and think about hitting our volleys in the upper portion of our string bed now? I have never taught nor thought for myself that I should think about this. I can just imagine if I am in a fast exchange trying to make sure I hit the ball at the top of my string bed all the time.

It is so much simpler to jsut teach square or even slightly closed when a player hits the ball. Players will find the aread on their racquet that feels best to them Oscar without overthinking how to position the ball on their strings. Never have I see a player have trouble locating the sweetspot on their racquet. It doesn't matter if it is higher, lower, or in the center, the truth is it is even difficult for pros to hit dead center on the sweetspot of the racquet all the time.

Another source for you Oscar: http://www.physics.usyd.edu.au/~cross/tennis.html

Jagman
12-20-2009, 03:26 PM
Wow! There is no substitute for hearing from the author himself. Thank you, Mr. Wegner, for responding.

I'm still not clear on one thing. When you talk about hitting below the sweetspot, are you noting an effect of the topspin modern players are putting on the ball, or are you suggesting that players try to make contact with the ball there?

I could understand where observation might lead you to the conclusion that the ball is hitting below the sweetspot or at least appears to, given the limitations of human sight. Actually attempting to hit the ball in that area of the raquet face, and to do so consistently, would seem to require superhuman effort.

Or are you saying that this is a desireable effect that derives from using a particular technique in striking the ball; that you don't necessarily try to hit the ball below the sweetspot, but following a given technique will render that result?

I'd have a hard time getting my mind around trying to use a particular area of the stringbed, especially when it's not the center, to consistently hit the ball. If there's an easy way to do that, assuming it is worthwhile, I would like to hear about it. Seems that ability might have some useful application in areas outside of tennis as well.

Thanks again for chiming in here. That's very gracious of you. (I understand that you've signed off for the evening and don't expect a speedy reply. I'd be appreciative of any response, actually.)

Cheers!

sureshs
12-20-2009, 03:31 PM
Just look which strings are most frayed/have the most fuzz in the racquets of advanced players. Will tell you the truth.

Bungalo Bill
12-20-2009, 03:51 PM
Wow! There is no substitute for hearing from the author himself. Thank you, Mr. Wegner, for responding.

I'm still not clear on one thing. When you talk about hitting below the sweetspot, are you noting an effect of the topspin modern players are putting on the ball, or are you suggesting that players try to make contact with the ball there?

I am so glad you asked this question. It is where I am gettting at with the links I provided above but I want Oscar to answer yours and my questions. I will wait for Oscars response and then we can debate and provide examples for our case.

I could understand where observation might lead you to the conclusion that the ball is hitting below the sweetspot or at least appears to, given the limitations of human sight. Actually attempting to hit the ball in that area of the raquet face, and to do so consistently, would seem to require superhuman effort.

Again, awesome question. My bet is unless the pro is trying to do something special with the ball, they just attempt to hit it. Some pros hit with a square face while others slightly closed. Even the same pro can hit either way.

Some club players who attempt to hit with a closed face drive the ball into the net. Hitting below the center would complicate that even further. Many club players do not use their legs for lift nor possess the swing speed of pros to over compensate for this. Therefore, this is going to vary and should.

Or are you saying that this is a desireable effect that derives from using a particular technique in striking the ball; that you don't necessarily try to hit the ball below the sweetspot, but following a given technique will render that result?

I'd have a hard time getting my mind around trying to use a particular area of the stringbed, especially when it's not the center, to consistently hit the ball. If there's an easy way to do that, assuming it is worthwhile, I would like to hear about it. Seems that ability might have some useful application in areas outside of tennis as well.

I don't think it is as gracious as it seems. I think he is doing this because his cards were called. I hope I am wrong. However, you are abosolutely right which is why I don't even go here with players. This is the type of stuff you mention when there is a real problem and almost as a last resort. I am trying to understand how someone who claims that conventional tennis is complicated and full of "data" promotes this.

I appreciate your response and you made it in the right light. I am just glad you asked these questions as a person that is truly trying to understand.

Bungalo Bill
12-20-2009, 03:58 PM
I am going to go out on the limb and say that Oscar's information is false. There is no conclusive evidence that pros are trying to do what he said and that this is the best place to hit the ball on the strings. There is also no conclusive evidence that this eliminates or is the answer to hitting long or whatever. There is also no "secret" and therefore it is only Oscar's unfounded opinion from a few select videos or other sources that he is deriving his conclusion.

The videos below proves that pros do not always hit lower than the center as he is describing and it is not the secret. It is also something Oscar can't claim as the "secret". Can he say that pros sometimes hit in the lower portion of the center? Absolutely. Can he say that pros do this for different effects on the ball? Absolutely. However, there is no conclusive evidence to make his claim a hidden secret or that pros purposely try to hit the lower part of the strings for their shot.

When you close the racquet face and hit in the lower portion of the racquet, you are also increasing your chance to top the ball and send it into the net - especially if you do not have good technique in your motion and use of the legs. Players at the club level are better off just simply trying to hit the ball in the center of the strings (or even slightly above it) do to the natural opening of the racquet face at the time of collision. The ball is on the strings for such a short time that as long as you have a reasonably square to slightly closed racquet face and are swinging or hitting the ball with topspin low to high, depending if you used good tecnique and didn't over hit, you should be able to keep the ball in play without considering other variables.

The following video needs to be paused at the 18 second timeframe. Which shows Fernando Gonzales actually making contact with the ball near center. I don't know about any of you but Fernando has one of the most amazing forehands in the world.

Pause at :18 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFibX-inICg&feature=related

Pause at :06 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zVTmGJ7pFzU&feature=related

Pause at :04 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QvZ7prb43Lk&feature=response_watch

Pros do not consciously hit below center unless they are finessing the ball or doing something with it. Otherwise, they technically can hit anywhere (usually around center) to hit the ball in general.

Here is Novak to end this once and for all: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gq09yHPmKh0&feature=related pause at :15 seconds. If Novak is really thinking of hitting in the lower portion of the string bed at this time, he missed.

I will even be fair about this. Here is Rodger Federer perhaps thinking to hit in the lower portion of the racquet (I doubt it though). But I want to be fair. My position is there is no secret and pros attempt to square with the ball as much as possible.

