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user92626
12-22-2009, 08:16 PM
Hi All,

A guy at the court just told me that I have a short backswing, thus I lose a lot of power. I do feel I have insufficient power in my FH, however, I also feel quite natural with the backswing. If I make it longer, it will feel forced and unnatural and probably screw up my fh even worse.

Anyway, how do you ensure you have long, sufficient backswing? Isn't a complete shoulder turn, ie facing the side fence, a good measure already? Thanks.

Blake0
12-22-2009, 09:28 PM
Make sure your backswing doesn't go behind your body...so if a person standing in front looks at you swing, he shouldn't be able to see your racket from the opposite side.

Bigger backswing = More momentum gain, so you can get more power.
Smaller backswing= Better timing.

It depends on what you're looking for on each shot. IF you need more time shorten your backswing up, if you have more time and want to hit harder make your backswing bigger, if you're hitting normally find a backswing in which you can hit with sufficiet power and have consistent timing.

Turning sideways and setting up is very crucial too.

user92626
12-23-2009, 02:54 AM
Hey Blake,
I got to say, I appreciate your response very much. You're one of the few nice guys here who do not mind taking time to response. I happen to agree with a lot of your posts.

Yes, I was talking about the FH shots which I have complete control and time over, ie I don't need to rush the timing. I like power! I'm gonna keep in mind to always turn facing the side fence and extent the racket all the way pointing at back fence.

Anyway, hitting just a playable FH shot is easy. Hitting a shot with pace and consistency really requires some discovering and skill. Cheers.

LeeD
12-23-2009, 08:19 AM
Courier and Agassi had short backswings both sides.
Nobody say they hit like pansies.
Short backswing allows you more time to employ legs, trunk, and forward movement.
McEnroe had the shortest, simpliest backswing of any Men's Pro, was accused of all sorts of things, and probably is now the best 50 year old to play tennis anywhere ever.

Power Player
12-23-2009, 08:33 AM
What helped me was to not think about the backswing at all and instead focus on the off hand coming across my body.

If you focus on that and your feet are set up to drive into the ball, you can generate a lot of power regardless of your backswing.

GuyClinch
12-23-2009, 11:21 AM
Too much is made of Agassi's "short" backswing IMHO. Its only on serves that it's particularly short - and that's correct technique.

86golf
12-23-2009, 12:06 PM
Are you sure he wasn't just messing with you? Did he also ask if you inhale when you take your racquet back? If I could only shorten my backswing on the fh side I would improve overnight. For club players, I think short is better. Look at all the WTA players that run around their forehands to hit backhands. They have compact BH strokes and long loopy forehand strokes.
You are focusing on the right things-using the big muscles to create power.

Blake0
12-23-2009, 02:50 PM
Hey Blake,
I got to say, I appreciate your response very much. You're one of the few nice guys here who do not mind taking time to response. I happen to agree with a lot of your posts.

Yes, I was talking about the FH shots which I have complete control and time over, ie I don't need to rush the timing. I like power! I'm gonna keep in mind to always turn facing the side fence and extent the racket all the way pointing at back fence.

Anyway, hitting just a playable FH shot is easy. Hitting a shot with pace and consistency really requires some discovering and skill. Cheers.

Thanks, i recommend having a medium backswing for the majority of the shots you hit to gain a rhythm, but shorten/lengthen the backswing on other situations.

If you're having a good consistent timing with the backswing you have now and you're looking for more power, you could consider making it bigger, but not too big or else you'll sacrifice timing, which is more important.

GuyClinch
12-23-2009, 05:29 PM
Are you sure he wasn't just messing with you? Did he also ask if you inhale when you take your racquet back? If I could only shorten my backswing on the fh side I would improve overnight. For club players, I think short is better. Look at all the WTA players that run around their forehands to hit backhands. They have compact BH strokes and long loopy forehand strokes.
You are focusing on the right things-using the big muscles to create power.

It totally depends on the level of the club player. Many 4.0-5.0 guys do suffer from backswings that are too long. But the 2.5 -3.5 range are often dinkers and have almost no swing at all. You can absolutely have too short a backswing. Look at that murray video - he is getting that racquet pretty far back there and wailing on the ball. That's how you want to hit..

I'd say the average club 3.0 player has no shoulder turn - and just a very small backswing. This combination leads to tiny swings without alot of power. A guy like Murray has a full large shoulder turn and a decent sized backswing such that the racquet points to the backfence on the rally ball. That's really what you want to have. Quite honestly I don't know why the myth of 'too long" a backswing is out there. I don't see that many videos of those overextended backswings. Its a bit like "overtraining" - yes its a problem but pretty rare in the real world for recreational athletes.

SystemicAnomaly
12-23-2009, 05:48 PM
Too much is made of Agassi's "short" backswing IMHO. Its only on serves that it's particularly short - and that's correct technique.

I assume that you are referring to serve returns (not the backswing of the serve itself). I would still characterize Agassi's loop/takeback on most FH g'strokes as compact compared to many modern players.

To the OP: is your takeback more compact than Andre's? You should still be able to generate quite a lot of pace with a fairly compact takeback. The power comes with an efficient use of the kinetic chain. Ever hear of Bruce Lee's one-inch punch? Now there's an economy of motion that produces dramatic results.

Instead of a robust takeback, use the legs, hip rotation and torso rotation just prior to commencing the forward swing. As the hips uncoil, you should drag the racquet head behind the rest of the racquet for a short time. The torso starts to rotate and then, suddenly, the racquet head explodes forward to contact the ball.

For most players, a laid-back wrist (wrist extension) as the racquet handle is pulled forward (with the racquet head lagging), will facilitate pace on the shot.
.

SystemicAnomaly
12-23-2009, 05:51 PM
As Blake0 suggest, the shorter backswing makes the forward swing easier to time for many players. Clay court players tend to have very robust loops (backswings) whereas other players are a bit more conservative.

86golf
12-23-2009, 08:14 PM
It totally depends on the level of the club player. Many 4.0-5.0 guys do suffer from backswings that are too long. But the 2.5 -3.5 range are often dinkers and have almost no swing at all. You can absolutely have too short a backswing. Look at that murray video - he is getting that racquet pretty far back there and wailing on the ball. That's how you want to hit..

I'd say the average club 3.0 player has no shoulder turn - and just a very small backswing. This combination leads to tiny swings without alot of power. A guy like Murray has a full large shoulder turn and a decent sized backswing such that the racquet points to the backfence on the rally ball. That's really what you want to have. Quite honestly I don't know why the myth of 'too long" a backswing is out there. I don't see that many videos of those overextended backswings. Its a bit like "overtraining" - yes its a problem but pretty rare in the real world for recreational athletes.

Most 3.0's at my club swing bigger and harder than the 4.0's that I play with. That is why they are still 3.0's. I do get your point, but I will argue that the old saying "take the racquet back" has done more harm than good for the majority of the players. Every day I see our ladies players taking these huge backswings and decelerating through the ball...and they are taking lessons like 3 days a week. Pitiful.

user92626
12-23-2009, 09:32 PM
Murray's backswing is next to ideal form. The guy doesn't miss a single beat with that backswing.

I think I do the shoulder turning relatively efficiently, however, I seem to only open my arm enough as if to hug a barrel. Shouldn't we always try to stretch our hitting arm wide almost like the Jesus Statue in Brazil?

Vyse
12-23-2009, 09:44 PM
[QUOTE=user92626;4218415]Murray's backswing is next to ideal form. The guy doesn't miss a single beat with that backswing.

IMO, his backswing is to big to say it is ideal form. It is rather large. Sure, he has perfected it, but I would never teach anyone to have that large of a backswing. However, I do agree that it is fluid and nothing to crazy in it; just too big.

GuyClinch
12-23-2009, 11:23 PM
Most 3.0's at my club swing bigger and harder than the 4.0's that I play with. That is why they are still 3.0's. I do get your point, but I will argue that the old saying "take the racquet back" has done more harm than good for the majority of the players. Every day I see our ladies players taking these huge backswings and decelerating through the ball...and they are taking lessons like 3 days a week. Pitiful.

Heh. Most of the ladies I hit with don't really take any swing - they just dink it back. It's a shame we don't have more videos of BAD players. I really liked the FYB email lesson because they covered a few bad players.

I know the 3.0s your talking about though. Usually young guys (often teenagers) who played some baseball and take massive cuts at the ball and often miss. I'd say that's a real small percentage of tennis players once you get out of the teenage years and play again with people who are either picking up the game later in life or coming back to it. Also I did find some videos of women hitting your way - massive backswing with slowing before contacting the ball.

Now about Murray and Agassi - again I think the differences are a little overblown. Agassi had a fairly straight take back (a very small loop) and but he did get his racquet back such that it pointed at the back fence on a rally ball. Murray I think takes his racquet back just a touch farther.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j5C2AsrjA-4&feature=related

Check that video 12 seconds in..

Here is some video of not very good players that I found. I wouldn't say that too long a swing was the major problem..in all of them. It does vary.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wEk3ijwFbUM

Pete

jmjmkim
12-24-2009, 12:25 AM
No farther than the back fence

chess9
12-24-2009, 09:15 AM
I have a very long backswing, but I'm re-thinking it because of my age. With my long arms I doubt I need such a big windup. But, the habit of having that big windup is hard to break. The biggest downfall is on forehand service returns. Watching video I can see I'm going back about 18 inches further than I need to, so I'm often catching the ball slightly late because my reflexes are awful at my age.

Agassi has a stroke you can copy, IMHO. I suspect McEnroe does not have a game that I'd recommend for most guys because he's a touchy feely player. You really have to have soft hands and awesome timing to do what he does. Agassi's stroke is very simple and relies on his power and footwork to accomplish what some players do with a longer swing. Which is better? To each his own.

-Robert

GuyClinch
12-26-2009, 05:34 AM
^^^Well I wish I hit like Agassi but my strokes are in theory similiar to his. However..

I don't think its an ideal model anymore.

1) the small loop (straight takeback) will inhibit power generation in less powerful players.

2) The lack of pronation (hence the over the shoulder finish) will inhibit topspin production.

There are good reasons why most pros (on the male and female sides) have started to go over to the often near the waist finish with heavy pronation and larger loop.

I can't say I hit like this but from a perspective of what to learn its a better model.

Pete

user92626
12-26-2009, 09:02 AM
I just had another hitting session. It seems like to me that I always have to focus and remember to do a full length takeback. I do turn sideway completely but i do not fully extent my hitting arm -- it bends at elbow giving the effect that I still have about 30 degree more to go until pointing to back fence.

I don't know if I shoud pursuit this aspect, because I feel very natural and comfortable with the current takeback.