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thug the bunny
10-14-2011, 03:02 PM
Lately, I am noticing that sometimes during a match I execute this swing that produces amazing results. When I am hitting well and confident, I can pull these shots off, where I prepare well, see the ball well, and then unwind accelerating the head on the desired line...but then, maybe a foot or two before contact, I throttle off. I just let go and cut the power. Everything (body, arm, racquet) keeps flowing through the ball, but it results in a pure release, and unreal power and control.

Of course this is only possible when I have time. For many other shots you need to keep a firm wrist and (more or less) guide the head through.

I only do this off the FH. I think the 2HBH is too restricted to allow this kind of release.

I guess the question is, is this a valid swing thought? When I have a good ball to hit, to pursue this kind of release? Am I on the right path?

LeeD
10-14-2011, 03:59 PM
As in.... "let the racket do the work" ...?
The reason we have a practiced and scripted prep takeback AND a scripted followthru is to allow the racket to find it's proper hitting angle to hit the ball.
Like in golf, the swing needs the full prep stroke AND the followthru, to get the club in the right plane to hit correctly.

dozu
10-14-2011, 05:00 PM
For many other shots you need to keep a firm wrist and (more or less) guide the head through.



the above is wrong.. as the racket head travels along the path that resembles a big S for a FH, there is no moment when the wrist is 'firm and guiding'.

LeeD
10-14-2011, 06:04 PM
Well, maybe a volley should be "firm and guided".
Imagine a golfer with no takeback and no followthru expecting to hit a clean long ball....just muscle it ala Barkley.

Giannis
10-15-2011, 12:46 AM
Although a relaxed wrist is correct, there are still some pros who swing with a firmer wrist. For, example in this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sTs_S-9OUVg&feature=related at 3:20, Tursunov hits a couple of good forehands and the wrist looks firm to me.

papa
10-15-2011, 04:49 AM
Relaxed wrist is the right approach but the "grip" itself has got to be firmed up at contact.

Limpinhitter
10-15-2011, 06:43 AM
the above is wrong.. as the racket head travels along the path that resembles a big S for a FH, there is no moment when the wrist is 'firm and guiding'.

Agreed! If you keep your hand, wrist and arm relaxed and tension free, the racquet will find the proper swing path, and the weight of the racquet will be allowed to fullfil its proper function. Guiding can only result in inhibiting racquet speed and/or changing the correct swing path of the racquet.

Limpinhitter
10-15-2011, 07:03 AM
Relaxed wrist is the right approach but the "grip" itself has got to be firmed up at contact.

No! That's the common wisdom that has been taught for 90 years. And it may have been correct with old school groundies in which it was also tought to **** the wrist and keep the racquet head above the hand. But, if you are hitting a modern stroke, and you keep your hand, wrist and arm totally tension free thoughout the stroke, including contact, you will be amazed at the result. It was an epiphany for me. Light weight racquets suddenly plow through the ball effortlessly. Power and spin are increased beyond anything you could produce by "swinging hard." Without interference, the racquet takes the correct, natural swing path it is supposed to take following a proper windup.

Check out this video of Federer. Do you think he is firming his grip at contact? Watch what happens when he hits slightly off center at about :35 seconds. If his grip were any loser, the racquet would come out of his hand.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ImeQaAyFPc

Watch this video of Soderling's forehand. Pay close attention to what happens to the racquet at contact. If he had any tension in his grip whatsoever, the racquet would not turn over like that.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JivAVMB37c0

In this video of Nadal it may be hard to tell because he makes such clean contact. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1s6o66M1Lsg&feature=related

papa
10-15-2011, 12:54 PM
OK, we'll have to disagree here then. I want the wrist relaxed but the grip firm on contact.

In the first clip, Federer is just warming up/working out, so I'm going to leave that one alone.

In the second, its hard to tell from the film but I feel quite certain that the grip was firm at contact.

If you follow Nadal, you'll see that his grip is very firm at contact.

IMO, the grip has to be firm at contact and the wrist releases although passive rather than deliberate. It certainly isn't old school thinking and I would ask you to provide a credible reference that suggest your grip should be loose at contact - loose to me means that I could easily rotate or grab the racquet out of your hand at contact. I very loose grip is fine if I'm trying a drop-dead volley but on ground stroke the grip has to be firm at contact.

Limpinhitter
10-15-2011, 02:19 PM
OK, we'll have to disagree here then. I want the wrist relaxed but the grip firm on contact.

In the first clip, Federer is just warming up/working out, so I'm going to leave that one alone.

In the second, its hard to tell from the film but I feel quite certain that the grip was firm at contact.

If you follow Nadal, you'll see that his grip is very firm at contact.

IMO, the grip has to be firm at contact and the wrist releases although passive rather than deliberate. It certainly isn't old school thinking and I would ask you to provide a credible reference that suggest your grip should be loose at contact - loose to me means that I could easily rotate or grab the racquet out of your hand at contact. I very loose grip is fine if I'm trying a drop-dead volley but on ground stroke the grip has to be firm at contact.

I know how you feel, I thought the same thing for about 42 years because that's what I was taught. Then I was taught a modern forehand and that premise no longer holds true, if it ever did. I don't know what your forehand looks like, but, if you are hitting a modern forehand with a firm grip at contact you are leaving much, if not most, of the benefits of a modern forehand on the table. You don't have to take my word for it, try it for yourself. Give it a hitting session and see what happens.

Yes, when I say relaxed grip, I mean holding it with just enough pressure that the racquet doesn't fly out of my hand, similar to my grip on serve. In fact, the first few times I tried it, I wasn't sure if the racquet was going to fly out of my hand. Yes, that means you could pull the racquet out of my hand without much effort. But again, you don't have to take my word for it.

For me, it was an epiphany. The same epiphany, I think, that Thug the Bunny started this thread for.

dozu
10-15-2011, 02:46 PM
I conclude that limp is a 3.5 at best... Based on his understanding of the fh, bh, and voleys

Limpinhitter
10-15-2011, 02:53 PM
I conclude that limp is a 3.5 at best... Based on his understanding of the fh, bh, and voleys

I conclude that Dozu is 2.5 at best based on his inability to spell volley.

dozu
10-15-2011, 03:16 PM
I conclude that Dozu is 2.5 at best based on his inability to spell volley.

another classic fallacy in switching out the topic.... just show your face, and we can talk.

Limpinhitter
10-15-2011, 03:23 PM
another classic fallacy in switching out the topic.... just show your face, and we can talk.

Hahaha! I was giving you a taste of your own medicine but it was lost on you. Dozu, I can see that I ascribed more intellect to you than was merited. Sorry, I won't make that mistake again.

dozu
10-15-2011, 03:28 PM
good - so you are the family cat

bhupaes
10-15-2011, 03:52 PM
Good topic. I agree with Limpin' on this one - IMO, the wrist has to be as loose as possible, with no deliberate attempt to tighten the grip at any time. This may actually need to be learned... I'm not so sure that the body automatically does the right thing. There are many videos where one can see the racquet twist in pros' hands when they hit off center.

I can't quite put my finger on why this works so well. In theory, gripping more firmly should add more of the mass of the hand/arm system to the effective mass of the racquet and yield a more powerful stroke, but in practice, one gets less power and less control, even for me.

The explanations I believe in are, (1) gripping tightly also tightens the muscles that need to be loose for optimal release and slows the stroke, and (2) more mass at contact simply means more mass needs to be controlled, which is harder and so one ends up with less control.

Limpinhitter
10-15-2011, 04:23 PM
Good topic. I agree with Limpin' on this one - IMO, the wrist has to be as loose as possible, with no deliberate attempt to tighten the grip at any time. This may actually need to be learned... I'm not so sure that the body automatically does the right thing. There are many videos where one can see the racquet twist in pros' hands when they hit off center.

I can't quite put my finger on why this works so well. In theory, gripping more firmly should add more of the mass of the hand/arm system to the effective mass of the racquet and yield a more powerful stroke, but in practice, one gets less power and less control, even for me.

The explanations I believe in are, (1) gripping tightly also tightens the muscles that need to be loose for optimal release and slows the stroke, and (2) more mass at contact simply means more mass needs to be controlled, which is harder and so one ends up with less control.

I agree with (1) but not (2). I think that the "release" you refer to in (1) is release of the mass of the racquet. It seems to me that gripping the racquet tighter inhibits the mass of the racquet to do its job - plow through the ball and follow the natural swing path of a proper wind up and forward swing.

I also suspect that players who think that they need 12oz + racquets to handle pace without having their racquets pushed around are gripping their racquets too tight. That's exactly what happened to me. When I discovered that I could hold the racquet loosely, I also discovered that an 11oz racquet had all the plow I needed, even against hard flat penetrating groundies.

papa
10-15-2011, 05:54 PM
I know how you feel, I thought the same thing for about 42 years because that's what I was taught. Then I was taught a modern forehand and that premise no longer holds true, if it ever did. I don't know what your forehand looks like, but, if you are hitting a modern forehand with a firm grip at contact you are leaving much, if not most, of the benefits of a modern forehand on the table. You don't have to take my word for it, try it for yourself. Give it a hitting session and see what happens.

Yes, when I say relaxed grip, I mean holding it with just enough pressure that the racquet doesn't fly out of my hand, similar to my grip on serve. In fact, the first few times I tried it, I wasn't sure if the racquet was going to fly out of my hand. Yes, that means you could pull the racquet out of my hand without much effort. But again, you don't have to take my word for it.

