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Porsche CGT
06-05-2005, 08:00 PM
I am 13 years old and I started playing tennis when I was about 8. I went to a few clinics 2-3 years ago, but never was a serious player (or a very good one). Yesterday I went and played tennis for the first time in almost a year. Obviously, I did not play very well. I framed a lot of my shots, hit a lot into the net, and hit some 2 courts away.

When I finished playing I was quite angry because I was so bad. I was even more determined, however. Determined to improve my game. I started searching for tips online, and found this forum. I read it for about an hour last night, and read it for another hour or two today. Earlier tonight I went and played using some techinques I read here, and I must say my game has improved greatly.

The biggest things I changed were to use a looping backswing and get my upper body into the swing more. Even when I first arrived, I was better, although not terribly too much. I hit against a wall for 20 minutes, and then played against my parents (who weren't much of a competition). By the time I left, I could hit 60% of my forehands in play with decent accuracy and a fairly good amount of power and spin. Of course I still hit some into other courts, sailed some way over, and hit quite a few into the net, I improved much more than I could have ever imagined (I'm just talking about my forehand. My backhand is still weak and my serve is AWFUL.)

I know most people won't believe what I say (this thread comes to mind (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=54250)), and I really don't care. I am a quick learner in everything from academics to sports. Whether you believe it or not, I'd like to thank all the great members of this forum for posting such great advice.

The biggest thing I learned, however, I did not learn by reading this forum. I noticed that if I swing easier, I can hit the ball with much more control AND power than if I try to kill the ball.

So once again, thank you to all you great members.

Kana Himezaki
06-06-2005, 07:18 AM
Don't worry about that other thread, I was just frustrated while writing it. Even if instant changes are rare, the tips help.

Since you mentioned your backswing and how upper body rotation helped you:

From your normal ready position, you should be pulling the racquet back with BOTH hands across your face, as far back as possible. As this point your nondominant hand should let go, and your hand should rotate until the racquet is in position to begin the swing.

Also remember that your elbow (whatever one corresponds with the dominant hand) should be kept IN. As in pretty much touching your body, before and until contact. Holding it out creates injuries and less consistency.

Achillesg
06-06-2005, 08:03 AM
Kana,

The authoritative pieces I've read on the forehand unit turn state that the non-dominant hand should release the racquet as soon as the shoulders complete their turn, thus well before the racquet take-back is complete (since racquet take-back continues after shoulder turn is complete); the forearm of the non-dominant hand should typically end up at shoulder height, parallel to the net and go back no further. Maybe this is the same thing that you are saying. The tour level pros may have some slight variations, but for the most part they stick to this form. (Now maybe I missed the point and we're talking backhand. If so, I've got a lot of editing to do.)

Thanatos
06-06-2005, 08:11 AM
Also remember that your elbow (whatever one corresponds with the dominant hand) should be kept IN. As in pretty much touching your body, before and until contact. Holding it out creates injuries and less consistency.

Kana..I like to hear more about the elbow kept by your side on the FH. How does it make the FH more consistent? It feels very restrictive when I try it. I haven't read much on the topic. Thanks.

BigbangerNYC
06-09-2005, 08:20 AM
Kana..I like to hear more about the elbow kept by your side on the FH. How does it make the FH more consistent? It feels very restrictive when I try it. I haven't read much on the topic. Thanks.

Go to: "Elbow Tucked In" thread.

TwistServe
06-09-2005, 08:39 AM
I like to hear more about the elbow kept by your side on the FH. How does it make the FH more consistent? It feels very restrictive when I try it. I haven't read much on the topic. Thanks.

Grab a 25 pound dumbell and try to extend your arm to be straight.. try to hold it as long as you can.. Now tuck that elbow close to the body.. Which gives you more leverage and power?

As for consistency.. when your elbow is tucked in your brain can make the proper calculations where racquet is at all times.. when your elbow is not tucked in it could be anywhere..

Thanatos
06-09-2005, 08:39 AM
Go to: "Elbow Tucked In" thread.

thanks BigbangerNYC

papa
06-10-2005, 06:11 PM
Kana,

The authoritative pieces I've read on the forehand unit turn state that the non-dominant hand should release the racquet as soon as the shoulders complete their turn, thus well before the racquet take-back is complete (since racquet take-back continues after shoulder turn is complete); the forearm of the non-dominant hand should typically end up at shoulder height, parallel to the net and go back no further. Maybe this is the same thing that you are saying. The tour level pros may have some slight variations, but for the most part they stick to this form. (Now maybe I missed the point and we're talking backhand. If so, I've got a lot of editing to do.)

Well, the non-hitting hand can certainly/should stay on the racquet further back than what you described. If it (non-hitting hand) had to remain "parallel to net" it would be basically off the racquet almost at the begining of the backswing. If the hand comes off too early the player has a difficult time rotating the shoulders and hips properly into the ball.

Shoulder height is right for the non-hitting arm especially if your using a looping backswing - non-hitting hand comes off the racquet as it starts its downward motion. However, this puts the non-hitting arm almost perpendicular to the net, not parallel to it.

Bungalo Bill
06-11-2005, 12:07 AM
...The biggest thing I learned, however, I did not learn by reading this forum. I noticed that if I swing easier, I can hit the ball with much more control AND power than if I try to kill the ball.

So once again, thank you to all you great members.

If that is what you learned, that is great! It is the key to tennis. It is a weird formula but conceptually you will know what I mean when I say:

POWER = CLEAN CONTACT + TIMING

The only way you can have consistent timing and clean contact is by slowing down the swing (rally swing) and relaxing.

krnboijunsung
06-11-2005, 06:55 PM
Athletic kids can learn and adapt to sports rather quickly.

Tennis was so boring when I really sucked. It gets fun when you get good.

Achillesg
06-13-2005, 06:25 AM
Well, the non-hitting hand can certainly/should stay on the racquet further back than what you described. If it (non-hitting hand) had to remain "parallel to net" it would be basically off the racquet almost at the begining of the backswing.

I can't really talk about the "hand" being parallel since the hand is a point. The important thing is to make a full shoulder turn. Mot pros keep the non-dominant hand on the racquet until the shoulder turn is complete.

The forearm position is probably very dependent on the particular stroke. I've seen photos of Roddick's backswing where his left forearm is vertical and he could stick his left thumb in his right ear. You can also find a lot of stylish forehands where the non-hitting arm is almost fully extended, parallel to the net at shoulder height and comes back no further.