But to be fair: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eVZVQMsb1AY&feature=related

5263
12-20-2009, 04:45 PM
The following video needs to be paused at the 18 second timeframe. Which shows Fernando Gonzales actually making contact with the ball near center. I don't know about any of you but Fernando has one of the most amazing forehands in the world.

Pause at :18 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFibX-inICg&feature=related

Pause at :06 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zVTmGJ7pFzU&feature=related

Pause at :04 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QvZ7prb43Lk&feature=response_watch

Pros do not consciously hit below center unless they are finessing the ball or doing something with it. Otherwise, they technically can hit anywhere (usually center) to hit the ball in general.

Here is Novak to end this once and for all: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gq09yHPmKh0&feature=related pause at :15 seconds. If Novak is really thinking of hitting in the lower portion of the string bed at this time, he missed.

Have to applaud bb for a couple of more objective posts.
Interesting that in the first and last of the 3 vids, I was able to stop each, showing how there was more stringbed above the ball than below.
In the middle vid of the 3, the ball did hit above the center, but also did open as Oscar predicts.

The vid of DJ was amazing in showing how much bed deflection takes place. Wonder if that ball cleared the net as it appeared to be headed slightly down off the face?

drakulie
12-20-2009, 07:28 PM
1st- Drak does not have and has not studied, anywhere near a reasonable sample size to draw any reasonable conclusion, and has picked a few pics to try and support a conventional conclusion.

This is what we all like about you. Your attention to detail. :roll:

First off, I didn't post photos. I posted several high speed *VIDEOS*.

Oscar has studied an incredible # of strokes over decades, and under a variety of conditions and racket sizes, with eyes of a touring pro and National/International coach.


So what you are saying is all the pros I mentioned, which I took high speed video of, decided for this one particualar tournament, to hit the ball in mostly the middle of the string bed.

However, all the other tournaments these same pros played at, when Oscar was observing them, they hit the ball on the very last main, like shown in the photo of Oscar's book. LMAO!!!



2ond- Drak seems to have no understanding of what a sweetspot is, even using conventional terms.

Well, going by Oscar's definition of where a sweet spot is>>> no I don't. I wasn't aware he was able to change the definition to make the sweet spot the last main on a string bed.


3rd- His last point of saying Oscar's sweetspot is the entire stringbed is the most obvious and clear mis-info, as all can see the area outside the circle, while appearing small, would measure well over 100sq in I expect.

So, now you are "authoring" the book for Oscar, and re-defining what he means? LOL This is absolutely hysterical.

drakulie
12-20-2009, 07:47 PM
Suresh, I think is either playing at the park or sufing with BB in Hawaii. Take over!:shock:


15th Request.

Please provide the "revolutionay/modern" way in which you (MTM) teaches a volley.

Thanks.


Correct, Suresh, and let me thank you first for bringing this fact to the surface. If you look at those videos, you'll see that they sometimes hit anywhere, including above the sweet spot. But if you look at percentages, it's mostly below the center, as you spotted. In the Federer video, which is the last one I posted on that tip, Roger hits a couple above the center and the racquet opens up slightly. But most of the hits are below. And you are right, it is not a conscious decision, it's instinctive, something they learned that feels better, and has better results (they'll know it consciously as well if they are coached by me, Ha Ha).

Do you have data to back this up? But I'll play along anyways:

Contrary to your grossly inncaurate definition of a sweet spot, the sweet spot of any frame is for the most part in the center of the string bed. Not the entire string bed, as you point out.

Now, hitting the very center of the string bed (where part or most of the sweet spot is located) every time is impossible even for pros. So, the fact they are swinging up to generate top spin, would naturally mean they would mostly (when they miss the sweet spot) be hitting the lower part of this particualr area, so you really aren't saying much. This does not have to be taught, rather, any player would do this without having to "consciously" make an effort to do so.

Once again, you are talking rubbish.

5263
12-20-2009, 08:14 PM
This is what we all like about you. Your attention to detail. :roll:

First off, I didn't post photos. I posted several high speed *VIDEOS*.




Yep, you got me there. I typed pics where it should have been vids. Guess that changes everything. Back to the ole drawing board, lol.

Cindysphinx
12-20-2009, 08:33 PM
OK, here is my take:

This book is called something like "Play Better Tennis in Two Hours." Presumably this is intended for beginner/intermediate players.

I have actually been a beginner player in the recent past, and most impartial observers would classify me as an intermediate player.

My reaction to all of this sweet spot talk is: What the heck.

I have a bazillion things to get right to hit a good shot. Gotta get there, set up, do correct backswing, correct arm and wrist position, correct ball height, watch the flippin ball . . . There's a lot going on and a lot that can go wrong.

And now you want me to pay attention to the part of my string bed that hits the ball, specifically aiming to make the ball come off the lower part of the strings?

My own pro has a somewhat simpler take on things. Move your butt, get the ball into your stroke zone, maintain good balance and watch the ball. If you do those things, the ball will do what you want most of the time.

Thank goodness he doesn't also want me to contact the ball with a particular part of the stringbed. If he did, I might have to lay down my rackets and take up knitting.

Cindy -- who knows when the ball has hit the sweet spot because of the almost irresistable urge to shourt "Boo-yow!"

gzhpcu
12-20-2009, 10:39 PM
I like Wegner's idea that you try to hit from the lower half of the racket for topspin. It is a brushing movement. Whether or not it is actually done is another question, but the image helps I find.

5263
12-21-2009, 03:21 AM
I like Wegner's idea that you try to hit from the lower half of the racket for topspin. It is a brushing movement. Whether or not it is actually done is another question, but the image helps I find.

Excellent point. Most of MTM instruction is based on simple images that generally work for players. If one does not work for you, don't get hung up on it.

MichaelChang
12-21-2009, 05:19 AM
First of all, I'd like to thank everybody for your inputs. But, to avoid this thread going down south, I'd also like to remind everyone to focus on the tennis technique only please. So, No finger pointing, and no promotion please.

Let me summarize what has been discovered so far:
1. Pros may not be hitting below sweetspot intentionally. They are most likely hitting all over the stringbed.
2. Some pro may like hitting below, or with the "most feel" hitting like that. But we don't know, unless we ask that pro.
3. Whether hitting below(keeping racket closed) provides real impact after the ball left the string, is still somewhat up to debate.
4. I probably missed something.

drakulie
12-21-2009, 06:06 AM
Yep, you got me there. I typed pics where it should have been vids. Guess that changes everything.


Yup, I sure did. Just in the one vid I provide of fed (shot at 600 FPS), he hits several forehands, and contrary to your and Oscar's findings he is not hitting on the lower portion of the string bed. He is hitting many shots dead center, some higher, some lower, etc.

This is true for all the vids I took, of many pros.

Back to the ole drawing board, lol.

Don't bother. For two weeks you have been unable to provide even one simple teaching instruction for the volley that is either "modern/ or revolutionary".

All you and your leader do is make excuses and dodge a question you obviously can't answer, because it is clear there is absolutely nothing modern or revolutionary in Oscar's teachings.

drakulie
12-21-2009, 06:09 AM
Let me summarize what has been discovered so far:
1. Pros may not be hitting below sweetspot intentionally. They are most likely hitting all over the stringbed.
2. Some pro may like hitting below, or with the "most feel" hitting like that. But we don't know, unless we ask that pro.
3. Whether hitting below(keeping racket closed) provides real impact after the ball left the string, is still somewhat up to debate.
4. I probably missed something.


In regards to # 3, there is abo****ely zero a racquet will do to have any type of impact on a ball that is already in flight. So, there is no debate. This isn't Wii, where moving the remote around will make the ball follow your lead. Perhaps this is where Oscar got his inspiration and "findings">>> playing the Wii Tennis game.

drakulie
12-21-2009, 06:11 AM
OK, here is my take:

This book is called something like "Play Better Tennis in Two Hours." Presumably this is intended for beginner/intermediate players.

I have actually been a beginner player in the recent past, and most impartial observers would classify me as an intermediate player.

My reaction to all of this sweet spot talk is: What the heck.

I have a bazillion things to get right to hit a good shot. Gotta get there, set up, do correct backswing, correct arm and wrist position, correct ball height, watch the flippin ball . . . There's a lot going on and a lot that can go wrong.

And now you want me to pay attention to the part of my string bed that hits the ball, specifically aiming to make the ball come off the lower part of the strings?

My own pro has a somewhat simpler take on things. Move your butt, get the ball into your stroke zone, maintain good balance and watch the ball. If you do those things, the ball will do what you want most of the time.

Thank goodness he doesn't also want me to contact the ball with a particular part of the stringbed. If he did, I might have to lay down my rackets and take up knitting.

Cindy -- who knows when the ball has hit the sweet spot because of the almost irresistable urge to shourt "Boo-yow!"

Nicely put, and what a good instructor teaches their students.

1. Move into position (keep on your toes/footwork)
2. Keep your eye on the ball (steady head)
3. Correct and early back swing.

etc.

MichaelChang
12-21-2009, 06:17 AM
Edit:
Sorry I have to rephrase my question, it is not after the ball left the string, it is rather whether the following is true:
As long as the racket angle is fixed, eg, if the racket face is closed (or square) when hitting the ball, does not matter whether it strikes the ball at center, or above, or below, the ball will fly the same trajectory/length, and with same spin?

drakulie
12-21-2009, 06:24 AM
So you are saying as long as the racket angle is fixed, eg, if the racket face is closed (or square) when hitting the ball, does not matter whether it strikes the ball at center, or above, or below, the ball will fly the same trajectory/length, and with same spin?


No, I'm not saying this at all. Please go back and read what you wrote, and then my response.

You state, "*after* the ball has left the string".

I countered by stating, nothing a racquet does after the ball leaves the strings will effect it's flight.

MichaelChang
12-21-2009, 06:30 AM
Sorry just edited my post :) I agree nothing can be done after the ball left string. I was wondering actually when striking the ball, the above/center/below has any impact or not.

But I guess this whole thing is not making any difference. As even pro can not hit dead center all the time, what can we average Joe do. I'd be glad to hit the ball with pace with consistency, be it above or below the center.

drakulie
12-21-2009, 06:42 AM
I was wondering actually when striking the ball, the above/center/below has any impact or not.

Of course it does. For one example, If you hit too close to the frame, you have a loss in power. The frame is also more likely to twist, and as a result, you lose "plow' (pace), spin, which leads to lack of depth, etc, etc, etc.

Even sillier is the diagram in Oscar's book, where it leads you to believe hitting the one or two strings on the lower part of the string bed is "optimum".

Imagine stringing your racquet with two strings, and trying to actually hit the ball and do something with it. What do you think will be the effect? Now consider stringing the racquet with the same two strings, but only in the locatoin where the last two mains go. Again, what do you think the effect will be?


But I guess this whole thing is not making any difference. As even pro can not hit dead center all the time, what can we average Joe do. I'd be glad to hit the ball with pace with consistency, be it above or below the center.

Exactly.

sureshs
12-21-2009, 07:24 AM
OK, here is my take:

This book is called something like "Play Better Tennis in Two Hours." Presumably this is intended for beginner/intermediate players.

I have actually been a beginner player in the recent past, and most impartial observers would classify me as an intermediate player.

My reaction to all of this sweet spot talk is: What the heck.

I have a bazillion things to get right to hit a good shot. Gotta get there, set up, do correct backswing, correct arm and wrist position, correct ball height, watch the flippin ball . . . There's a lot going on and a lot that can go wrong.

And now you want me to pay attention to the part of my string bed that hits the ball, specifically aiming to make the ball come off the lower part of the strings?

My own pro has a somewhat simpler take on things. Move your butt, get the ball into your stroke zone, maintain good balance and watch the ball. If you do those things, the ball will do what you want most of the time.

Thank goodness he doesn't also want me to contact the ball with a particular part of the stringbed. If he did, I might have to lay down my rackets and take up knitting.

Cindy -- who knows when the ball has hit the sweet spot because of the almost irresistable urge to shourt "Boo-yow!"

The book is divided into 3 sections if I remember right, beginning, intermediate, and advanced, and this tip is in the advanced player area.

sureshs
12-21-2009, 07:33 AM
As I said, way to prove it is to look at fuzz/fray areas.

Other way to understand this is by sound. The first thing that one notices when watching high level players from up close is the "thud" sound on impact. I believe this is because of contact at the sweetspot or close to it, and the lack of this sweet sound in low level players is their inability to do so.

Bungalo Bill
12-21-2009, 09:10 AM
Correct, Suresh, and let me thank you first for bringing this fact to the surface. If you look at those videos, you'll see that they sometimes hit anywhere, including above the sweet spot. But if you look at percentages, it's mostly below the center, as you spotted. In the Federer video, which is the last one I posted on that tip, Roger hits a couple above the center and the racquet opens up slightly. But most of the hits are below. And you are right, it is not a conscious decision, it's instinctive, something they learned that feels better, and has better results (they'll know it consciously as well if they are coached by me, Ha Ha).

Oscar, I don't think this is anything to base instruction around for players learning the sport or for intermediates. I also don't think you are right about your findings concerning the percentage of pros hitting that way. In a way, I believe you are stretching.

Further, if you really are into noticing the majority of pro players doing something, then you would have agreed that pros prepare early and before the ball bounces. However, in the past, you have refused to acknowledge this even with video evidence.

I think your percentage will probably rise on low balls or balls being finnessed. However, for day in and day out shots, no way.

I also don't think that this is really as big of a deal as you are making it. There are other more critical areas in players games concerning reasons they hit long.

Bungalo Bill
12-21-2009, 09:19 AM
First of all, I'd like to thank everybody for your inputs. But, to avoid this thread going down south, I'd also like to remind everyone to focus on the tennis technique only please. So, No finger pointing, and no promotion please.

Let me summarize what has been discovered so far:
1. Pros may not be hitting below sweetspot intentionally. They are most likely hitting all over the stringbed.

Correct.

2. Some pro may like hitting below, or with the "most feel" hitting like that. But we don't know, unless we ask that pro.

Correct, however, it isn't limited to pro with the most feel. It can also depend on what they are doing with the ball, maybe they took their eye off the ball, etc...

3. Whether hitting below(keeping racket closed) provides real impact after the ball left the string, is still somewhat up to debate.

There is no real debate here. A player can slightly close the racquet at contact. However, what isn't valid is Oscar linking players hitting long because they don't close the racquet face or hit below-center of the racquet. Just use your common sense. If it was this easy, we would have solved this a long time ago. The truth is, there are more variables to this than just this.

To contrast Oscar statements, some players start playing with their wrist and focus on the racquet angle at contact which is something I strongly suggest players don't do. The swing is too fast and you should be concentrating on other things. Second, this goes against Oscars attempt to "CLEAR THE MIND". I have never had an issue with players just knowing to maintain a square face at contact. A square racquet face at contact witrh the strings going up the back of the ball is all a player needs to worry about.

4. I probably missed something.

No, you haven't missed anything. That was a good summary. Just remeber that you should not make your contact with the ball this precise. one of the biggest benefits of today's racquet is its more forgiving contact area. The larger head sizes allow us to swing for topspin with less risk of framing and off center shots. However, to think about where on the racquet face you are hitting every single ball? Please, don't.

drakulie
12-21-2009, 09:24 AM
However, to think about where on the racquet face you are hitting every single ball? Please, don't.

It's apparent you aren't an MTM Certified instructor. :)

Bungalo Bill
12-21-2009, 09:40 AM
And that is the secret. Even though players may not know it consciously, they most likely feel it and learn it from experience. The result of low center hits is to keep the racquet closed, and therefore the ball safely in the court. Mind that top players assure net clearance by taking quite a margin above it. Sit at court level and you'll see this aspect of the game. Plenty of net clearance.

Oscar, the bold part of this is very correct. This is why I have my drill with telescoping poles raising a rop that is across the net. Players get used to the swing speed necessary to put topspin and a certain amount of pace to keep the ball deep and less attackable. They also learn to move the ball around better.

The saying that you provided has long time been said. In Vic Braden's Tennis 2000 book on Page 16, he wrote, "Players who continue to visualize a low net simply reinforce one of the most prevalent myths destroying good tennis everywhere: the concept that tennis balls should be hit on a horizontal plane, with hard, line-drive shots the ideal. Interestingly, the pros have an entirely different approach. They know that tennis is not just a driving game, but a lifting game; that to hit the ball hard and still make it come fdown inside their opponent's court, they must develop an ability to hit topspin while elevating the ball four to six feet over the net (my drill with the telescoping poles I learned from Braden) when both players are at the baseline. The pros also know that balls hit on a horizontal plane begin to drop sooner than balls hit at the same speed by elevated with topspin.

Thus I'm always amused at the paradox illustrated by the average player who says, "I can't wait to play like a pro and hit shotse nice low net-skimmers," and the pro goes into the locker room after a match and moans, "Jeez, I'm playing so crummy. My ball's going so close to the net it's a joke."

This is what I mean that the stuff you bring up is not new or "modern". In fact, much of the information you provide is conventional (common understanding).

gzhpcu
12-21-2009, 10:10 AM
In Vic Braden's Tennis 2000 book on Page 16, he wrote, "Players who continue to visualize a low net simply reinforce one of the most prevalent myths destroying good tennis everywhere: the concept that tennis balls should be hit on a horizontal plane, with hard, line-drive shots the ideal. Interestingly, the pros have an entirely different approach. They know that tennis is not just a driving game, but a lifting game; that to hit the ball hard and still make it come fdown inside their opponent's court, they must develop an ability to hit topspin while elevating the ball four to six feet over the net (my drill with the telescoping poles I learned from Braden) when both players are at the baseline. The pros also know that balls hit on a horizontal plane begin to drop sooner than balls hit at the same speed by elevated with topspin.

Thus I'm always amused at the paradox illustrated by the average player who says, "I can't wait to play like a pro and hit shotse nice low net-skimmers," and the pro goes into the locker room after a match and moans, "Jeez, I'm playing so crummy. My ball's going so close to the net it's a joke."