For me, it was an epiphany. The same epiphany, I think, that Thug the Bunny started this thread for.

Well, tomorrow is my day off and I'm not going near any tennis court BUT, tell you what I'll do. Monday, although I have clinics a good portion of the day and lessons later on, I'll have someone feed me balls and I'll give your method a try. I'm not concerned the racquet will fly from my hand (I've been at this a long time), I just find it difficult to buy into your premise and have never heard anyone suggest it. But lets see what happens.

I suspect you would fine my forehand just fine so I think I would be a good test of your theory. Lets see what happens.

Now, just as a matter of clarification, were talking about feeds/serves that are being delivered with good hard pace and not something just peppered over the net. I know I can hit some of the easy stuff holding the racquet with a couple of fingers and have a bungee cord around my arms but were talking stuff coming with reasonably good pace & spin - I hope that's what were talking about.

dozu
10-15-2011, 06:04 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xFGrmHocmjM

starting 3:50 on grip pressure.

for a FH, should start around 2-3/10, natually tighten to 7-8/10 at impact.. this has been discussed many times.

papa I think you are falling into the faceless trap.

I am convinced that Limp is one of those old hacks you see play social doubles on weekends, who face some patty cake balls that his 10 oz racket with light grip pressure can still handle.

there is no other way to explain why he said what he said.

papa
10-15-2011, 07:00 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xFGrmHocmjM

.........................

papa I think you are falling into the faceless trap.

..............................

Thanks dosu. I've been around this game for quite a while as a player, teacher and coach. Pretty hard to trap me although I certainly have my severe doubts about the premise being considered. As I mentioned, many of us can strike the ball pretty cleanly using just a couple of fingers and not using our arms - probably better than most players using everything so we'll see what happens.

bhupaes
10-15-2011, 10:10 PM
I agree with (1) but not (2). I think that the "release" you refer to in (1) is release of the mass of the racquet. It seems to me that gripping the racquet tighter inhibits the mass of the racquet to do its job - plow through the ball and follow the natural swing path of a proper wind up and forward swing.

Regarding (2), I think we're saying the same thing in different ways. The larger effective mass that includes the mass of the hand has an adverse effect on the swing path. The smaller muscles that effect finer control are not optimally effective.

I also suspect that players who think that they need 12oz + racquets to handle pace without having their racquets pushed around are gripping their racquets too tight. That's exactly what happened to me. When I discovered that I could hold the racquet loosely, I also discovered that an 11oz racquet had all the plow I needed, even against hard flat penetrating groundies.

Well, racquet weight is a very personal thing. I am used to a 12 oz set up that's head light (SW about 335), but I grip very lightly. I know one 5.0 player who uses a much heavier set up than I do, and a couple of 4.5 level players whose racquets are less than 11 oz. I find that if I use a light racquet, I lose the easy power I need for first strike... and my serves slow down noticeably.

LeeD
10-16-2011, 06:01 PM
Interesting experiment today.
I have some different rackets.
Brought my usual Aero500 at 10.2 oz to the courts, along with my HeadTi of the same size and weight.
Aero served DEAD balls about thigh high on the backboard most times, like 8 out of 10.
Ti served knee high most times. Had 15 guage tourney nylon.
Aero had 16 LuxBB.
Balls were a mixture of 6 month old DunlopHDChampsHardCourts and really really flat PennHD's.
Guy hitting with a very good 12 year old was 6'6" tall easy. His serves with his balls (the one he was hitting with the up and coming kid), bounced the same, but his serves were top/slices. Kid's serves didn't hit the fence on the second bounce, but he could out rally me for sure.
I think lightweight rackets serve well if they have lots of power.
There are lightweight rackets which are soft and have no power, of course.

Limpinhitter
10-16-2011, 06:46 PM
Regarding (2), I think we're saying the same thing in different ways. The larger effective mass that includes the mass of the hand has an adverse effect on the swing path. The smaller muscles that effect finer control are not optimally effective.



Well, racquet weight is a very personal thing. I am used to a 12 oz set up that's head light (SW about 335), but I grip very lightly. I know one 5.0 player who uses a much heavier set up than I do, and a couple of 4.5 level players whose racquets are less than 11 oz. I find that if I use a light racquet, I lose the easy power I need for first strike... and my serves slow down noticeably.

Remember, I said "suspect." I say that because I've always preferred the feel of a heavier racquet, 12-12.5oz, that is fairly flexible and head light, myself. But, when I discovered the "relaxed grip," it dawned on me that the reason I preferred heavier racquets was because I wasn't allowing the mass of the racquet to do its job by gripping too firmly at contact, so I needed a heavier racquet to compensate. Obviously, my next step is to demo some lighter weight power racquets and test my theory. I'm thinking Pure Drive, Pro Open and maybe the New Head Instict, all of which are about 300g unstrung. There are so many highly ranked local juniors who use these kinds of racquets and just tear the frikkin cover off of the ball. The lighter weights don't seem to hurt them one bit.

I also suspect (hope, pray), that gripping the racquet too firmly at contact (on all shots), is the underlying cause of my tennis elbow. Wouldn't that be an interesting discovery! If this new "relaxed grip" helps prevent that, I'll be switching back to co-poly strings shortly.

papa
10-17-2011, 04:01 AM
Remember, I said "suspect." I say that because I've always preferred the feel of a heavier racquet, 12-12.5oz, that is fairly flexible and head light, myself. But, when I discovered the "relaxed grip," it dawned on me that the reason I preferred heavier racquets was because I wasn't allowing the mass of the racquet to do its job by gripping too firmly at contact, so I needed a heavier racquet to compensate. Obviously, my next step is to demo some lighter weight power racquets and test my theory. I'm thinking Pure Drive, Pro Open and maybe the New Head Instict, all of which are about 300g unstrung. There are so many highly ranked local juniors who use these kinds of racquets and just tear the frikkin cover off of the ball. The lighter weights don't seem to hurt them one bit.

I also suspect (hope, pray), that gripping the racquet too firmly at contact (on all shots), is the underlying cause of my tennis elbow. Wouldn't that be an interesting discovery! If this new "relaxed grip" helps prevent that, I'll be switching back to co-poly strings shortly.

Sounds like were changing the parameters of this quite a bit now. I've never mentioned holding the racquet too firmly/tight at or before contact. I think most of know what that can do especially if done prior to contact.

Tennis elbow, can be cause by several factors but primarily by using too much arm and basically not using a proper stroke - I see it everyday. There are many ways to strike a ball but just using the arm will get everyone in trouble quickly.

papa
10-17-2011, 04:11 AM
.......................
Ti served knee high most times. Had 15 guage tourney nylon.
Aero had 16 LuxBB.
...........................

Interesting post. I've strung with 17 LuxBB on a couple of occasions but really had trouble controlling the ball and cut it out of my racquets - fun to hit with but I just didn't have the control although the power is awesome. I've been using Prince Black's for the last couple of months and Wilson Surge's prior to that (both 100). I string my own stuff but also found that LuxBB is sure one pain in the neck to work with - like stringing with a watch spring.

Surprised you use a 15 guage in your Aero - doesn't it make it very stiff?

Limpinhitter
10-17-2011, 05:46 AM
Sounds like were changing the parameters of this quite a bit now. I've never mentioned holding the racquet too firmly/tight at or before contact. I think most of know what that can do especially if done prior to contact.

Tennis elbow, can be cause by several factors but primarily by using too much arm and basically not using a proper stroke - I see it everyday. There are many ways to strike a ball but just using the arm will get everyone in trouble quickly.

Well, I've been playing tennis since 1969, evolving from Continental, to Eastern to SW grips, with every design of racquet you could imagine, and maybe some you couldn't imagine, and I never had tennis elbow until I started using polyester string. Having said that, I'm not sure what you mean by "changing the parameters." When I say "relaxed grip" I mean holding the racquet just firmly enough to keep it from coming out of your hand, and NOT adding any pressure at contact. As the OP has observed, IT WORKS. I don't think I changed that. What's not clear is whether the OP also means to decelerate his racquet. That's not a part of what I'm talking about. I'm accelerating through contact and decelerating in the follow through. But, my grip remains loose throughout.

Whether this turns out to be a remedy/resolution for tennis elbow remains to be seen. I'm just speculating (hoping) out loud. But, think about it, if you are holding the racquet loosely so that the shock/vibration of contact is not transferred to your arm, but rather, remains in the racquet, doesn't it seem logical that a loose grip might resolve and/or prevent tennis elbow? I'm pretty excited about the prospect. If it works out, it re-opens my racquet and string options. I'd love to be able to handle a mid-weight power racquet like the Pure Drive with a full bed of RPM or Lux ALU rather than the very arm friendly, but very low powered, Dunlop 300T's (leaded up to about 12oz+), and soft multifilament strings I've been using.

dozu
10-17-2011, 05:58 AM
'NOT adding pressure at contact'.

sorry Limp - sounds like 40+ years later you are still stuck at 3.5 level, because that's the kind of balls that OP is facing.

I know, because I don't need to add grip pressure against 3.5 balls.

this playing level would explain your opinion on FHs, volleys, bh slices.

and who gets TENNIS elbow on FHs? that is called the golf elbow.

