PDA

View Full Version : No lie about quieting the head


erik-the-red
06-01-2005, 02:48 PM
As ESPN's fast motion (ie. "slo mo") video analysis shows, Federer, Nadal, and Puerta all hit their forehands with almost no head movement.

They make contact, drive through, and look at their place of contact for a split-second after contact.

This is a great tip.

Power Game
06-01-2005, 04:58 PM
DO you remember when this was? Between who's match or date...?
Thanks

Prince_of_Tennis
06-01-2005, 05:00 PM
Yah its what you are supposed to do...

FREDDY
06-01-2005, 06:38 PM
hhmmmmmm...........

Bungalo Bill
06-01-2005, 06:41 PM
A good way to help players keep the head still is to pretend your eyes are a camera lens. You take a snap shot of the contact area when you feel the ball hits the racquet. This helps quiet the head.

It is no lie, it is the truth. Your strokes will soar when that head is still. It feels weird at first. It seems forever. It seems like you will lose too much time. But if you practice it seriously for 21 days - it makes a habit and you will be stoked.

BigbangerNYC
06-08-2005, 05:21 AM
A good way to help players keep the head still is to pretend your eyes are a camera lens. You take a snap shot of the contact area when you feel the ball hits the racquet. This helps quiet the head.

It is no lie, it is the truth. Your strokes will soar when that head is still. It feels weird at first. It seems forever. It seems like you will lose too much time. But if you practice it seriously for 21 days - it makes a habit and you will be stoked.


Good Post and right on point.

Another technique I used to teach my beginner students is when hitting forehands in practice make sure your chin touches the hitting shoulder after contact. This forces them to keep the head still and not look up before ball contact. Once this has become a habit, it will transfer to and works also for backhands without much practice or explanation.

Another tip I used to use for intermmediates: Force yourself (in practice) to "stare at the coming ball" until you actually see the rotating fuzz or letters, when you stare at something intentively, you head is extremely quiet. (you can even try this technique by staring at something in your living room intentively) and will see what i mean.

These techniques will not only keep your head quiet, but also help you to seriously focus on the ball (which is so critical in tennis).

Kana Himezaki
06-08-2005, 06:35 AM
I help teach juniors (just help with group lessons, not as much experience as all of you), and try to develop this early.

It really helps if they can visualize it, such as BB's "thinking of yourself as a camera lens". Focusing on the ball also improves judgment AND keeps the head focused.

Since I'm working with kids, I tried with one to get him to "smell his armpit during the motion". Yes, it sounds strange. But it helped some juniors get an idea of what they were supposed to be doing, and get a laugh out of it at the same time. Within five minutes, a group of six were all completely into it, and through the next few lessons STILL remembered it, the most important part. You could actually see a big improvement, since keeping the head at that point keeps your eyes focused and attracted to the contact point and off.

So if any of you are teaching small kids, try "sniffing your armpit" during the stroke. LOL.

Bungalo Bill
06-08-2005, 11:11 AM
Good Post and right on point.

Another technique I used to teach my beginner students is when hitting forehands in practice make sure your chin touches the hitting shoulder after contact. This forces them to keep the head still and not look up before ball contact. Once this has become a habit, it will transfer to and works also for backhands without much practice or explanation.

Another tip I used to use for intermmediates: Force yourself (in practice) to "stare at the coming ball" until you actually see the rotating fuzz or letters, when you stare at something intentively, you head is extremely quiet. (you can even try this technique by staring at something in your living room intentively) and will see what i mean.

These techniques will not only keep your head quiet, but also help you to seriously focus on the ball (which is so critical in tennis).

Yes, very good post.

In a book called "Coaching Tennis" by Coach Kriese he refers to each shoulder with its own name IKE and MIKE (if I got the names wrong please forgive me).

When you swing, one shoulder touches for the backswing and the other touches for the forward swing and followthrough. Each time a shoulder touches the chin you say the name of the shoulder. He encourages (and so do I) the use of the Power Groove which is a device that holds the elbows in so that it makes you hit a ball with just shoulder rotation.

If you have a weak shoulder rotation you will find out quickly going through this drill.

Many people tighten the neck muscles as they hit the ball and dont know it. When you do, the head tends to move more then it should. Other problem areas are pulling from your rotation which moves the head as well.

When the elbows are locked in, it forces you to relax the neck muscles and swing the shoulders loosely but with purpose into the ball. This drill is especially good for twohanders who need to learn to relax and flow through the ball. When a twohander isnt getting power they will try and fix it by using a lot of wrist.

tricky nicky
06-08-2005, 03:13 PM
Bill,

Would you mind clearing something up for me about tucking the elbow in?

Last week a coach said it was bad for my kid to have the elbow tucked in and he wanted better footwork too encourage the elbow away from the midriff......

is this right?

whats the pros and cons of a "tucked" in forehand?

regards,

tricky.

Kana Himezaki
06-08-2005, 04:41 PM
I'm sure BB will answer in a post that encompasses pretty much everything- but I'll try to add some in myself.

Having the elbow close to the body is a PLUS, not a con at all. In ready position, the racquet should be slightly away. However, I don't believe there are really ANY cons in a tucked in forehand.

First, the arm and swing is closer to your body. This makes it easier to control, more natural for your body and eyes to focus on the incoming shot, and easier to direct your energy into the shot. Using a contact point further away simply makes it harder to direct the momentum and swing. For this reason, a "tucked in" forehand is also much more consistent than when away from the body.

Also, when the arm is further away from the body, it's harder to get the rest of your body into the shot. So you'll find most of your forehands will simply be "armed", rather than using the whole body into the shot. It also sort of makes you develop more trunk rotation and everything else.

For these reasons, having the arm "tucked in" is superior in both power AND consistency. I actually believe BB posted on this in some other thread, although I don't remember which. You can try searching for his other posts.

BigbangerNYC
06-09-2005, 06:47 AM
Yes, very good post.

In a book called "Coaching Tennis" by Coach Kriese he refers to each shoulder with its own name IKE and MIKE (if I got the names wrong please forgive me).

When you swing, one shoulder touches for the backswing and the other touches for the forward swing and followthrough. Each time a shoulder touches the chin you say the name of the shoulder. He encourages (and so do I) the use of the Power Groove which is a device that holds the elbows in so that it makes you hit a ball with just shoulder rotation.

If you have a weak shoulder rotation you will find out quickly going through this drill.

Many people tighten the neck muscles as they hit the ball and dont know it. When you do, the head tends to move more then it should. Other problem areas are pulling from your rotation which moves the head as well.

When the elbows are locked in, it forces you to relax the neck muscles and swing the shoulders loosely but with purpose into the ball. This drill is especially good for twohanders who need to learn to relax and flow through the ball. When a twohander isnt getting power they will try and fix it by using a lot of wrist.


Excellent post!!!!

polea
06-09-2005, 07:00 AM
excellent post with very useful data! i recently opened a post about shoulder rotation on forehand and it was all answered here. pointing with left shoulder the incoming ball and try to hit it with the right shoulder. its all about shoulder rotation. no arm "solo" stroke.

BigbangerNYC
06-09-2005, 07:02 AM
I'm sure BB will answer in a post that encompasses pretty much everything- but I'll try to add some in myself.

Having the elbow close to the body is a PLUS, not a con at all. In ready position, the racquet should be slightly away. However, I don't believe there are really ANY cons in a tucked in forehand.

First, the arm and swing is closer to your body. This makes it easier to control, more natural for your body and eyes to focus on the incoming shot, and easier to direct your energy into the shot. Using a contact point further away simply makes it harder to direct the momentum and swing. For this reason, a "tucked in" forehand is also much more consistent than when away from the body.

Also, when the arm is further away from the body, it's harder to get the rest of your body into the shot. So you'll find most of your forehands will simply be "armed", rather than using the whole body into the shot. It also sort of makes you develop more trunk rotation and everything else.