This is what I mean that the stuff you bring up is not new or "modern". In fact, much of the information you provide is conventional (common understanding).
Right. Watch this: Murray training with Corretja... note how high the ball goes over the net..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZsXIM_12dIE

Bungalo Bill
12-21-2009, 11:04 AM
Right. Watch this: Murray training with Corretja... note how high the ball goes over the net..

tp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZsXIM_12dIE

Thanks. I also would like to know how this hitting on the bottom center of the racquet has to do with hitting ACROSS the ball. By the looks of the video Oscar provided I don't see the "hitting across the ball stuff."

I understand what it means but need to read the connection.

gzhpcu
12-21-2009, 11:27 AM
Thanks. I also would like to know how this hitting on the bottom center of the racquet has to do with hitting ACROSS the ball. By the looks of the video Oscar provided I don't see the "hitting across the ball stuff."

I understand what it means but need to read the connection.
IMHO: the racket is well below the hand level and begins to lift and, at the same time, the forearm begins to pronate rapidly. This combination gives a hitting up (the racket comes up) and across (the forearm pronates) effect. The racket being well below the hand means that the target is the lower half of the racket.

Sublime
12-21-2009, 11:39 AM
If you aim to hit below the center line, in order to help keep the racket face closed, keep in mind:

* The ball is off the strings, well before your racket turns off axis (opens or closes).

* If the racket closes (or opens) that means energy from the collision of hitting the ball went into spinning the racket in your hand and less energy went into putting velocity and spin on the tennis ball.

* Because of the direction the racket is moving when hitting a topspin shot, you are more likely to miss below the sweetspot than above. For this reason, you should aim to hit above the sweetspot, giving you more margin for error.

Power Player
12-21-2009, 01:19 PM
From seeing the ink residue from the tennis balls rub on my strings (I use the dunlop player elite with the Red ink) I tend to hit in the middle or a little below it. I also hit across the ball more. This really helps with my 2 handed backhand. It is tough to describe, but the action of doing that draws the ball back into the lines when I go down then lines for a tight shot.

I read aboutt his concept on here, and I also ntocied my friend who used to also be a ranked Junior did the same thing and has a wicked backhand. It really helps me to just feel this, and not think too much. My issue I have is closing the stick too much on forehands sometimes or attacking the ball wrong. I think this comes into play when I am tired late in a match and dont move my feet enough.

sureshs
12-21-2009, 01:28 PM
From seeing the ink residue from the tennis balls rub on my strings (I use the dunlop player elite with the Red ink) I tend to hit in the middle or a little below it.

That is what I have noticed with most people. I think hitting around the sweetspot is the most common area for most advanced players.

Power Player
12-21-2009, 01:49 PM
It works for me. When I go for heavy spin, I do hit below the sweetspot, but it's because I close the racquet a little more. It's a risky move..sometimes I frame the shot if I don't get my feet right.

papa
12-21-2009, 05:31 PM
My post on this apparently got scrubbed for some reason. However, I've tried to follow this discussion which, like many, has not been exactly easy.

My question is based on the fact that I did retrieve a copy of Oscar's original book which was published in the early 90's. In the twenty pictures in this book there is not one where the ball is being shown hit on the lower portion of the stringbed - all twenty show the ball being hit almost in the exact middle of the racquet. Have the pictures changed in later editions of this book?

The sweet spot of racquets is not something that Oscar invented but is used by all racquet manufactures in marketing their products. Why are we attributing this work to just his observations - his opinion on this matter is very similar to all major racquet manufacturers. Are you guys saying that racquet manufacturers are all wrong also?

MichaelChang
12-21-2009, 05:45 PM
It works for me. When I go for heavy spin, I do hit below the sweetspot, but it's because I close the racquet a little more. It's a risky move..sometimes I frame the shot if I don't get my feet right.

Could you please tell us a little more about your background, and were you taught to hit like that? or it is something you read along the way.

Bungalo Bill
12-21-2009, 06:22 PM
It works for me. When I go for heavy spin, I do hit below the sweetspot, but it's because I close the racquet a little more. It's a risky move..sometimes I frame the shot if I don't get my feet right.

Your post is very honest. I like that you pointed out for the many readers here and said it is a risky move.

It certainly is a riskly move and the reason why is because if you are swinging and using the WW motion, you have two vectors mainly that are contributing to that. First you generally have your upward swing. Then you have your motion of the WW.. When you attempt to raise the racquet and raise the head in a violent very fast swing, you risk mishitting, or just missing the ball and sending into the net. Sometimes you just hit a lot of short balls because you skimmed the ball.

To complicate this more, if a player has grown accustomed to overhitting, overrotating, or has other technical flaws in their stroke, you magnify the risk of erroring.

Players need to go for consistency. Maybe more advanced players like you can manage this on a more consistent basis. However, if hitting the ball sqaure were such a problem, we would have ditched this a long time ago. The truth is (and I provided evidence for this) is pros do not think about hitting below the center of the racquet, they just simply hit the ball.

canuckfan
12-21-2009, 06:37 PM
I have noticed in the past that when i swing all out on the forehand and the incoming shot is sitting up, I do hit slightly below the sweetspot -- it helps keep the ball in by decreasing power and keeping the face slightly more closed.

BUT on a neutral/aggressive incoming ball, I hit much better when I focus on aiming the higher half of the stringbed (when looking at racquet sideways) at the ball. Then, when you throw in my tendency to hit a bit low, I end up hitting at or slightly above center. This results in a deeper, more solid feeling shot for me.

MichaelChang
12-21-2009, 06:53 PM
I have noticed in the past that when i swing all out on the forehand and the incoming shot is sitting up, I do hit slightly below the sweetspot -- it helps keep the ball in by decreasing power and keeping the face slightly more closed.

BUT on a neutral/aggressive incoming ball, I hit much better when I focus on aiming the higher half of the stringbed (when looking at racquet sideways) at the ball. Then, when you throw in my tendency to hit a bit low, I end up hitting at or slightly above center. This results in a deeper, more solid feeling shot for me.