Limpinhitter
10-17-2011, 06:12 AM
'NOT adding pressure at contact'.

sorry Limp - sounds like 40+ years later you are still stuck at 3.5 level, because that's the kind of balls that OP is facing.

I know, because I don't need to add grip pressure against 3.5 balls.

this playing level would explain your opinion on FHs, volleys, bh slices.

and who gets TENNIS elbow on FHs? that is called the golf elbow.

Perhaps your lack of understanding arises from your lack of playing experience against higher level competition. I suggest you play a few sanctioned tournaments in which, no doubt, you'll play a high seed in the first round. That way, you'll gain the experience that you need to make credible comments on a tennis forum.

dozu
10-17-2011, 06:22 AM
wrong Limp - people already know how I play.... but nobody knows how you do

(well, except the good players in the know who can tell that you are a low level hack based on the posts you've made).

I am just trying to do a public service so that many beginners won't have their progress derailed by reading your stuff.

Limpinhitter
10-17-2011, 06:32 AM
wrong Limp - people already know how I play.... but nobody knows how you do

(well, except the good players in the know who can tell that you are a low level hack based on the posts you've made).

I am just trying to do a public service so that many beginners won't have their progress derailed by reading your stuff.

I don't think anyone on TT knows how you play, Doze. You've posted video of yourself hitting against a wall and down the middle of the court against a hacker. That has very little to do with matchplay, Dozu. If you had matchplay experience, you'd know that. Now, go play some sanctioned tournaments and get the experience you need to have the wisdom to give credible advice online.

dozu
10-17-2011, 06:39 AM
limp - how about we make a deal. you post something against the wall or down the middle against a 'hacker', I will sign up for a tournament.

I bet $5 now that you are gonna come up with some other lame excuse.

faceless cowards always do - they never run out of excuses.

come on - it's a very good offer.... my condition used to be a $3k bet... but for you, Limp, I am gonna lower the bar, to just some amateur videos.

Limpinhitter
10-17-2011, 07:03 AM
limp - how about we make a deal. you post something against the wall or down the middle against a 'hacker', I will sign up for a tournament.

I bet $5 now that you are gonna come up with some other lame excuse.

faceless cowards always do - they never run out of excuses.

come on - it's a very good offer.... my condition used to be a $3k bet... but for you, Limp, I am gonna lower the bar, to just some amateur videos.

Sorry Doze. I keep my identity on line strictly confidential. Further, posting video of me hitting against a wall would prove only that I can hit the ball, nothing more. How you hit against a wall, Doze, doesn't mean a thing when it comes to how your game holds up in matchplay.

From your post I gather that you have no matchplay experience. Not a big deal. But, it's laughable (as well as arrogant and hypocritical), that one who has no matchplay experience, goes around assigning playing levels - not only to himself, but to others - when you haven't played any matches. Apparently, you don't understand that playing levels refer to how you play, not how you hit against a wall. Bottom line, if you haven't played sanctioned matches, then you really don't know what you're talking about when it comes to level of play.

dozu
10-17-2011, 07:11 AM
looks like I just won the $5 bet.... no surprise there.

I kinda feel bad for picking on a senior citizen... but tennis is tennis... It will be best that you put up a disclaimer that you cannot show your face due to the low playing level... think of the damage you can do to all the kids out there trying to learn this game.

'strictly confidential'... yeah right, not the first time I've heard this.... wasn't there some big shot coach who couldn't show face due to some 'legal constraints'? I had to offer free legal advice from my lawyer friend... arche3 offered up his lawyers as well... alas, no bite.

excuses excuses.... that's what faceless guys are never short of.

Limpinhitter
10-17-2011, 07:21 AM
looks like I just won the $5 bet.... no surprise there.

I kinda feel bad for picking on a senior citizen... but tennis is tennis... It will be best that you put up a disclaimer that you cannot show your face due to the low playing level... think of the damage you can do to all the kids out there trying to learn this game.

'strictly confidential'... yeah right, not the first time I've heard this.... wasn't there some big shot coach who couldn't show face due to some 'legal constraints'? I had to offer free legal advice from my lawyer friend... arche3 offered up his lawyers as well... alas, no bite.

excuses excuses.... that's what faceless guys are never short of.

Hahaha! "Tennis is tennis?" How would you know? Go play a real match in a sanctioned tournament and get back. You'll be the better, wiser, player for it. Until then, you're not really a player, are you? You're still digging that hole.

DavaiMarat
10-17-2011, 07:31 AM
Again we fall into the game of explaining the same thing yet misunderstanding all too well what the other is saying. Grip pressure, wrist relaxation, arbitrary grip ratings i.e. 2/10, 8/10.

When it comes down to it, the ball doesn't care...nor does the racket or strings.

From my understanding of the OP 1st post, he's experiencing what it feels like not to muscle the ball. It's as plain and simple as that. What he's explaining as guiding is simply his way of explaining it feels like when a looser grip and arm tension is involved in striking a ball. You get a longer swing path and smoother acceleration of the racket and of course with the added benefit of greater power, control and repeatability (endurance wise).

You can make fun of each other spelling all day. I know mine is horrible. It brings us no closer to understanding the OP and his experience.

If someone can refute my argument please go ahead, till then OP let me know if you want some tips to repeat this type of experience. I might be able to help.

dozu
10-17-2011, 07:41 AM
^^ now here is something from a guy with a face, and therefore there is a base for discussion... I know exactly what you mean, and I know exactly what I should say.

the scale of 10 - it's just a tool to communicate this feel to a student, because loose/tight/relaxed may be interpreted differently by different people, so putting a number on it could make it easier to understand.

what you said is correct.. I am just saying that OP appears to be in the learning state where he has not faced any real incoming pace/spin yet, therefore this loosy goosy feel...

if I hit a drop shot, I am 2/10 thru out, but if I have to counter a 85mph incoming groundie and try to hit it back 85mph, then the grip pressure will tighten to 8/10 AT IMPACT.

Limpinhitter
10-17-2011, 07:46 AM
Again we fall into the game of explaining the same thing yet misunderstanding all too well what the other is saying. Grip pressure, wrist relaxation, arbitrary grip ratings i.e. 2/10, 8/10.

When it comes down to it, the ball doesn't care...nor does the racket or strings.

From my understanding of the OP 1st post, he's experiencing what it feels like not to muscle the ball. It's as plain and simple as that. What he's explaining as guiding is simply his way of explaining it feels like when a looser grip and arm tension is involved in striking a ball. You get a longer swing path and smoother acceleration of the racket and of course with the added benefit of greater power, control and repeatability (endurance wise).

You can make fun of each other spelling all day. I know mine is horrible. It brings us no closer to understanding the OP and his experience.

If someone can refute my argument please go ahead, till then OP let me know if you want some tips to repeat this type of experience. I might be able to help.

Did you read the whole thread? I think that I'm talking about the same thing that the OP is talking about, except, I am not decelerating. It's not clear to me if he is decelerating. What I explained in my posts is that I'm hold the racquet firmly enough to keep it from coming out of my hand, but not increading the firmness at any time including at contact. This was an epiphany for me. Read my posts and let me know what you think.

DjokerRules
10-17-2011, 08:14 AM
I haven't tried the loose grip throughout yet, but just thinking out loud. It would seem to me that if you hold the racquet loose throughout, so that it doesn't fall out of your hand, you might be defeating the purpose of the kinetic chain. i.e that the energy transferred from the rotating body to the loose whip arm is not going to be transferred to the racquet due to too loose a grip. My guess is that the grip should be tight enough such that the tennis racquet acts as a fused appendage of the hand so that the maximum amount of the energy could be transferred to it. Thoughts?

dozu
10-17-2011, 08:24 AM
this discussion has gone to the point, where Confucius would call it 'chickens trying to talk to ducks'.

it's very easy to fall into this trap, we perceive the world from our own individual experiences.

take DavaiMarat for example - he hits against good pace, for rec standards, I bet $5 that his grip pressure is fairly firm at impact, and is FIRMER than before the impact.

now - on the other side of the debate, there is a faceless guy who says - 'I don't add grip pressure', then everybody goes off with counter arguments blah blah, WITHOUT knowing what the premises are.... he is not adding pressure, why? because he has discovered some secrets in tennis? or because he is facing balls that come at 45 mph? in all likelihood, the latter is the case, because the guy is a senior citizen playing patty cake balls against other senior citizens.

It might sound cruel or impolite, but that is the truth.

Before we see faces, before we understand where the arguments are coming FROM, why even bother?

rkelley
10-17-2011, 08:57 AM
Lately, I am noticing that sometimes during a match I execute this swing that produces amazing results. When I am hitting well and confident, I can pull these shots off, where I prepare well, see the ball well, and then unwind accelerating the head on the desired line...but then, maybe a foot or two before contact, I throttle off. I just let go and cut the power. Everything (body, arm, racquet) keeps flowing through the ball, but it results in a pure release, and unreal power and control.

Of course this is only possible when I have time. For many other shots you need to keep a firm wrist and (more or less) guide the head through.

I only do this off the FH. I think the 2HBH is too restricted to allow this kind of release.

I guess the question is, is this a valid swing thought? When I have a good ball to hit, to pursue this kind of release? Am I on the right path?

So back on topic . . .

Yes, I think you're on the right track. I don't think of it as throtling off exactly, though I understand what you mean. I think of it as I've just unloaded everything I have into the racquet before contact. It's the whole kinetic chain idea. At contact I'm just fine tuning the power that I've already released. The racquet head just whips into the ball. Your fh, bh, and serves should all feel this way.

Try hitting softer balls with that same feeling and form. What you should find is that those balls are almost effortless but there's still nice power.

You can do this on the backhand too. With the two hander it's tighter feeling, but the same principle applies. And there will always be shots where you have to muscle it over, and there are some shots where want that firm grip and wrist - mostly shots where you're using your opponents power and just redirecting it. But that free flowing, whipping kind of stroke is where the big power lives. That should be the basic feeling that you're trying to achieve on ground strokes and serves.

Limpinhitter
10-17-2011, 08:58 AM
I haven't tried the loose grip throughout yet, but just thinking out loud. It would seem to me that if you hold the racquet loose throughout, so that it doesn't fall out of your hand, you might be defeating the purpose of the kinetic chain. i.e that the energy transferred from the rotating body to the loose whip arm is not going to be transferred to the racquet due to too loose a grip. My guess is that the grip should be tight enough such that the tennis racquet acts as a fused appendage of the hand so that the maximum amount of the energy could be transferred to it. Thoughts?

I don't think so. The energy transferred to the racquet is the result of acceleration. If you read my prior posts, I explain that it seems to me that any muscle tension, including firming the grip, tends to inhibit both acceleration and the natural swing path created by a proper windup and forward swing before contact.

Off The Wall
10-17-2011, 09:06 AM
Well, I've been playing tennis since 1969, evolving from Continental, to Eastern to SW grips, with every design of racquet you could imagine, and maybe some you couldn't imagine, and I never had tennis elbow until I started using polyester string. Having said that, I'm not sure what you mean by "changing the parameters." When I say "relaxed grip" I mean holding the racquet just firmly enough to keep it from coming out of your hand, and NOT adding any pressure at contact. As the OP has observed, IT WORKS. I don't think I changed that. What's not clear is whether the OP also means to decelerate his racquet. That's not a part of what I'm talking about. I'm accelerating through contact and decelerating in the follow through. But, my grip remains loose throughout.

Whether this turns out to be a remedy/resolution for tennis elbow remains to be seen. I'm just speculating (hoping) out loud. But, think about it, if you are holding the racquet loosely so that the shock/vibration of contact is not transferred to your arm, but rather, remains in the racquet, doesn't it seem logical that a loose grip might resolve and/or prevent tennis elbow? I'm pretty excited about the prospect. If it works out, it re-opens my racquet and string options. I'd love to be able to handle a mid-weight power racquet like the Pure Drive with a full bed of RPM or Lux ALU rather than the very arm friendly, but very low powered, Dunlop 300T's (leaded up to about 12oz+), and soft multifilament strings I've been using.

Many players are reporting that the new string material is causing distress to their elbows. Some teaching pros I know are putting out warnings.

Can't think of a name
10-17-2011, 09:13 AM
I conclude that limp is a 3.5 at best... Based on his understanding of the fh, bh, and voleys

I conclude that Dozu is 2.5 at best based on his inability to spell volley.

another classic fallacy in switching out the topic.... just show your face, and we can talk.

Hahaha! I was giving you a taste of your own medicine but it was lost on you. Dozu, I can see that I ascribed more intellect to you than was merited. Sorry, I won't make that mistake again.

good - so you are the family cat


http://imgur.com/tCp90.gif

rkelley
10-17-2011, 09:59 AM
Many players are reporting that the new string material is causing distress to their elbows. Some teaching pros I know are putting out warnings.

I've heard of lots of folks having arm problems with a full poly string bed. These are good juniors - good form and young arms. Many people go down in tension if they go full poly. Others, myself included, do a hybrid of poly and something softer. I do a poly in the mains (Luxilon or Huricane) and Babolat Excel Comfort in the crosses. I also don't like the way full poly volleys - zero feel.

Limpinhitter
10-17-2011, 10:02 AM
I've heard of lots of folks having arm problems with a full poly string bed. These are good juniors - good form and young arms. Many people go down in tension if they go full poly. Others, myself included, do a hybrid of poly and something softer. I do a poly in the mains (Luxilon or Huricane) and Babolat Excel Comfort in the crosses. I also don't like the way full poly volleys - zero feel.

Racquets are also much stiffer than they used to be. I remember when Sampras' PS85 was considered to be very stiff.

DavaiMarat
10-17-2011, 10:08 AM
Did you read the whole thread? I think that I'm talking about the same thing that the OP is talking about, except, I am not decelerating. It's not clear to me if he is decelerating. What I explained in my posts is that I'm hold the racquet firmly enough to keep it from coming out of my hand, but not increading the firmness at any time including at contact. This was an epiphany for me. Read my posts and let me know what you think.

Simply my point. I think we're all talking about something we experience when we simply let go of the stroke instead of controlling every minutia. I'm not belittling anyone or anything. Just simply stating we should try to help the OP regain that sensation every time he plays...some my call it the zone...others may call it relaxed intensity.

W.r.t to grip pressure there are different schools of philosophy on this. It's all dependent on your style and level. If you can hit the ball in the dead center of the sweet spot 10/10 times you could play with 2 fingers. However, for most of us, this isn't the case. I would advocate holding the racquet tight enough that you can always keep the frame in a proper relation to your forearm...not floppy...but not tight enough to cause tension in the arm or shoulder. This would be for ground strokes.

Volleys on the other hand, I would squeeze a bit harder since your frame doesn't have the added benefit of momentum (unless you swing at your volleys) of your racquet to keep the frame stable during your volley. I get some kids to choke up the hand a inch when hitting them sometimes. In this case you want to create a good 'connection' between your body momentum and hand. A solid racquet head is necessary and hence a firmer grip is necessary. REmember in a good volley the head only moves 6-8 inches.

dozu
10-17-2011, 10:13 AM
W.r.t to grip pressure there are different schools of philosophy on this. It's all dependent on your style and level. If you can hit the ball in the dead center of the sweet spot 10/10 times you could play with 2 fingers.

this is wrong - how often do you hit dead center? 2-3 out of 10? so in theory you could produce 2-3 good fh's with 2 fingers.

now go try that, against a ball machine set at pace that sends ball to you at your playing level, say 4.5-5.0

I bet $5 you will produce ZERO balls that come close to what your normal FH is.

what collides with the ball, is NOT the racket... it's the arm/racket unit.... like one of the post above, the racket is basically 'fused' to the hand like it's an extension of the arm.... if at impact no grip pressure is added, this is like hitting a ball with a broken arm or broken wrist... you can still swing fast with broken bones, but you can't compress the ball!

papa
10-17-2011, 10:19 AM
Well, tomorrow is my day off and I'm not going near any tennis court BUT, tell you what I'll do. Monday, although I have clinics a good portion of the day and lessons later on, I'll have someone feed me balls and I'll give your method a try. I'm not concerned the racquet will fly from my hand (I've been at this a long time), I just find it difficult to buy into your premise and have never heard anyone suggest it. But lets see what happens.

I suspect you would fine my forehand just fine so I think I would be a good test of your theory. Lets see what happens.

Now, just as a matter of clarification, were talking about feeds/serves that are being delivered with good hard pace and not something just peppered over the net. I know I can hit some of the easy stuff holding the racquet with a couple of fingers and have a bungee cord around my arms but were talking stuff coming with reasonably good pace & spin - I hope that's what were talking about.

Well, so much for that little experiment. Maybe others will have different success with a really loose grip at contact but it didn't work for me for several reasons.

First, when one has a relatively fast swing, centrifugal force takes over and the racquet has a tendency to leave the hand - at least it did to me on a couple of occasions.

Second, I use a relatively light frame (Prince, 100 Black) which I believe is a little over 10 oz and if my hand was really loose, the force of the ball pushes the racquet back so the hit was either extremely weak or in several cases didn't even make the net. The racquet just absorbs most/all the energy on the incoming ball and if I wasn't particularly careful striking the ball exactly on the long axis the force turned/torqued the racquet in my hand. Tried with a Wilson Surge 100 also but the results were the same.

Third, although I've probably played more than many here, and have always advocated a loose wrist and light grip into/after contact, I found it difficult to maintain a very light grip through at and through contact - just seems very unnatural to me and it feels like I have little or no control.

I also tried some static hitting and it didn't work well either - at least the way I hit.

So, other than giving a few some good laughs it didn't prove anything to me. I suppose the word "firm" might mean different things to all of us. Squeezing the handle tight or as hard as you can does not mean firm to me.

Limpinhitter
10-17-2011, 10:24 AM
Simply my point. I think we're all talking about something we experience when we simply let go of the stroke instead of controlling every minutia. I'm not belittling anyone or anything. Just simply stating we should try to help the OP regain that sensation every time he plays...some my call it the zone...others may call it relaxed intensity.

W.r.t to grip pressure there are different schools of philosophy on this. It's all dependent on your style and level. If you can hit the ball in the dead center of the sweet spot 10/10 times you could play with 2 fingers. However, for most of us, this isn't the case. I would advocate holding the racquet tight enough that you can always keep the frame in a proper relation to your forearm...not floppy...but not tight enough to cause tension in the arm or shoulder. This would be for ground strokes.

Volleys on the other hand, I would squeeze a bit harder since your frame doesn't have the added benefit of momentum (unless you swing at your volleys) of your racquet to keep the frame stable during your volley. I get some kids to choke up the hand a inch when hitting them sometimes. In this case you want to create a good 'connection' between your body momentum and hand. A solid racquet head is necessary and hence a firmer grip is necessary. REmember in a good volley the head only moves 6-8 inches.

I suspect our premises are pretty close. I'm talking about a relaxed hand and wrist and not adding any firmness at any part of the swing, including contact. For me, it requires very little firmness to sufficiently maintain my wrist angle, but, I'm not sure how much you should maintain it. Federer, Nadal and Djoko all seem to have very flexible, relaxed wrists when looking at slow motion video of their forehands.

As for volleys, I haven't yet experimented with this concept. It's still new to me. But, although I agree that the hand only moves a very short distance in a properly executed volley, the body is, or should be, moving forward as well. So, between the hand and body as a whole, there is probably about 1.5-2.0 feet of movement there, maybe more. Enough to get some significant acceleration of the mass of the racquet I would argue.

Limpinhitter
10-17-2011, 10:26 AM
Well, so much for that little experiment. Maybe others will have different success with a really loose grip at contact but it didn't work for me for several reasons.

First, when one has a relatively fast swing, centrifugal force takes over and the racquet has a tendency to leave the hand - at least it did to me on a couple of occasions.

Second, I use a relatively light frame (Prince, 100 Black) which I believe is a little over 10 oz and if my hand was really loose, the force of the ball pushes the racquet back so the hit was either extremely weak or in several cases didn't even make the net. The racquet just absorbs most/all the energy on the incoming ball and if I wasn't particularly careful striking the ball exactly on the long axis the force turned/torqued the racquet in my hand. Tried with a Wilson Surge 100 also but the results were the same.

Third, although I've probably played more than many here, and have always advocated a loose wrist and light grip into/after contact, I found it difficult to maintain a very light grip through at and through contact - just seems very unnatural to me and it feels like I have little or no control.

I also tried some static hitting and it didn't work well either - at least the way I hit.

So, other than giving a few some good laughs it didn't prove anything to me. I suppose the word "firm" might mean different things to all of us. Squeezing the handle tight or as hard as you can does not mean firm to me.

Interesting! How would you characterize your stroke? Classing Eastern drive? Modern SW?

dozu
10-17-2011, 10:31 AM
Well, so much for that little experiment.

that's not surprising at all. like I already said, the faceless guy is hitting balls coming at 45mph, so it's ok not to add (much) pressure at impact.

forget tennis - in ever day life, hammering a nail, chopping firewood, hitting a baseball, shooting a hockey puck, teeing off a golf ball .... the concept is all the same... relaxed pressure to start the motion, but naturally tighten according to the 'intent', like Shawn Clement says in his video, because the central nervous system is smart enough.

dozu
10-17-2011, 10:36 AM
Interesting! How would you characterize your stroke? Classing Eastern drive? Modern SW?

let me try - the answer is

IT DOESN'T MATTER.

compression is compression. Limp, you have never felt it.

papa
10-17-2011, 10:49 AM
Interesting! How would you characterize your stroke? Classing Eastern drive? Modern SW?

Modern SW. I can hit the ball with a variety of stroke but don't think it would effect things.

Limpinhitter
10-17-2011, 12:43 PM
Modern SW. I can hit the ball with a variety of stroke but don't think it would effect things.

The reason I ask is that the relaxed grip seems to facilitate the kind of racquet turnover (a combination of pronation and wrist release), after contact inherent in a modern SW WW fh, that doesn't exist with a more traditional stroke. I'm not even sure it's feasible with an old school Eastern drive that finishes pointing to the top of the far fence. But, with my modern SW WW fh, I'm getting more pop and spin with less effort when I remove all tension from my wrist and hand.

My only other explanation for our divergent experiences is our respective perceptions of what loose and relaxed means. Perhaps what I consider loose and relaxed, you consider firm. Other than that, I can't explain it.

onehandbh
10-17-2011, 01:05 PM
The reason I ask is that the relaxed grip seems to facilitate the kind of racquet turnover

You need to change your username to LIMPhitter.

dozu
10-17-2011, 01:23 PM
You need to change your username to LIMPhitter.

froggie why don't you contribute something positive to this discussion.

HunterST
10-17-2011, 01:53 PM
'NOT adding pressure at contact'.

sorry Limp - sounds like 40+ years later you are still stuck at 3.5 level, because that's the kind of balls that OP is facing.

I know, because I don't need to add grip pressure against 3.5 balls.

this playing level would explain your opinion on FHs, volleys, bh slices.

and who gets TENNIS elbow on FHs? that is called the golf elbow.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f0nigbsQhgQ&feature=channel_video_title

Brent Abel isn't faceless. He is a national 60s singles champion, and he advocates a relaxed grip throughout the stroke (yes, event at contact). Everyone knows the grip will naturally and inevitably tighten during the stroke, but most players clinch up and slow down their swings. That is what limpinhitter is pointing out.

Limpinhitter
10-17-2011, 02:13 PM
You need to change your username to LIMPhitter.

Froggie, your wit is exceeded only by your originality!

Limpinhitter
10-17-2011, 02:19 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f0nigbsQhgQ&feature=channel_video_title

Brent Abel isn't faceless. He is a national 60s singles champion, and he advocates a relaxed grip throughout the stroke (yes, event at contact). Everyone knows the grip will naturally and inevitably tighten during the stroke, but most players clinch up and slow down their swings. That is what limpinhitter is pointing out.

I think Brent Able must be Frank Silverman's coach! Hahaha! He's an excellent player, totally old school, but he completely discounts modern technique for anyone other than world class players.

But, it is interesting that he also advocates a relaxed grip, and emphasizes the importance of keeping a relaxed grip at contact. And, unless he's got his racquet taped up, he's using a pretty light, stiff, powerful, stick.

papa
10-17-2011, 03:49 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f0nigbsQhgQ&feature=channel_video_title

Brent Abel isn't faceless. He is a national 60s singles champion, and he advocates a relaxed grip throughout the stroke (yes, event at contact). Everyone knows the grip will naturally and inevitably tighten during the stroke, but most players clinch up and slow down their swings. That is what limpinhitter is pointing out.

Hunter, I'm very familiar with Brent although we've never met - we have conversed on several occasions over the years on different aspects of tennis.

I think if you re-run the clip you'll see that he uses the term "not too tightly" several times which is different than suggesting a completely "relaxed" grip. I'd agree with you that most know the grip tightens naturally at contact but there is some debate here on whether its correct. I'd also agree with you that if one tightens the grip too much (even at contact), it destroys the stroke.

Brent has a relatively slow swing compared to many players but has been very successful throughout the years. The balls he's returning in this clip appear to be coming at a relatively slow pace.

papa
10-17-2011, 03:54 PM
I think Brent Able must be Frank Silverman's coach! Hahaha! He's an excellent player, totally old school, but he completely discounts modern technique for anyone other than world class players.

But, it is interesting that he also advocates a relaxed grip, and emphasizes the importance of keeping a relaxed grip at contact. And, unless he's got his racquet taped up, he's using a pretty light, stiff, powerful, stick.

I don't think Brent has "old school methods" completely. He has produced a lot of good stuff over the years - we don't maybe see eye to eye on everything but he's been a very successful player too. Also as I mentioned before he uses the term "not too tightly" which to me anyway, is a lot different than completely relaxed.

dozu
10-17-2011, 03:56 PM
[url]Everyone knows the grip will naturally and inevitably tighten during the stroke, but most players clinch up and slow down their swings. That is what limpinhitter is pointing out.

1 faceless guy trying to save face for another faceless guy.

limp clearly said - he did NOT add pressure at contact.

papa
10-17-2011, 03:59 PM
I've heard of lots of folks having arm problems with a full poly string bed. These are good juniors - good form and young arms. Many people go down in tension if they go full poly. Others, myself included, do a hybrid of poly and something softer. I do a poly in the mains (Luxilon or Huricane) and Babolat Excel Comfort in the crosses. I also don't like the way full poly volleys - zero feel.

Yeah, I like a hybrid also, except I go the other way - whatever works. I've played a lot with full poly and never had an arm problem - for me its a little too soft but that's a preference thing. I've also strung kid's frames this way and they can really hit well with - keeping the tension a little lower also.

Limpinhitter
10-17-2011, 04:05 PM
1 faceless guy trying to save face for another faceless guy.

limp clearly said - he did NOT add pressure at contact.

Now you're misrepresenting what I said.

As I explained numerous times, I was taught from the beginning to add pressure at contact, and that this was the accepted convention that has been taught, propably for 90 years. I also explained in plain language that this relaxed method has been a very recent discovery for me, and it is pure serendipity that Thug started a thread about this subject shortly after my discovery. So far, I've gotten very impressive, and some unexpected, results by not adding any pressure at contact. I don't know, and haven't made any representations, express or implied, how this is going to work out in the long run.

dozu
10-17-2011, 04:36 PM
Now you're misrepresenting what I said.



a classic line every time a politician tries to weasel out of something s/he said.

anybody who cares to read thru the thread knows, that was exactly what you said, and now you are back pedaling.

I am glad for you, after 40+ years of tennis you finally have felt centrifugal force and relaxation.... but your experience hitting against 45mph balls will work for the 29% who also hit against 45mph or lower, but won't work when the ball comes loaded with any sort of pace and spin.