For these reasons, having the arm "tucked in" is superior in both power AND consistency. I actually believe BB posted on this in some other thread, although I don't remember which. You can try searching for his other posts.


I second the post and would like to add this:

Keeping the elbow "tucked in" or close to the body increases (1) accuracy in gaging the ball, (2) makes you get to the ball with your feet, instead of reaching the ball with your stiff extended arms, (3) stabilize the hitting arm in backswing, (4) forces you to rotate your hitting shoulder (torso) and hips for power (instead of just arm --AKA "arm stroke?").

Keep in mind that at contact the elbow should not be "glued" to the body, but somewhat close to it. Hitting a ball with a completely straight (fully extended) arm does not yieldd any of the above items or consistent and powerful shots.

Always strike the ball with a relaxed arm and bent elbow from high to low to high, with knees bent and fore leg rise during contact, rotate your trunk after contact, and the rest.

joe sch
06-09-2005, 07:45 AM
Its all really pretty simple.
The reason top players are so precise is because they have consistent windups. All the mechanics that go into correct windups, as BB and others have detailed, need to be consistent which will produce total continuous racket head feel. When its not continuous, thus you lose the racket head feel during the windup, then your strokes break down and errors result.

Bungalo Bill
06-09-2005, 11:25 AM
Bill,

Would you mind clearing something up for me about tucking the elbow in?

Last week a coach said it was bad for my kid to have the elbow tucked in and he wanted better footwork too encourage the elbow away from the midriff......

is this right?

whats the pros and cons of a "tucked" in forehand?

regards,

tricky.

As Kana and others have indicated, the elbow plays a key role in your ability to hit with controlled power.

- The elbow should be able to move freely.

- The elbow should be a "comfortable" distance from your side as you swing the racquet. Many good players have about the same distance which is usually about a balls length or so. Obviously, there is a give and take here. Going too far away from the medium will present problems such as lack of power and the inability to control the racquet face the farther out you go because of a loss of leverage. Not to mention elbow injuires. Having the elbow too close can present its own problems as well.

- The forward elbow movement for a modern forehand should initate the forward motion in the stroke. Which has it slightly leading the shoulder rotation into the ball. The wrist stays laid back and just before contact releases into the ball and through. The wrist release is optional.

There is a way of helping players get the feel of where the elbow should be in relation to their body. Usually coaches will say it should be about a balls distance from your side. So in order to demonstrate this a coach may have you place a ball inbetween your ribcage and arm to learn what it feels like.

The ball between the arm serves several purposes. One of the main purposes it serves is to elminate elbow rollover which is often found in players who try to add more topspin to the ball by curving the racquet face over the ball. Many players think they are putting more spin on the ball by doing so. In an exaggerated motion you will see the elbow go way up and will see a lot of mishits and an overall sloppy control of the racquet.

All groundstrokes should be hit from the shoulder muscles. The arm acts as lever bringing the racquet into the ball. The main initiator of shoulder rotation is your stomach muscles. This little tidbit to hit with your stomach is one of the best ways to hit a ball and for some reason is being forgotten or I am not hearing many people teach about it. It is tiring at first to hit lots of balls using your stomach muscles but it is one of the best ways to hit. It is the same thing with the serve.

Keep the elbow a comfortable distance from the side. On some shots you will have no choice but to extend to hit a ball. That is usually about the time your opponent takes a couple of steps into the court anticipating a short ball. :)

Bungalo Bill
06-09-2005, 11:36 AM
Its all really pretty simple.
The reason top players are so precise is because they have consistent windups. All the mechanics that go into correct windups, as BB and others have detailed, need to be consistent which will produce total continuous racket head feel. When its not continuous, thus you lose the racket head feel during the windup, then your strokes break down and errors result.

Yes this is a very good post. Players need to learn and memorize their rally stroke. A stroke that enables them to make clean contact and have good timing on every ball they hit. The rally stroke also provides the ability to control the racquet through a violent motion.