What is your level if I may ask? I honestly find my skill impossible to aim at a particular part of the string bed, but rather try to be as close to center as I could. I do change the racket face angle a little bit, depends on where/how I want to hit.

canuckfan
12-21-2009, 10:40 PM
I'm a 4.0. I'd like to emphasize, I hit a bit low in the stringbed not because I try to -- it's what happens when I try to hit on center. It's essentially a quirk of my game. Consciously trying to hit in the upper half helps correct this inherent tendency of mine. I noticed it about 2 years ago, and decided to visualize hitting in the upper half to 'correct' it. It honestly wasn't very difficult, I started seeing a difference inside a week. Only later did I find out that aiming half the stringbed at the ball is something that has been taught by some tennis pros.

gzhpcu
12-21-2009, 11:49 PM
I have the feeling it is just a mental image to get topspin on groundstrokes. Similar to saying "hit up on the ball" for the serve. If we were really hitting up, the ball would go out of the court.

I know it helps me to get topspin (both forehand and backhand), so don't care where the actual impact is.

ms87
12-21-2009, 11:59 PM
I'm a 5.0/5.5 player and I think it's ridiculous for anyone to be hitting off center on this axis. Hitting high on the stringbed, sure that is sometimes understandable; hitting below or above is just silly.

gzhpcu
12-22-2009, 02:03 AM
I'm a 5.0/5.5 player and I think it's ridiculous for anyone to be hitting off center on this axis. Hitting high on the stringbed, sure that is sometimes understandable; hitting below or above is just silly.
For some of us the image works, for others it doesn't. It is just an image, where impact actually occurs is irrelevant IMHO.

chess9
12-22-2009, 04:23 AM
I always aim for the "D" on the Dunlop ball as I swing, which is why I don't play with Wilson. Of course, I do like the D to be upright and the full "Dunlop" name to be readable left to right, so, I adjust backwards 2 mm if necessary. I never hit the ball out of the center of the racquet because I'm obsessive compulsive and always overthink everything.

Gotta' run, I see one of my sweaters is lopsided in my closet and Adrian Monk is at the door to help out.

-Robert

MichaelChang
12-22-2009, 05:41 AM
I'd like to emphasize, I hit a bit low in the stringbed not because I try to -- it's what happens when I try to hit on center.

Thanks and I can imagine that happen to some of my shots as well when I go for more topspin.

drakulie
12-22-2009, 06:10 AM
My question is based on the fact that I did retrieve a copy of Oscar's original book which was published in the early 90's. In the twenty pictures in this book there is not one where the ball is being shown hit on the lower portion of the stringbed - all twenty show the ball being hit almost in the exact middle of the racquet. Have the pictures changed in later editions of this book?

Thanks for your input, and I agree, it is not easy following the discussion at hand>>>> primarily because Oscar and his followers are "all over the place", and refuse to provide answers to direct questions. All they do is throw smoke-screens.

As is the case with your book, we are all finding out that Oscar's teachings are all over the place, and quite frankly, contradict one another. One day he will say one thing, and the next day he is contradicting what he said the day prior.


The sweet spot of racquets is not something that Oscar invented but is used by all racquet manufactures in marketing their products.

Everyone knows this. What we are pointing out, and arguing is his definitiion of a sweet spot. In the book he provides a photo of a volkl frame, and he outlines the ENTIRE STRING BED as the "Modern Sweet Spot".

Of course, we all know he is dead wrong, as there is no such racquet that the entire string bed is a sweet spot.

It's just another one of Oscar's completely innacurate conclusions. He and his followers choose to call this thinking, "Revolutionary or Modern", the rest of us choose to call it for what it is... DEAD WRONG.

papa
12-22-2009, 07:25 AM
Thanks for your input, and I agree, it is not easy following the discussion at hand>>>> primarily because Oscar and his followers are "all over the place", and refuse to provide answers to direct questions. All they do is throw smoke-screens.

As is the case with your book, we are all finding out that Oscar's teachings are all over the place, and quite frankly, contradict one another. One day he will say one thing, and the next day he is contradicting what he said the day prior.

OK, that might explain a few things if things keep changing - I guess that I didn't realize that. Are you saying that NOW he is advocating hitting off the center axis or hitting below the center of the string bed? Have the new editions of his book changed these photos? If this is in fact the case, I don't know what level of player he is addressing because for the high percentage of players that would be inappropriate to say the least. "Maybe" at the pro level 7.0 they have the eye hand coordination to do this but with the exception of very few players, even at that level, I think it would be hard to pull off.


Everyone knows this. What we are pointing out, and arguing is his definitiion of a sweet spot. In the book he provides a photo of a volkl frame, and he outlines the ENTIRE STRING BED as the "Modern Sweet Spot".

I'm not that familiar with Volkl but I am very aware of Wilson and Prince specs. This business of the "sweet spot" area seems to grow each year so it must be an effective marketing tool. I think most knowledgeable racquet people would agree that the center axis is the preferable area to strike the ball. However, I think they would also agree that "off center axis" hits can be effective also - thus the enlargement of the sweet spot. Are you saying that he (Oscar) is advocating hitting off "center axis" on purpose or that its preferable? I wasn't aware that he even got into the "sweet spot" discussion very seriously and must admit that I couldn't even find much reference to it in his book other than a casual mention here and there.


Of course, we all know he is dead wrong, as there is no such racquet that the entire string bed is a sweet spot.

I find it hard to believe he is saying this but I might be wrong. Oscar has a background in engineering, like I do, and I this statement doesn't ring true for me anyway. Can you hit a ball anywhere on the string bed and have it go over - sure, common knowledge, sometimes it doesn't even have to hit the strings.

It's just another one of Oscar's completely innacurate conclusions. He and his followers choose to call this thinking, "Revolutionary or Modern", the rest of us choose to call it for what it is... DEAD WRONG.

I realize, as you do, that often we are all quoted as saying things that we didn't say or things are taken out of context. I had a guy helping me with clinics that I give, for example, that thought he knew what I was saying but when he explained something, it was just plain wrong - not always but often enough that it was a mistake to have him around. He would hear things and come to conclusions that were just wrong.

sureshs
12-22-2009, 07:27 AM
My post on this apparently got scrubbed for some reason. However, I've tried to follow this discussion which, like many, has not been exactly easy.