Limpinhitter
10-17-2011, 04:37 PM
a classic line every time a politician tries to weasel out of something s/he said.

anybody who cares to read thru the thread knows, that was exactly what you said, and now you are back pedaling.

I am glad for you, after 40+ years of tennis you finally have felt centrifugal force and relaxation.... but your experience hitting against 45mph balls will work for the 29% who also hit against 45mph or lower, but won't work when the ball comes loaded with any sort of pace and spin.

Hahaha! Someone who has never played a match in his life talking about centrifugal force. Dozu, anyone who reads through this thread will discovery (if they didn't already know), what fool and a liar you are.

onehandbh
10-17-2011, 05:00 PM
froggie why don't you contribute something positive to this discussion.

I have no idea what the original poster is talking about regarding throttle
off and he hasn't posted again to clarify.

I don't have no idea how loose my grip is at contact, nevermind giving a grip
pressure rating from 0-10 at various parts of the FH.
At the unit turn, I grip is super loose, though. As I swing forward into the
the ball, the momentum of my arm rotating and going forward makes the
racquet "layback" somewhat and I guess this process of laying back makes
it a little more firm against my hand. The racquet won't fly out of my hand
b/c of the butt cap being a larger diameter than the rest of the handle.
I probably hitting tonight so I'll try to see if I can observe what I do.
If I get the time, I'll take a super slow motion video

LeeD
10-17-2011, 05:10 PM
C'mon guys, leave the criticism and badmouthing comments back in your mind, unless it's directed at me.
We all play tennis using different guidelines. Some play by feel, some by textbook, some by what's the pros doing, some doing it their own way, to heck with convention.
And we need not understand the other guy's styles. We only play for fun, or cash, but it's our own choice whether we want to adopt different ideas.
Lots of forehand ideas are waaaaaaaaay over my head, yet I can comment on volley style and sliced backhand with the best of them.
Live and let live.

Limpinhitter
10-17-2011, 05:20 PM
I have no idea what the original poster is talking about regarding throttle
off and he hasn't posted again to clarify.

I don't have no idea how loose my grip is at contact, nevermind giving a grip
pressure rating from 0-10 at various parts of the FH.
At the unit turn, I grip is super loose, though. As I swing forward into the
the ball, the momentum of my arm rotating and going forward makes the
racquet "layback" somewhat and I guess this process of laying back makes
it a little more firm against my hand. The racquet won't fly out of my hand
b/c of the butt cap being a larger diameter than the rest of the handle.
I probably hitting tonight so I'll try to see if I can observe what I do.
If I get the time, I'll take a super slow motion video

Good post! I knew you could do it! Your explanation that the buttcap is what keeps the racquet in your hand indicates to me that you maintain a very relaxed grip throughout your swing including contact.

What about backhands? Same thing?

thug the bunny
10-17-2011, 06:14 PM
Wow. I was away, and I come back to this very um, lively discussion. Imo there's alot of miscommunicaiton on semantics and minutia.

I should explain I'm not a 3.5 returning 3.5 shots. My most frequent playing partners can hit with intent and pace. I know how to use the core, create lag, and release through the ball. It's just that my normal release is nothing like this one. I was trying to describe how it feels as if before contact I'm turning off the impulse driving the stick forward, and lettting the momentum of the body/arm/racquet continue through the ball. Both my wrists and grip feel loose throughout, although as dozu points out (I think) I'm sure I subconciously momentarily up the grip pressure at contact. It produces a really long, loose follow through. It requires concentration and good timing. The feel is unreal. I can't really complain about my level of ball striking considering my situation, but when I hit the ball this way I get a rarified glimpse into the next level.

I can execute this swing against hi pace shots if I'm seeing the ball and prepping well, but not if I don't have confidence. Let's face it, if we don't have the mojo we rush, stab and steer the ball. Also, in my experience there are a plethora of shots that do require a firm wirst and grip - volleys (exception overheads and put aways), half volleys, quick prep ground returns, punches, and anything with a sawed-off follow through.

Yes, Davai, I would like any tips on creating this swing on a more consistent basis.

I guess you could incorporate this concept into a 2HBH. I actually have tried, but it's just that the introductin of two shoulders and two wrists connected to the racquet produces constriction that doesn't feel amenable to the release I get on the FH.

Limpinhitter
10-17-2011, 06:44 PM
Wow. I was away, and I come back to this very um, lively discussion. Imo there's alot of miscommunicaiton on semantics and minutia.

I should explain I'm not a 3.5 returning 3.5 shots. My most frequent playing partners can hit with intent and pace. I know how to use the core, create lag, and release through the ball. It's just that my normal release is nothing like this one. I was trying to describe how it feels as if before contact I'm turning off the impulse driving the stick forward, and lettting the momentum of the body/arm/racquet continue through the ball. Both my wrists and grip feel loose throughout, although as dozu points out (I think) I'm sure I subconciously momentarily up the grip pressure at contact. It produces a really long, loose follow through. It requires concentration and good timing. The feel is unreal. I can't really complain about my level of ball striking considering my situation, but when I hit the ball this way I get a rarified glimpse into the next level.

I can execute this swing against hi pace shots if I'm seeing the ball and prepping well, but not if I don't have confidence. Let's face it, if we don't have the mojo we rush, stab and steer the ball. Also, in my experience there are a plethora of shots that do require a firm wirst and grip - volleys (exception overheads and put aways), half volleys, quick prep ground returns, punches, and anything with a sawed-off follow through.

Yes, Davai, I would like any tips on creating this swing on a more consistent basis.

I guess you could incorporate this concept into a 2HBH. I actually have tried, but it's just that the introductin of two shoulders and two wrists connected to the racquet produces constriction that doesn't feel amenable to the release I get on the FH.

Yup! I think we're talking about the same thing. I'm glad you started this thread. Now, if it would only stop raining so I could get out and hit. It's been raining for 3 frikkin days now.

HunterST
10-17-2011, 06:58 PM
a classic line every time a politician tries to weasel out of something s/he said.

anybody who cares to read thru the thread knows, that was exactly what you said, and now you are back pedaling.

I am glad for you, after 40+ years of tennis you finally have felt centrifugal force and relaxation.... but your experience hitting against 45mph balls will work for the 29% who also hit against 45mph or lower, but won't work when the ball comes loaded with any sort of pace and spin.

The force you're referring to is called centripetal force, Mr. PhD in science.

thug the bunny
10-17-2011, 07:14 PM
Yup! I think we're talking about the same thing. I'm glad you started this thread. Now, if it would only stop raining so I could get out and hit. It's been raining for 3 frikkin days now.

Get out there you whimp. Actually, dont't..I almost did a split recently playing during a sprinkle. I stopped just short of becoming a girl..

dozu
10-17-2011, 07:50 PM
The force you're referring to is called centripetal force, Mr. PhD in science.

lemme explain - when you swing a relaxed human racket, you will feel the arm tugging on the shoulder socket and blood rushing into your finger tips.

things trying to get AWAY from the center, hence centriFUGAL.

Hunter, go do L&R's drill and you will feel, for the first time, what centrifugal force is in tennis.

HunterST
10-17-2011, 07:56 PM
lemme explain - when you swing a relaxed human racket, you will feel the arm tugging on the shoulder socket and blood rushing into your finger tips.

things trying to get AWAY from the center, hence centriFUGAL.

Hunter, go do L&R's drill and you will feel, for the first time, what centrifugal force is in tennis.

I know what you meant. That's centripetal force, not centrifugal. They didn't get to that in your doctoral level science courses?

dozu
10-17-2011, 08:01 PM
I know what you meant. That's centripetal force, not centrifugal. They didn't get to that in your doctoral level science courses?

go look it up genius boy.

HunterST
10-17-2011, 08:09 PM
go look it up genius boy.

Centrifugal force is a virtual force. It is not really a force. There are some situations you can be in that have you accelerating without speeding up. One of these is a carnival ride that spins around in a circle at a constant speed. I know one where you feel pressed against the wall very tightly, and then the floor drops out. Most people would believe they were moving steadily, with there bodies being pressed tightly against the wall (outward, in a cetrifugal direction). This is centripetal force. This is not really what happens.

When moving fast, a great deal of force is required to make you change direction. Your body "wants" to continue in a straight line. The curved wall gets in the way. The wall pushes in against your body. The "outward force" is just your body trying to move in a straight line. It is not a force at all. It is inertia, your body resisting the effects of the forces it feels.

Virtual forces exist when your body is accelerating. Objects moving in a steady direction at a steady speed appear to accelerate, as you see them. Place a ball on a car seat while moving at a steady speed. Have the driver slam on the brakes. Observe the ball appear to be pushed forward and off the seat. The ball just continued to move forward. It is the car that felt the backward force of the brakes. Hang a heavy ball from a spring in an elevator. As the elevator begins to rise, the ball begins to move, as if someone pushed down on it. It is the ball just "trying" to stay still as the elevator accelerates upward. While rising, you can stop the motion. It will start again when the elevator stops. The faster the acceleration (the more you can "feel" it in your body), the stronger the virtual forces appear to be.

