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View Full Version : Should I Make These Changes to My Game?


Roy125
12-30-2009, 09:48 PM
I am planning to make a bunch of changes to my game after February when tryouts are over and I'm wondering if my reasons are good enough for you, the TT forum's, views.

I'm 5'5 inches tall just to let you know.

My first change is a change in my forehand grip. I'm currently using an Eastern forehand grip to an extreme eastern or semi-western. When I want to hit the forehand motion the standard way (not WW) I feel like I have to have almost perfect timing and execution for the ball to go in. Another reason that I want to change it is because most of my opponents are big topspin hitters and hitting a forehand with my grip anywhere above the waist for me is a bit uncomfortable and I usually give a weak response to it.

Second change that I'm thinking about is to go from an eastern backhand grip to the extreme eastern backhand grip. I also feel a lot of trouble when moderate topspin hitters play with me and hit to my backhand side with my current eastern backhand grip. I have to slice it a lot and even though I have a consistent slice now, don't think that a more advanced player won't take advantage of that.

Third change is my forehand stance. I'm planning on moving from a closed to an open stance because I like how the open stance lets you recover more quickly, return balls, and how it's easier to hit high forehands with this stance.

skuludo
12-30-2009, 11:18 PM
It seems like you have the same forehand problem I did. You might be holding the racket too tight on that side and not generating enough racket head speed. This gets worse when you hit balls at shoulder height. Loosen your grip and throw the racket into the ball. I discovered this when I was playing with the semi-western grip. This idea should work with any grip. I even tried the continental and eastern backhand grip as my forehand and I was still able to hit a good ball using the throw racket concept instead of swinging the racket.

To get a feel for this perform the following:
Swing like you would hit a forehand down the line; however, instead of doing a full swing just swing slightly and then let go of the racket and catch it in mid air as the racket moves forward with your left hand. Repeat this a couple of times.

Now do the same thing while keeping your right hand on the grip and hit a ball. Now it should feel like your racket is flying into the ball. When you increase the tugging or pull force on the handle you should be able to make the racket fly faster. Just make sure your arm stays loose to insure that the racket flys. If your arm tightens then the racket throw with stop too early causing you to not swing through the ball as much. In other words you just stepped on the breaks. This should help you increase ball speed.

The benefits I found while using this technique are you can hit on the rise, greater racket head speed, and more topspin(depends on how much you brush the ball). Another thing is you can control how slow you hit a forehand too. This method will allow you to hit slow flat forehands when needed.

I've got footage of my old forehand which fails miserbly against certain players right now. I'll try to get footage of my new forehand demonstrating two concepts I made up. One is using the illegal shot where the rule says your not allowed to use the racket to catch the ball and dump it over the other side of the net. I'll try to film my forehand that tests this rule. Finally, the last concept is make the racket fly explained above.

What I have found so far is I can hit with any racket with broken strings and still keep the ball in hiting all out on the ball. The most powerful racket I have used with one main string broken is the Prince Thunderstick Longbody OS 115 28.5 inch long racket. So far I haven't been able to tell the difference between a normal racket with busted strings or a cracked racket in terms of control on ground strokes. I could still land my shots in and hit any angles I wanted when I get myself in position.


All information above is provided that you can load up and trust. This is just what I found to transfer my thrust into the racket, which in turns transfer my energy in to the racket. The end result is it feels like throwing a racket compared to a racket being an extension of my arm. Depth control is achieved by how much I hit through the ball. I am not sure if I am hitting short balls properly though. What I do is intenionaly not hit through the ball as much and push the ball forward just enough to land cross court hitting less than half way up the service box near the singles side line to push the ball as wide and short as possible. My short topspin is similar where I swing fast from low to high with very little forward push. Extra forward push means I get more depth, so depending on where I stand to hit the shot I will need to adjust the forward push for the short topspin forehand or backhand.

On the backhand side I found the draw a smile using a one handed backhand really helped. I was able to hit a cleaner one handed topspin backhand in two days.