My question is based on the fact that I did retrieve a copy of Oscar's original book which was published in the early 90's. In the twenty pictures in this book there is not one where the ball is being shown hit on the lower portion of the stringbed - all twenty show the ball being hit almost in the exact middle of the racquet. Have the pictures changed in later editions of this book?

The sweet spot of racquets is not something that Oscar invented but is used by all racquet manufactures in marketing their products. Why are we attributing this work to just his observations - his opinion on this matter is very similar to all major racquet manufacturers. Are you guys saying that racquet manufacturers are all wrong also?

What opinion? That the racquet hits the ball on the sweetspot? No, we are talking about the specific advice quoted in the earlier parts of this thread. The diagrams you talk about are probably generic stuff, while the diagram shown in this thread was used to make a specific point.

sureshs
12-22-2009, 07:29 AM
I realize, as you do, that often we are all quoted as saying things that we didn't say or things are taken out of context. I had a guy helping me with clinics that I give, for example, that thought he knew what I was saying but when he explained something, it was just plain wrong - not always but often enough that it was a mistake to have him around. He would hear things and come to conclusions that were just wrong.

In this case, the advice has been published in a book with a clear diagram to illustrate it. There is no analogy with your anecdote. In addition, we have received clarifications from Oscar that this is what he intended.

Are you even reading this thread?

papa
12-22-2009, 07:35 AM
Thanks for your input, and I agree, it is not easy following the discussion at hand>>>> primarily because Oscar and his followers are "all over the place", and refuse to provide answers to direct questions. All they do is throw smoke-screens.

As is the case with your book, we are all finding out that Oscar's teachings are all over the place, and quite frankly, contradict one another. One day he will say one thing, and the next day he is contradicting what he said the day prior.



Everyone knows this. What we are pointing out, and arguing is his definitiion of a sweet spot. In the book he provides a photo of a volkl frame, and he outlines the ENTIRE STRING BED as the "Modern Sweet Spot".

Of course, we all know he is dead wrong, as there is no such racquet that the entire string bed is a sweet spot.

It's just another one of Oscar's completely innacurate conclusions. He and his followers choose to call this thinking, "Revolutionary or Modern", the rest of us choose to call it for what it is... DEAD WRONG.

This is getting silly. My entire response was trimed down to the last paragraph which really didn't sum up what I said.

I was writing about off center hits and the like and saying that I really question anyone suggesting that its preferable to strike the ball off of this center axis. I was also discussing the "sweet spot" which for someone must be a sensitive area to get into. I think that in Oscar's book (at least the original one) there is very little discussion of it. I think the racquet folks, especially at Prince and Wilson, have used it to market their products. I'm familiar with both of these companies, at least to a limited degree, and I believe they are the ones to suggest that the "sweet spot" keeps getting bigger - look it sell more racquets because it gives you a greater margin for error. Suggesting the entire racquet is the "sweet spot" is just plain nonsense and I think everyone would realize that.

papa
12-22-2009, 07:36 AM
Thanks for your input, and I agree, it is not easy following the discussion at hand>>>> primarily because Oscar and his followers are "all over the place", and refuse to provide answers to direct questions. All they do is throw smoke-screens.

As is the case with your book, we are all finding out that Oscar's teachings are all over the place, and quite frankly, contradict one another. One day he will say one thing, and the next day he is contradicting what he said the day prior.

OK, that might explain a few things if things keep changing - I guess that I didn't realize that. Are you saying that NOW he is advocating hitting off the center axis or hitting below the center of the string bed? Have the new editions of his book changed these photos? If this is in fact the case, I don't know what level of player he is addressing because for the high percentage of players that would be inappropriate to say the least. "Maybe" at the pro level 7.0 they have the eye hand coordination to do this but with the exception of very few players, even at that level, I think it would be hard to pull off.


Everyone knows this. What we are pointing out, and arguing is his definitiion of a sweet spot. In the book he provides a photo of a volkl frame, and he outlines the ENTIRE STRING BED as the "Modern Sweet Spot".

I'm not that familiar with Volkl but I am very aware of Wilson and Prince specs. This business of the "sweet spot" area seems to grow each year so it must be an effective marketing tool. I think most knowledgeable racquet people would agree that the center axis is the preferable area to strike the ball. However, I think they would also agree that "off center axis" hits can be effective also - thus the enlargement of the sweet spot. Are you saying that he (Oscar) is advocating hitting off "center axis" on purpose or that its preferable? I wasn't aware that he even got into the "sweet spot" discussion very seriously and must admit that I couldn't even find much reference to it in his book other than a casual mention here and there.


Of course, we all know he is dead wrong, as there is no such racquet that the entire string bed is a sweet spot.

I find it hard to believe he is saying this but I might be wrong. Oscar has a background in engineering, like I do, and I this statement doesn't ring true for me anyway. Can you hit a ball anywhere on the string bed and have it go over - sure, common knowledge, sometimes it doesn't even have to hit the strings.

It's just another one of Oscar's completely innacurate conclusions. He and his followers choose to call this thinking, "Revolutionary or Modern", the rest of us choose to call it for what it is... DEAD WRONG.

I realize, as you do, that often we are all quoted as saying things that we didn't say or things are taken out of context. I had a guy helping me with clinics that I give, for example, that thought he knew what I was saying but when he explained something, it was just plain wrong - not always but often enough that it was a mistake to have him around. He would hear things and come to conclusions that were just wrong.

sureshs
12-22-2009, 09:28 AM
This is getting silly. My entire response was trimed down to the last paragraph which really didn't sum up what I said.

I was writing about off center hits and the like and saying that I really question anyone suggesting that its preferable to strike the ball off of this center axis. I was also discussing the "sweet spot" which for someone must be a sensitive area to get into. I think that in Oscar's book (at least the original one) there is very little discussion of it. I think the racquet folks, especially at Prince and Wilson, have used it to market their products. I'm familiar with both of these companies, at least to a limited degree, and I believe they are the ones to suggest that the "sweet spot" keeps getting bigger - look it sell more racquets because it gives you a greater margin for error. Suggesting the entire racquet is the "sweet spot" is just plain nonsense and I think everyone would realize that.

The sweetspot for a given head size does keep getting bigger. The Prince speedports have increased the sweetspot for a given head size by increasing the freedom of movement of the strings. But of course the increase is mainly due to going to bigger head sizes.

In addition, advances in cushioning and dampening technology have made off-center hits more comfortable, thus effectively increasing the sweetspot.

papa
12-22-2009, 10:48 AM
The sweetspot for a given head size does keep getting bigger. The Prince speedports have increased the sweetspot for a given head size by increasing the freedom of movement of the strings. But of course the increase is mainly due to going to bigger head sizes.

In addition, advances in cushioning and dampening technology have made off-center hits more comfortable, thus effectively increasing the sweetspot.

Yes, I agree. I think some of the confusion, if there is any, might come from what "some" (very small percentage of players) are able to do and what's good advice for the general player below the pro level. When I read this, I don't come to the conclusion that the advice is for everyone. However, I will be the first to admit that I don't follow Oscar very much and maybe I'm that familiar with what he really means.

drakulie
12-22-2009, 10:53 AM
I was writing about off center hits and the like and saying that I really question anyone suggesting that its preferable to strike the ball off of this center axis.

and I already agrred with you. Please read.


I was also discussing the "sweet spot" which for someone must be a sensitive area to get into. I think that in Oscar's book (at least the original one) there is very little discussion of it. I think the racquet folks, especially at Prince and Wilson, have used it to market their products. I'm familiar with both of these companies, at least to a limited degree, and I believe they are the ones to suggest that the "sweet spot" keeps getting bigger - look it sell more racquets because it gives you a greater margin for error. Suggesting the entire racquet is the "sweet spot" is just plain nonsense and I think everyone would realize that.


One of Oscar's books suggest that the entire string bed of a frame is the "MODERN SWEET SPOT". I have already repeatedly stated in this thread and others this information is entirely false.

what are you not following????

Power Player
12-22-2009, 11:13 AM
Your post is very honest. I like that you pointed out for the many readers here and said it is a risky move.

It certainly is a riskly move and the reason why is because if you are swinging and using the WW motion, you have two vectors mainly that are contributing to that. First you generally have your upward swing. Then you have your motion of the WW.. When you attempt to raise the racquet and raise the head in a violent very fast swing, you risk mishitting, or just missing the ball and sending into the net. Sometimes you just hit a lot of short balls because you skimmed the ball.

To complicate this more, if a player has grown accustomed to overhitting, overrotating, or has other technical flaws in their stroke, you magnify the risk of erroring.

Players need to go for consistency. Maybe more advanced players like you can manage this on a more consistent basis. However, if hitting the ball sqaure were such a problem, we would have ditched this a long time ago. The truth is (and I provided evidence for this) is pros do not think about hitting below the center of the racquet, they just simply hit the ball.

I would agree 100% with what you said. In fact I never thought about this too much myself except for noticing ball marks on strings. I also notice that some of my best shots felt like I hit them lower on the bed, but there is no way to ever prove this.

I actually have worked on hitting the ball more square because I simply come over the ball too much sometimes and it frames or I get lucky due to trajectory and spin and I get it to drop in. My main strokes are a driving, flatter topspin shot and a deeper forehand that gives me good net clearance and lets me reset a point when needed. After a lot of practice, working on weight transfer and footwork, I have noticed a lot more consistency in my strokes. It was not pretty for a while though, I can assure you of that. :)

Michael Chang, I was a junior tennis player. Played from 8 to around 15 years of age and was a USTA tourney player and team tennis player from 12-15. I quit and pursued other interests until getting my game back this year. I never really had great coaching, but I did take clinics and played about 6 hours a day. I basically taught myself the topspin forehand and was using a western grip from an early age simply because it felt right. My team coaches said I had great strokes and would be a college player, but never helped me really develop them. Because of this I would do a lot of brushing the ball weak shots and basically was playing off raw talent with no knowledge of how to develop a great consistent swing..so I quit after getting frustrated wih the game, knowing I could do better, but not knowing how to do it.

MichaelChang
12-22-2009, 12:53 PM
Thanks for sharing your experience.

Solat
12-22-2009, 09:28 PM
does this mean that if we gave a pro a freshly stenciled wilson racquet and they were only allowed to hold it one way up that they would wear off the lower part of the W not the centre part like I do?

dParis
12-22-2009, 10:21 PM
In the book he provides a photo of a volkl frame, and he outlines the ENTIRE STRING BED as the "Modern Sweet Spot".

Of course, we all know he is dead wrong, as there is no such racquet that the entire string bed is a sweet spot.

But if there were, it would be a Volkl.:wink:

You people in this thread are crazy, and now you're making me crazy as well!!! I wish I never opened this thread. I hope to Jah that the next time I play, I'm not thinking about what fraction of the sweet spot I'm hitting. Otherwise, I'm hitting you guys up to pay for my Sports Psychologist.:cry:

drakulie
12-23-2009, 06:12 AM
does this mean that if we gave a pro a freshly stenciled wilson racquet and they were only allowed to hold it one way up that they would wear off the lower part of the W not the centre part like I do?


Yes, this is what Oscar is claiming the pros do, and what he would refer to as "modern/reovlutionary" tennis coaching. (which he invented) :roll:

Sublime
12-23-2009, 06:33 AM
does this mean that if we gave a pro a freshly stenciled wilson racquet and they were only allowed to hold it one way up that they would wear off the lower part of the W not the centre part like I do?

I think he's saying the \ part of the W would be worn off.

Power Player
12-23-2009, 08:18 AM
The point is to feel it, not to think about it.

dozu
12-23-2009, 09:55 AM
this has to be the most stupid thread of all-time.

Bungalo Bill
12-23-2009, 12:02 PM
The point is to feel it, not to think about it.

The point is to understand it, practice it, develop it, and master it. Feel just grows along the way. You have to understand what to feel before you know how to feel. The "how" is part of the development cycle and requires the use of your brain to obtain the information needed to perform.

Power Player
12-23-2009, 12:57 PM
Yeah. I think I skipped that step when I was a junior..lol.