Dr. Ken Mellendorf
Illinois Central College

http://www.newton.dep.anl.gov/askasci/phy00/phy00305.htm

Limpinhitter
10-17-2011, 08:41 PM
Get out there you whimp. Actually, dont't..I almost did a split recently playing during a sprinkle. I stopped just short of becoming a girl..

Believe me, a sprinkle never kept me off of the court. It's been raining for 3 days straight, as in most tennis courts are under a foot of water. Too bad I don't still have my old womp board.

DavaiMarat
10-17-2011, 09:40 PM
Wow. I was away, and I come back to this very um, lively discussion. Imo there's alot of miscommunicaiton on semantics and minutia.

I should explain I'm not a 3.5 returning 3.5 shots. My most frequent playing partners can hit with intent and pace. I know how to use the core, create lag, and release through the ball. It's just that my normal release is nothing like this one. I was trying to describe how it feels as if before contact I'm turning off the impulse driving the stick forward, and lettting the momentum of the body/arm/racquet continue through the ball. Both my wrists and grip feel loose throughout, although as dozu points out (I think) I'm sure I subconciously momentarily up the grip pressure at contact. It produces a really long, loose follow through. It requires concentration and good timing. The feel is unreal. I can't really complain about my level of ball striking considering my situation, but when I hit the ball this way I get a rarified glimpse into the next level.

I can execute this swing against hi pace shots if I'm seeing the ball and prepping well, but not if I don't have confidence. Let's face it, if we don't have the mojo we rush, stab and steer the ball. Also, in my experience there are a plethora of shots that do require a firm wirst and grip - volleys (exception overheads and put aways), half volleys, quick prep ground returns, punches, and anything with a sawed-off follow through.

Yes, Davai, I would like any tips on creating this swing on a more consistent basis.

I guess you could incorporate this concept into a 2HBH. I actually have tried, but it's just that the introductin of two shoulders and two wrists connected to the racquet produces constriction that doesn't feel amenable to the release I get on the FH.

Relaxation is primarily the key but how does one force the arm and core to be relaxed when facing a heavy ball forcing you backwards and while the rest of your lower body is scrambling to just to get in position. You don't. No one forces the body to relax, the more you try the more it becomes evident that forcing your body to do anything is the exact opposite of relaxation.

Instead were going to give you something else to occupy yourself with while hitting the ball. Every time you watch the ball I want you to try to see the seams on it. Just look for them. Make it as important as your swing itself. You might begin to notice that ball you thought was unhittable isnt so fast after all.

Second of all. Movement. Fast feet equals fast hands. It's been proven through tons of kineseology studies. Your hands will travel faster and more freely if your feet are active. I'm not sure how good your footwork is but the take home is stay on the balls of your feet! The only time your heel should touch is while your waiting to serve or return.

Lastly, the swing itself. This tip I'm going to call perpetual motion. What destroys a good swing path is this. STOPPING. A lot of players feel like they have the smooth swing path but once video taped you often notice a hitch. It's often coming out of the take back into the slot. There's a pause before the forward acceleration. Guess what happens here? Yup. The tightening!!! This is where the muscling starts for most players. Oddly enough players often feel like they are hitting the ball hard in this state because the jarring effect striking the ball in this manner causes.
The solution, straight back straight forward. This means no pauses. Not at the top nor from the slot. Pull the frame back in the unit turn till you feel a stretch in the core and let the bodies natural elasticity help drive it forward (releasing the throttle). The racket is in pertpetual motion. This will change your timing for sure if your not use to it. You'll find yourself hitting late a lot at the start. Don't be discouraged, it will take time to develop your rhythm. However what you will find is the racquet will flow out of your take back more naturally and fluidly. The best analogy would be like a pendulum. When a pendulum swings from one side to another it use the kinetic energy stored from one swing ( ie backswing) to transfer into the next swing (foreward )swing. The arm never needs to tighten, it flows out the backswing carrying momentum. The ball then just simply gets in the way of the racket head.

I hope you understand. It's much easier to explain in person. Especially the last part.

Good luck!

DavaiMarat
10-17-2011, 09:57 PM
You can experience it also your backhand but having a 2 hbh makes it tougher since it's much more a core oriented swing then a pendulum like swing. You just need to be flexible enough to all your core to feel a good stretch during your shoulder turn and simple let the arms propel themselves inside out around your core towards your target. The trick is timing you swing so contact happens much closer to the body ( for leverage) so you footwork has to be that much quicker and exact.

papa
10-18-2011, 04:08 AM
Centrifugal force is a virtual force. It is not really a force. There are some situations you can be in that have you accelerating without speeding up. One of these is a carnival ride that spins around in a circle at a constant speed. I know one where you feel pressed against the wall very tightly, and then the floor drops out. Most people would believe they were moving steadily, with there bodies being pressed tightly against the wall (outward, in a cetrifugal direction). This is centripetal force. This is not really what happens.

When moving fast, a great deal of force is required to make you change direction. Your body "wants" to continue in a straight line. The curved wall gets in the way. The wall pushes in against your body. The "outward force" is just your body trying to move in a straight line. It is not a force at all. It is inertia, your body resisting the effects of the forces it feels.

Virtual forces exist when your body is accelerating. Objects moving in a steady direction at a steady speed appear to accelerate, as you see them. Place a ball on a car seat while moving at a steady speed. Have the driver slam on the brakes. Observe the ball appear to be pushed forward and off the seat. The ball just continued to move forward. It is the car that felt the backward force of the brakes. Hang a heavy ball from a spring in an elevator. As the elevator begins to rise, the ball begins to move, as if someone pushed down on it. It is the ball just "trying" to stay still as the elevator accelerates upward. While rising, you can stop the motion. It will start again when the elevator stops. The faster the acceleration (the more you can "feel" it in your body), the stronger the virtual forces appear to be.

Dr. Ken Mellendorf
Illinois Central College

http://www.newton.dep.anl.gov/askasci/phy00/phy00305.htm

Little confused here by the terms although I'm not sure its that important in discussing/understanding this subject - terms often seem to get in our way.

However, in first paragraph you say that "centrifugal is a virtual force" and then in the third paragraph you describe a "virtual force" when the body is accelerating and then you go on to say "The faster the acceleration, the stronger the virtual forces appear to be".

We are accelerating the racquet through contact and using the grip to keep the pieces together - in other words trying to prevent the racquet from leaving the hand --- one of the purposes of grip anyway. It seems to me that there are not "outside forces" at work here but I am not a scientist - have an engineering degree but ........................

dozu
10-18-2011, 04:10 AM
Centrifugal force is a virtual force.

that's what the body feels, genius boy.

papa
10-18-2011, 04:20 AM
Relaxation is primarily the key but how does one force the arm and core to be relaxed when facing a heavy ball forcing you backwards and while the rest of your lower body is scrambling to just to get in position. You don't. No one forces the body to relax, the more you try the more it becomes evident that forcing your body to do anything is the exact opposite of relaxation.

Instead were going to give you something else to occupy yourself with while hitting the ball. Every time you watch the ball I want you to try to see the seams on it. Just look for them. Make it as important as your swing itself. You might begin to notice that ball you thought was unhittable isnt so fast after all.

Second of all. Movement. Fast feet equals fast hands. It's been proven through tons of kineseology studies. Your hands will travel faster and more freely if your feet are active. I'm not sure how good your footwork is but the take home is stay on the balls of your feet! The only time your heel should touch is while your waiting to serve or return.

Lastly, the swing itself. This tip I'm going to call perpetual motion. What destroys a good swing path is this. STOPPING. A lot of players feel like they have the smooth swing path but once video taped you often notice a hitch. It's often coming out of the take back into the slot. There's a pause before the forward acceleration. Guess what happens here? Yup. The tightening!!! This is where the muscling starts for most players. Oddly enough players often feel like they are hitting the ball hard in this state because the jarring effect striking the ball in this manner causes.
The solution, straight back straight forward. This means no pauses. Not at the top nor from the slot. Pull the frame back in the unit turn till you feel a stretch in the core and let the bodies natural elasticity help drive it forward (releasing the throttle). The racket is in pertpetual motion. This will change your timing for sure if your not use to it. You'll find yourself hitting late a lot at the start. Don't be discouraged, it will take time to develop your rhythm. However what you will find is the racquet will flow out of your take back more naturally and fluidly. The best analogy would be like a pendulum. When a pendulum swings from one side to another it use the kinetic energy stored from one swing ( ie backswing) to transfer into the next swing (foreward )swing. The arm never needs to tighten, it flows out the backswing carrying momentum. The ball then just simply gets in the way of the racket head.

I hope you understand. It's much easier to explain in person. Especially the last part.

Good luck!

Very interesting post. Unfortunately most, including myself, probably have somewhat of a hitch in the stroke depending on what constitutes the "stroke". The "hitch" for most of us occurs during the preparation phase as we make the initial start of the turn when the oft hand is still in contact with the racquet.

Having read, appreciated and mostly concurred with what DavaiMorat has always posted, I suspect he is referring to what happens "after" that point and I am probably just not reading this post with enough thought. When the racquet starts back from this initial position, I certainly would agree that there should never be a pause/hitch.

HunterST
10-18-2011, 06:31 AM
that's what the body feels, genius boy.

Sorry, bud. Centrifugal force isn't even a real force. It's just a name given to a mistaken feeling. You're feeling centripetal force. Better get your tuition money from that PhD back.