Blake0
12-30-2009, 11:31 PM
1. Changing grip to more western, and hitting a over the shoulder forehand.

I really like the over the shoulder forehand, it's a very simple, effective way to hit a forehand. Also make sure you're keeping your fundamentals sound on the forehand (like hitting through the ball, going low-to-high, wrapping (followthrough) around your neck (you should be able to kiss your shoulder), staying loose, etc.

2. Westernizing backhand. Alright, sounds good.
3. Hitting open stance forehands. Make sure you load your weight in your right foot (for righties) and coil up, then uncoil and release all your energy from your legs, hips, shoulders, to your arm as in a link.

Goodluck.

skuludo
12-31-2009, 12:10 AM
Anyways, try the racket throw and let me know if it worked for you or not.

I switched from an eastern to semi-western because I wanted to make sure I straighten my arm and hit through the ball as much as possible. I was able to sort of get away with not hitting through the ball using the eastern forehand grip.

Roy125
12-31-2009, 06:17 PM
Anyways, try the racket throw and let me know if it worked for you or not.

I switched from an eastern to semi-western because I wanted to make sure I straighten my arm and hit through the ball as much as possible. I was able to sort of get away with not hitting through the ball using the eastern forehand grip.

Thanks for the tips.

WildVolley
12-31-2009, 06:31 PM
I don't believe that a grip change will be a magic bullet for your game. I think it is fine to experiment with the grip, but don't expect that to do the job alone.

In my experience, footwork, balance, and timing is more important for high balls than grip. Moving more toward the Western is usually helpful with high balls, but you also need to concentrate on preparing and taking the ball more in front of you with these grips.

The open stance forehand is probably going to help you a lot on taking high balls or hitting when backing up, so be sure to experiment with that.

Roy125
01-01-2010, 08:44 PM
Ok I experimented with those changes today against the wall. With the extreme eastern forehand grip, I can hit WW well, but I'm still confused on how to hit through it over the shoulder.

The Extreme eastern backhand grip however I can immediately see more topspin when I hit the ball. Perplexed on how to block balls with that grip though because it's so hard to open the racket face with my wrist.

Using the open stance was easy and effective immediately. I prepared less and felt more comfortable with my shots. I tried the open stance for the 1 handed backhand but that didn't work well though :D.

skuludo
01-02-2010, 12:03 AM
Ok I experimented with those changes today against the wall. With the extreme eastern forehand grip, I can hit WW well, but I'm still confused on how to hit through it over the shoulder.

The Extreme eastern backhand grip however I can immediately see more topspin when I hit the ball. Perplexed on how to block balls with that grip though because it's so hard to open the racket face with my wrist.

Using the open stance was easy and effective immediately. I prepared less and felt more comfortable with my shots. I tried the open stance for the 1 handed backhand but that didn't work well though :D.

The trick is not to worry about the racket opening up, but to take the ball in front of your body with that backhand grip. Try drawing a smile using your backhand with that grip. You can stick a pen at the top of your racket (12 o clock postion which will make your racket even longer) and try to draw a smile shape on a piece of paper. This helps you stay side ways so you don't open your shoulder's too soon. What you will notice is it may feel like golfing the ball at the same time.

Block the ball by sticking the racket in front of your body and the racket will be open. Just imagine a ghost image of yourself which is actually about 12 cm in front of your real body. Adjust your real body position accordly to compensate.


Are you having trouble hitting shoulder high balls?
Modify your take back. If you have a loop take back drop the racket up to shoulder height and just swing forward. This will give you a flat trajectory. If you want your shot projectile to go slightly above your sholder or higher just do the same tack back and hit up.

If you have a tight arm when you try the shoulder height shot you may end up not hitting through the ball as much. Try and stay loose for those shots.

Roy125
01-02-2010, 07:51 PM
Thanks for the help skuludo. I'll try them out on Monday. It's like everyone's telling me to stay loose now O: