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View Full Version : Having the racket handle close to the body at beginning of forward swing helps?


New Daddy
01-09-2012, 09:20 AM
For me, having the racket handle close to the body at beginning of forward swing greatly helps on both wings. My swing feels more stable and can accelerate better when the racket handle starts close from my bode at the end of back swing/beginning of forward swing.

Is this personal idiosyncrasy? If not, how does having the racket handle close to the body at beginning of forward swing helps? I'll keep doing it, but I just wanted to know if there is any bio-mechanical explanation for this.

Chas Tennis
01-09-2012, 11:11 AM
You really don't describe your stroke well enough for me to picture it. A video would be needed.

A recent instructional video with Rick Macci that was broadcast on Tennis Channel seems to deal with your issue. I believe that it used the Federer forehand as the model. From what I recall it says to have the elbow up (upper arm considerably out at the shoulder) at the end of the back swing and to straighten the bend in the arm early in the forward swing. With the elbow up I don't see how you can have the butt of the racket near your body to begin the forward swing. ?

You might look at some internet videos of pro forehands and see if you can see how close they have the racket butt to start the swing.

ho
01-09-2012, 04:47 PM
For me, having the racket handle close to the body at beginning of forward swing greatly helps on both wings. My swing feels more stable and can accelerate better when the racket handle starts close from my bode at the end of back swing/beginning of forward swing.

Is this personal idiosyncrasy? If not, how does having the racket handle close to the body at beginning of forward swing helps? I'll keep doing it, but I just wanted to know if there is any bio-mechanical explanation for this.

Absolutely, you are hitting with a classic Push stroke: having the racket handle close to your body means you have a very compact swing, you basically hit with your body rotation, arm and body as one unit: you will feel very stable, most power come from the body and arm absorb greatly ball coming, compressed and bounce it out. It also help you in the releasing arm forward after contact, the arm have only one way to go: straight out. You hit thru the ball, whether you like or not. Some sort of inside out forehand.

thug the bunny
01-09-2012, 05:19 PM
I know exactly what you are talking about. In the evolution of my FH, I too found that there exists a type of swing that begins with the right elbow kind of tucked into the right side (elbow kind of pointing down, racket pointing up), and is very compact, and usually results in good contact. I also found there is a type of FH that starts with the elbow out away from the body, and produces a longer swing that extends out (I find this sometimes puts a little strain on the shoulder). I use both.

One of the cool things about tennis is that there are so many ways to hit the ball and you don't need to be dialed into one way as with golf. David Duval keeps his right elbow stuck to his side during his backswing, and you will never see him fly the elbow up and away like Bubba Watson, or vice versa.

Unfortunately, on this forum I have noticed there's a lot of folks trying to force others into hitting the way they do, and I don't like it. Be creative, and learn to hit in all different ways.

charliefedererer
01-09-2012, 06:40 PM
For waist high shots, try to keep the elbow relatively close to the hip as you bring the racquet by it, with the butt of the racquet still pointed at the ball.

Forehand (see pics 4, 5).

http://www.procomparetennis.net/media/sequence_images/640/v8jx1298761296.jpg

Backhand (see pics 4, 5, 6).

http://www.procomparetennis.net/media/sequence_images/640/mnyw1298761505.jpg

Like da Djoker, get the head of the racquet down on both sides in pic 4 so you can swing "low to high" as you pronate to get plenty of topspin on the ball.


Fed (and most pros) will hit most of his shots like this, and as seen in row one of the 3 different forehand sequences below:

http://www.freewebs.com/pghstennis/usta-forehand-federer-types-website.jpg

But in the sequence in the second row he has a chance to really blast a put away, so will increase his body lean, resulting in keeping the elbow somewhat further away from the body as it goes by the hip.

And in the 3rd row sequence he is having trouble getting to a low ball out wide, forcing him to lean even more dramatically, and bringing the elbow further from the hip.



And on a high ball, there is no way to keep your elbow close to your hip. You've got to keep the same basic stroke shape of low to high. But in raising the swing higher, the elbow will come past the hip higher and further away:

http://www.procomparetennis.net/media/sequence_images/640/n7z71291635342.jpg


So your basic premise is a good one. Just remember there are these "exceptions to the rule."

New Daddy
01-10-2012, 03:46 AM
For waist high shots, try to keep the elbow relatively close to the hip as you bring the racquet by it, with the butt of the racquet still pointed at the ball.