Limpinhitter
10-18-2011, 06:45 AM
Relaxation is primarily the key but how does one force the arm and core to be relaxed when facing a heavy ball forcing you backwards and while the rest of your lower body is scrambling to just to get in position. You don't. No one forces the body to relax, the more you try the more it becomes evident that forcing your body to do anything is the exact opposite of relaxation.

Instead were going to give you something else to occupy yourself with while hitting the ball. Every time you watch the ball I want you to try to see the seams on it. Just look for them. Make it as important as your swing itself. You might begin to notice that ball you thought was unhittable isnt so fast after all.

Second of all. Movement. Fast feet equals fast hands. It's been proven through tons of kineseology studies. Your hands will travel faster and more freely if your feet are active. I'm not sure how good your footwork is but the take home is stay on the balls of your feet! The only time your heel should touch is while your waiting to serve or return.

Lastly, the swing itself. This tip I'm going to call perpetual motion. What destroys a good swing path is this. STOPPING. A lot of players feel like they have the smooth swing path but once video taped you often notice a hitch. It's often coming out of the take back into the slot. There's a pause before the forward acceleration. Guess what happens here? Yup. The tightening!!! This is where the muscling starts for most players. Oddly enough players often feel like they are hitting the ball hard in this state because the jarring effect striking the ball in this manner causes.
The solution, straight back straight forward. This means no pauses. Not at the top nor from the slot. Pull the frame back in the unit turn till you feel a stretch in the core and let the bodies natural elasticity help drive it forward (releasing the throttle). The racket is in pertpetual motion. This will change your timing for sure if your not use to it. You'll find yourself hitting late a lot at the start. Don't be discouraged, it will take time to develop your rhythm. However what you will find is the racquet will flow out of your take back more naturally and fluidly. The best analogy would be like a pendulum. When a pendulum swings from one side to another it use the kinetic energy stored from one swing ( ie backswing) to transfer into the next swing (foreward )swing. The arm never needs to tighten, it flows out the backswing carrying momentum. The ball then just simply gets in the way of the racket head.

I hope you understand. It's much easier to explain in person. Especially the last part.

Good luck!

From what I've seen, many, perhaps most, pros have a hitch in their forehand swing. It occurs at the end of the circular windup before beginning the forward swing where they reset and redirect their swing. Nadal and Federer have a pretty noticable hitch. Djokovic has less noticable hitch.

dozu
10-18-2011, 07:25 AM
a 'hitch-less' swing is only possible in golf where the ball is NOT MOVING!

yeah in a perfect world we can all have the smoothest swing possible, but clay bounces, gust of wind, balls check up/skid thru.... shyt happens and small hitches are necessary to adjust to these situations.

Pet
10-18-2011, 07:41 AM
Relaxation is primarily the key but how does one force the arm and core to be relaxed when facing a heavy ball forcing you backwards and while the rest of your lower body is scrambling to just to get in position. You don't. No one forces the body to relax, the more you try the more it becomes evident that forcing your body to do anything is the exact opposite of relaxation.

Instead were going to give you something else to occupy yourself with while hitting the ball. Every time you watch the ball I want you to try to see the seams on it. Just look for them. Make it as important as your swing itself. You might begin to notice that ball you thought was unhittable isnt so fast after all.

Second of all. Movement. Fast feet equals fast hands. It's been proven through tons of kineseology studies. Your hands will travel faster and more freely if your feet are active. I'm not sure how good your footwork is but the take home is stay on the balls of your feet! The only time your heel should touch is while your waiting to serve or return.

Lastly, the swing itself. This tip I'm going to call perpetual motion. What destroys a good swing path is this. STOPPING. A lot of players feel like they have the smooth swing path but once video taped you often notice a hitch. It's often coming out of the take back into the slot. There's a pause before the forward acceleration. Guess what happens here? Yup. The tightening!!! This is where the muscling starts for most players. Oddly enough players often feel like they are hitting the ball hard in this state because the jarring effect striking the ball in this manner causes.
The solution, straight back straight forward. This means no pauses. Not at the top nor from the slot. Pull the frame back in the unit turn till you feel a stretch in the core and let the bodies natural elasticity help drive it forward (releasing the throttle). The racket is in pertpetual motion. This will change your timing for sure if your not use to it. You'll find yourself hitting late a lot at the start. Don't be discouraged, it will take time to develop your rhythm. However what you will find is the racquet will flow out of your take back more naturally and fluidly. The best analogy would be like a pendulum. When a pendulum swings from one side to another it use the kinetic energy stored from one swing ( ie backswing) to transfer into the next swing (foreward )swing. The arm never needs to tighten, it flows out the backswing carrying momentum. The ball then just simply gets in the way of the racket head.

I hope you understand. It's much easier to explain in person. Especially the last part.

Good luck!

¨Fast feet equals fast hands¨, This is difficult to demostrate.

dozu
10-18-2011, 07:45 AM
¨Fast feet equals fast hands¨, This is difficult to demostrate.

it makes sense though

fast feet = in position and in balance = tension free swing
slow feet = out of position, reaching for or jammed by the ball, out of balance = tension in the body = slow swing speed.

thug the bunny
10-18-2011, 09:21 AM
I agree most players have a pause while waiting for the ball to arrive before they drop it into the slot. Sometimes I find myself not being patient enough and I start "sneaking" the stick into the forward motion so that I pull the trigger from a position that's already 20% into the swing, thus throwing away that much potential momentum.

DavaiMarat
10-18-2011, 09:34 AM
Yes, most players pause in their swing. Even noticeable even with the pros. Less noticeable in those with more loopy circular swings.

What I've done recently is get rid of that hitch to the best of my ability. My racket doesn't do a loop with a pause at at the top, it continues in more of a shallow U shape back and then forward. No stopping so it's almost like a pendulum. I found to much energy was lost waiting for the ball. The smoothness was gone and rhythm lost.

Remember we're trying to help the OP achieve the same sensation to what he describes as a 'Throttle Off' effortless swing. This perpertual motion like swing generates effortless power and a smoother swing.

Remember, like most thing, the true answer for him might lay someone in the middle.

I'll try to explain it better with a video.

DavaiMarat
10-18-2011, 10:01 AM
Here's is Safin. Probably the best example of effortless power in the game.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KYW7DaiX6hk

Watch the forehand and backhands. There is no hitch. The 1st backhand (2HBH) is a prime example. The racquet goes back and immediate out.

Even the forehand, at 300fps do you notice a frame where the racquet isn't moving. It's constantly in motion. It slows a bit near the top of the back swing but still continues along it's path.

Sorry I'm in the office and it's hard for me to cite examples.

DavaiMarat
10-18-2011, 10:14 AM
I agree most players have a pause while waiting for the ball to arrive before they drop it into the slot. Sometimes I find myself not being patient enough and I start "sneaking" the stick into the forward motion so that I pull the trigger from a position that's already 20% into the swing, thus throwing away that much potential momentum.

Last thing, this isn't something I invented. My friend and coach (yes I still take lessons too) John Mcmanus was the 1st person who brought this to my attention.

Once the racket stops in the backswing unsupported....guess what happens to the ARM....the muscles in your forearm all tense up just to support to the weight of the frame. This is especially bad when you use a heavier frame like myself. Suddenly, with your arm tense, how hard is it to produce a smooth effortless swing. Not only do you have to deal with dead static weight, overcoming the moment of inertia becomes a problem.

If you doubt John McManus (He knew Laver) you can check out his pedigree. He was Davis Cup Coach for Canada for a number of years...here's a small excerpt I found



John McManus, Canada's former Davis Cup captain is one of the old Australian guard which included Rod Laver, Roy Emerson, John Newcombe and Tony Roche.


McManus came to Canada in the 1980's as a National Coach - a position which he held for 8 years. During that time, under his guidance, seven Canadian men reached the top 100. John also worked with Glenn Michibata and Grant Connell - former #1 doubles pair in the world.

DavaiMarat
10-18-2011, 11:12 AM
¨Fast feet equals fast hands¨, This is difficult to demostrate.

I'm also a hockey goalie and this is known fact to goalies. The tennis ready position is not that much different from a goalie ready position. On the balls of your feet, hands out in front...ready for explosive movement. The faster your foot reaction speed is, the quicker your hands will be (trapper/blocker hand).

Now how it pertains to our discussion. When we are on the balls of our feet, we can move more smoothly, effortlessly and quickly to the ball. This gives us best chance mimic the same type of motion in our swing. Smooth and effortless. There is a direct co-relation of how our different appendages move. The science is way over my head but look it up sometime. You Kinesology majors should know what I'm talking about.

I have an article about in a goalie magazine I will find when I get home.

Actually there are alot of similarities between hockey and tennis. That's why some hockey players can pick up tennis uber quickly.

LeeD
10-18-2011, 06:25 PM
Shortstops and 3rd baseman have pretty good reaction times and can also play tennis quite well within a couple of years.

papa
10-19-2011, 04:46 AM
Its funny, we were talking about this yesterday. Most people good at one sport can play another with some degree of success. Hockey and baseball players in particular are pretty easy to work with - I know many of each that played at very high levels and made the switch to tennis quite successfully although they all worked at it.

I've had even football players who despite some mobility issues became quite adequate players. Have a former college player right now who is progressing very well - hard worker, wants to learn, pays attention to detail, etc. Unfortunately, prior injuries are factors which are holding this guy back a bit but he'll make it.