So I guess the good feel I obtained from keeping "the racket handle close to the body" was just the byproduct of keeping my elbow tucked in.

Fay
01-10-2012, 08:17 PM
For me, having the racket handle close to the body at beginning of forward swing greatly helps on both wings. My swing feels more stable and can accelerate better when the racket handle starts close from my bode at the end of back swing/beginning of forward swing.

Is this personal idiosyncrasy? If not, how does having the racket handle close to the body at beginning of forward swing helps? I'll keep doing it, but I just wanted to know if there is any bio-mechanical explanation for this.

Actually this is a very interesting question and I came over here today as until I had a lesson about six weeks ago from a pro who changed my swing path I have *never* heard of this path before. I'm not talking about the elbow tucked or straight, as I have pros mixed 50-50% on that one. But the path being what I term from inside to outside where the path is sort of a big V starting near the body and heading more outward rather than so much of a wrap around the I used to do.

I would really torque the forehand with my free elbow pulling back and using a lot of core torque, but until I change slightly the path of the racquet I could not increase the acceleration as much as now. It allows to me a much FREER swing and easier to have the finish more consistent.

It *is* difficult to describe in words, but for all of the various lessons from a various peeps, this ONE coach picked this up right away ... same thing with the BH which a lot of people have said to touch the thigh with the thumb, but to swing in a big V on either side with the ground strokes was a HUGELY different image for me.

By the V I mean if you stand and face the net and make a V with your arms angling up and over the net. In that you start the swing close to the body and swing up and away from the body ...Hope that makes sense.

Really worked well. My husband is a very talented elite skater and he can figure things out by feel very quickly. I on the other hand have had to do more trial and error. I have come a long way using videos of pros and then videoing myself, but this is one thing that I would not have seen until it was pointed out.

Now when I look for that in some pros I can see it. Some more than others, But when I watch tapes of younger undeveloped players, most of the have a swing that goes around them in a circular motion, or a flat drive, but I don't see people do this naturally ... for many it might be taught.

Could be wrong ... does anyone here do this naturally or were you taught?

My husband was at the same lesson and he said it felt much better, and different to him.

Chas Tennis
01-11-2012, 03:05 AM
....................
Now when I look for that in some pros I can see it. ............................


I'm still not getting a picture of the stroke that you & OP are describing.

If you have a link to one of the pro videos of the stroke that you are describing please post the link. (A video from the front is best to show the racket body spacing.)

New Daddy
01-11-2012, 07:28 AM
I'm still not getting a picture of the stroke that you & OP are describing.

If you have a link to one of the pro videos of the stroke that you are describing please post the link. (A video from the front is best to show the racket body spacing.)

As the OP, what I described is demonstrated in Djokovic's swings above. The elbow of his hitting arm is clearly tucked in. I described in terms of the position of the hand of the hitting arm in the OP, but now I realized that was just the byproduct of the position of the elbow.

Chas Tennis
01-11-2012, 08:13 AM
As the OP, what I described is demonstrated in Djokovic's swings above. The elbow of his hitting arm is clearly tucked in. I described in terms of the position of the hand of the hitting arm in the OP, but now I realized that was just the byproduct of the position of the elbow.

In Djokovic's forehand, 1st in the charliefedererer reply, at the beginning of the stroke Djokovic's upper arm is almost at a right angle to his trunk. That is, the elbow is nearly maximum distance away to start the stroke.. The fact that he has it close to his body a short time later probably means that he has contracted the largest muscle attached to the arm, the lat, to bring the arm and racket down while speeding them up. When the elbow is close to the body it may be more effective because it already has considerable velocity. ?

Check out some videos.

Sometimes when I put the elbow up and out to start the forehand (as in the Macci instructional video) I seem to get higher racket head speed and good pace. Unfortunately, I don't have that as muscle memory yet.

Maui19
01-11-2012, 09:31 AM
I took some video of my forehand today, and I wasn't happy with the way most of it looked. However a few times I notice that I made a very good swing, with my core turning in sync with my arm resulting in the very good hit and an effortless full finish. These were swings where my hand was closer to my hip when I started my swing. I want to work on this some more because I am just arming the ball right now and I feel like I need better mechanics to become more consistent.

Chas Tennis
01-11-2012, 10:35 AM
..........................
A recent instructional video with Rick Macci that was broadcast on Tennis Channel seems to deal with your issue. I believe that it used the Federer forehand as the model. From what I recall it says to have the elbow up (upper arm considerably out at the shoulder) at the end of the back swing and to straighten the bend in the arm early in the forward swing. With the elbow up I don't see how you can have the butt of the racket near your body to begin the forward swing. ?


Recent USPTA Macci video (2011) on the forehand. Broadcast on Tennis Channel Oct of last year.

Improved Forehand Technique

http://uspta.com/%28S%28abgidq55tlqdww55pegidf55%29%29/default.aspx?act=newsletter.aspx&category=USPTA+Latest+News&MenuGroup=New-USPTA&NewsLetterID=804&startrow=5&&AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1

Fay
01-11-2012, 06:49 PM
I will look on YouTube to see what I can find ... I am not a tennis coach, but when it was suggested to me it was an image that seemed to free up my swing.

Fay
01-11-2012, 08:08 PM
I have clearly opened a can of worms ... are there any coaches
online here who use the concept I was taught recently?

I would like some help on this one .... and I have grabbed
some clips for comparison ... but it is not like being there in
3D.

Soderling
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JivAVMB37c0&feature=related

Dominika Cibulkova
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uJQ3TyEQS-Q&feature=endscreen&NR=1

I don't see this flat swing too much and we won't even look at
Bartoli, LOL

Ana Ivanovic seems to be going down and back but doesn't hit so much
out as Federer, Nadal and Djokovic

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mxUHk4VYBIg&feature=related

I don't see the little up and out going through the impact here as
much either
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vmTdCqAXaa8&feature=endscreen&NR=1

Wozniacki clearly goes down and back and then up and out
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1WW0m3ConPs&feature=related

The rest of these appear more down and back and up and out that the first two, but some of this could be due to their position to the ball at that moment and where they plan to hit. It is all so very subtle.

What I know that by feeling that I am hitting more out before I finish allows me also to hit farther out in front ... I'm sure I am making little concrete sense at this point.

Novak Djokovic
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&NR=1&v=y8AJYfkJ4hc

Roger Federer
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_e6W8tnZFKY

Zvonareva vs. Serena Williams
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-WCQdhiUGzg

Rafa Nadal
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Sp7cnzZ4bk
pretty clear he is going up and out on his

I found an interesting assortment of FHs here
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rAyQ0eP0Eh0&feature=related
lots of good FHs

Justine Henin graphic
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nGzyTpHhLgc

for such a little pint she sure could whip it
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&NR=1&v=h6BOvniDWsc

It is very difficult for me to see the subtlety that I feel but
perhaps other people with more trained eyes than mine can see
more.

10sLifer
01-11-2012, 09:19 PM
For me, having the racket handle close to the body at beginning of forward swing greatly helps on both wings. My swing feels more stable and can accelerate better when the racket handle starts close from my bode at the end of back swing/beginning of forward swing.

Is this personal idiosyncrasy? If not, how does having the racket handle close to the body at beginning of forward swing helps? I'll keep doing it, but I just wanted to know if there is any bio-mechanical explanation for this.

Sure. The swing should go inside out (Close to far). You have to swing out to your target. If you start away you would go outside in(away to close) which would pull across the body away from the target. So if you started with a high turn for power and options the racquet would still drop under the ball and closer to the body. If your trying to swing up to the ball and create a vertical racquet face at contact(which makes topspin).

Fay
01-11-2012, 09:25 PM
Sure. The swing should go inside out (Close to far). You have to swing out to your target. If you start away you would go outside in(away to close) which would pull across the body away from the target. So if you started with a high turn for power and options the racquet would still drop under the ball and closer to the body. If your trying to swing up to the ball and create a vertical racquet face at contact(which makes topspin).

Thank goodness someone else knows about this ... are you a coach in CA ?

10sLifer
01-11-2012, 09:42 PM
I am. Trying to get a desk job though. =/

Fay
01-11-2012, 09:54 PM
I am. Trying to get a desk job though. =/

Too much standing or feeding balls? I love teaching and breaking things down into smaller components to make learning easier. Figure skating was fun cause I was always moving. When I came to tennis I noticed that a lot of coaches stand around a lot ... that doesn't look like fun. Hitting with students looks like more fun tho. Coming up with drills one needs creativity and that appealed as well.

Fay
01-11-2012, 10:26 PM
here's the explanation said much better than I could ...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kieh8Vp5RwY&feature=related

Chas Tennis
01-12-2012, 04:42 AM
Fay, great bunch of pro videos. I especially like the APAS skeleton video, I'll look for more of those.

What you need next is video of your forehand. Ordinary 30fps video is very useful but high speed video can show all parts of the stroke accurately. (If you need advice on high speed video cameras I posted some earlier. Many golfer's have high speed video cameras. )

I am still trying to make sense of the OP lesson and yours

No - butt was not close to the body

? - elbow is close to the body, from the videos I don't clearly see that but it's possible.

? - elbow was closer at some point during the stroke than in earlier stroking pattern and stroke felt 'close'?

For the current forehand the racket butt points at the ball early in the forward motion which places the racket handle parallel to the swing path to start. The racket overall is closer to the body. If your old swing had more of a barn-door-opening swing pattern with the racket handle more perpendicular to the swing path then a 'racket butt facing the ball' swing might feel much closer to your body. Could that be what you guys felt?

Can your instructors take videos and show you what they mean?

Fay
01-12-2012, 06:38 AM
Fay, great bunch of pro videos. I especially like the APAS skeleton video, I'll look for more of those.

What you need next is video of your forehand. Ordinary 30fps video is very useful but high speed video can show all parts of the stroke accurately. (If you need advice on high speed video cameras I posted some earlier. Many golfer's have high speed video cameras. )

I am still trying to make sense of the OP lesson and yours

No - butt was not close to the body

? - elbow is close to the body, from the videos I don't clearly see that but it's possible.

? - elbow was closer at some point during the stroke than in earlier stroking pattern and stroke felt 'close'?

For the current forehand the racket butt points at the ball early in the forward motion which places the racket handle parallel to the swing path to start. The racket overall is closer to the body. If your old swing had more of a barn-door-opening swing pattern with the racket handle more perpendicular to the swing path then a 'racket butt facing the ball' swing might feel much closer to your body. Could that be what you guys felt?

Can your instructors take videos and show you what they mean?


Not sure if this is addressed to me but I'll answer. I have never had a barn door swing ... but this is a very subtle thing. I don't think many coaches can see it as I have taken from various coaches all over for 4 years (I mean traveled a lot to various clinics and privates) and a couple months ago is the first time anyone mentioned it.

It isn't so much about any individual part of the swing. I don't think about end of racquet, etc., I think about turning my shoulder as much as I can, powering up off the ground and twisting from the ground and my hips. More like going up into a jump than little pieces of anything.

To feel like my HAND is going up and out through the ball instead of just plain through the ball is hard to explain.

I'm sure someone could see the difference with a camera but I do most things by feeling and imagery. In teaching skating the body and muscle will work as words, sentenses and paragraphs. If one doesn't find an image that can bypass old muscle memory as a paragraphy, meaning it is not a struggle to change, then one is mired down in small pieces. The FH came easy to me, the serve much more difficult. On my serve I had to work on in small pieces until I found a couple of images that seemed to "include more" to "make more right" without having to think so much.
One was to take the center of my chest (inside center) up to the ball and the other was make the racquet tip go up and out and around as far as I could reach. Breaking the wrist like a "praying mantis" was necessary for me. But those images might not work for others just like some didn't work for me.

That is all this image did for me. Different images work for different people differently. If this image doesn't work for someone and doesn't "click" by all means find another image. Just because I can't explain or demonstrate in a video doesn't mean that it is not the best image for me. The unconscious works in mysterious ways. Using images works better for me than trying to make a lot of technical changes. Tennis is not fun for me when I have a coach constantly chattering a me about ten to fifteen little changes. I completely fall apart with this method.

p.s. my FH and serve are coming great, on to the topspin BH, LOL

86golf
01-12-2012, 08:30 AM
Thank goodness someone else knows about this ... are you a coach in CA ?

I think this has been discussed a few other times. Here is one that I could think of:

http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=372023&highlight=inside+out

Fay
01-12-2012, 12:04 PM
I think this has been discussed a few other times. Here is one that I could think of:

http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=372023&highlight=inside+out

That's a great thread ! Things happen and I can't get over as often as I would like ... much appreciate you pointing that out.

It was clear from the thread the peeps who do that understood it, and those who don't aim for that path didn't quite get it. It was introduced to me in a lesson in 3D for which I am grateful!

Sunny and 57 F here in Sedona. What a great winter we've had, surpassed only by Phoenix. :-)