PDA

View Full Version : A paused-loop backswing


isilra
12-19-2012, 06:25 PM
I'm working on the lag effect of nadal's and federer's forehands that has been explained with lock and roll videos. You can also say "pull strokes" (I know you will never want to do that).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EMNtq393tvo
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=soADAL_uGs8

The problem is whenever i take a fully continuous and fluid loopy backswing, i can't feel the racquet going back and slap the ball. Whenever i give a hitch at the end of the racquet drop just before forward swing, after i make the unit turn i clearly feel the racquet going back and creating the natural wrist snap.

This article also tells the same thing. You need to give a pause at its farthest back point to create the inertia lag;

http://tennis.about.com/od/forehandbackhand/a/forehandloops.htm

I agree that a huge loop adds momentum and power to your stroke but only if you have the traditional "laid back wrist" type of forehand. I mean if the angle of your wrist/forearm is set at the beginning of the backswing remains the same until the moment of impact, a big loop is a must because the more your racquet travels, you more speed and momentum it gains . But if you don't snap your wrist and expect the movement to do it naturally, your backswing has to have some sharp directional changes or pauses to create that inertia lag. So basically i think a loop is totally useless with that kind of stroke because when you give that hitch, you lose most of the momentum created with the loop.

I wonder your opinions with that, thanks.

10isfreak
12-20-2012, 11:36 AM
Ideally, you do not stop during your back swing; instead, you slow down. The reason there is a "hand lag" is for the hand and the forearm to be accelerated in a sequence instead of both together. In essence, so long as you get your forearm and arm to start moving forward before your hand, you'll get your lag.

You are not forced to stop to achieve a differentiated acceleration: you can simply slow down or use a slower take back to achieve this. Most pros hit their forehand without breaking their swing's continuity, they simply vary slightly the pace at which they take their racket back. Those who routinely stop, such as Berdych used to or Serena Williams does, tend to see their forehand break down under pressure. Of course, Serena is rarely under real pressure, but the point behind all of this is that stopping forces you to begin a new sequence of movement and that basically implies a much harder time to get the timing right.

So, you should not wish to come to a full stop, but do something more like the calm before the storm... you slow down before accelerating.

WildVolley
12-20-2012, 11:59 AM
As stated in another thread on this same topic, it is important to note that what is being described as a "pause" isn't actually a "pause."

What is happening is that both Federer and Nadal tend to aggressively "pat-the-dog" which on the speedmaster blog is called "elbow pronation." By pressing down before moving forward, the swing doesn't have a gentle loop but more of a sharp angle at the end of the backswing.

It is this abrupt change in direction at the end of the backswing that creates more stretch reflex and also helps keep the racket face down instead of opening too soon. However, it is definitely not a "pause" in terms of a stop in the motion. Slow motion video shows that on almost all shots the movement is continuous.

Power Player
12-20-2012, 12:05 PM
Key question :

When do you let go of the racquet? That is what can ruin your timing. You should be prepped, but keep 2 hands on the racquet until the ball bounces.

WildVolley
12-20-2012, 12:30 PM
Key question :

When do you let go of the racquet? That is what can ruin your timing. You should be prepped, but keep 2 hands on the racquet until the ball bounces.

I've got to disagree with this. From my study of the pros, the general rule is that they normally separate the hand from the unit turn before the bounce.

Nadal tends to hold his hand on the racket later than some of the other players, but he swings extremely fast, so I don't think he is the best model. Also, if the ball is hit with heavy topspin and short, a lot of pros won't separate until the bounce.

While it is true that most amateurs don't face balls moving as fast as the pros, most amateurs also don't swing nearly as fast as the pros and waiting until the bounce as a hard-and-fast rule can make an amateur late in preparation on most shots.

Power Player
12-20-2012, 12:57 PM
I've got to disagree with this. From my study of the pros, the general rule is that they normally separate the hand from the unit turn before the bounce.

Nadal tends to hold his hand on the racket later than some of the other players, but he swings extremely fast, so I don't think he is the best model. Also, if the ball is hit with heavy topspin and short, a lot of pros won't separate until the bounce.

While it is true that most amateurs don't face balls moving as fast as the pros, most amateurs also don't swing nearly as fast as the pros and waiting until the bounce as a hard-and-fast rule can make an amateur late in preparation on most shots.

Thats false. There are videos proving your statement to be mainly incorrect, although you CAN do it as you describe, it is less optimal. Murray is the only pro in the top 5 that lets go before the bounce.

Also, you must understand that the preparation happens before you let go.The only thing you do after the bounce is let go of the racquet and swing.

When you keep your hand on the racquet longer, your racquet stays oriented in the proper alignment and you will have a more consistent stroke. It also eliminates the pause in the backswing that the OP is discussing.

SystemicAnomaly
12-20-2012, 01:08 PM
Key question :

When do you let go of the racquet? That is what can ruin your timing. You should be prepped, but keep 2 hands on the racquet until the ball bounces.

Not necessarily. The 2nd hand should remain on the racquet for the unit turn for sure. Many players let go way too soon. However, that hand will come off the racquet at different times wrt the bounce. It really depends on the speed of the incoming ball and the depth of the bounce. I would not use the ball bounce for timing the release of the hand. Notice that the L&R tennis guy actually releases a bit prior to the bounce:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EMNtq393tvo&t=28s

Note that elite players will release the hand and then extend it out toward the side fence prior to the racquet head drop or at the start of the drop. There are several benefits of this arm extension (after the release). One benefit is that the extended arm serves as a spatial reference for measuring the position of the body relative to the incoming ball. This can be very useful for moving the feet/body into an optimal position.

http://www.ontennis.com/files/image/shots/instructions/open-stance-forehand.jpghttps://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-9IOuj-NWh5Y/TYSDdcaLq6I/AAAAAAAAABQ/q4aDjp0NGJc/aa2.jpghttp://www.examiner.com/images/blog/wysiwyg/image/Rafael_Nadal_Rome2009_APphoto_CarloBaroncini_Racqu etPreparation.jpg

WildVolley
12-20-2012, 01:16 PM
Thats false. There are videos proving your statement to be mainly incorrect, although you CAN do it as you describe, it is less optimal. Murray is the only pro in the top 5 that lets go before the bounce.

Also, you must understand that the preparation happens before you let go.The only thing you do after the bounce is let go of the racquet and swing.

When you keep your hand on the racquet longer, your racquet stays oriented in the proper alignment and you will have a more consistent stroke. It also eliminates the pause in the backswing that the OP is discussing.

Video evidence please.

I came to my conclusion by watching videos of Federer, Djokovic, Nadal, Murray, etc. From my viewings, it seems that Federer, Djokovic, and Murray have let go of the racket before the bounce on most rally speed fhs. I was least certain about Nadal.

I do see the hands separate at the bounce on some slower shots, but when I watch points in slow motion the hands are almost separated before the bounce.

isilra
12-20-2012, 01:20 PM
As stated in another thread on this same topic, it is important to note that what is being described as a "pause" isn't actually a "pause."

What is happening is that both Federer and Nadal tend to aggressively "pat-the-dog" which on the speedmaster blog is called "elbow pronation." By pressing down before moving forward, the swing doesn't have a gentle loop but more of a sharp angle at the end of the backswing.

It is this abrupt change in direction at the end of the backswing that creates more stretch reflex and also helps keep the racket face down instead of opening too soon. However, it is definitely not a "pause" in terms of a stop in the motion. Slow motion video shows that on almost all shots the movement is continuous.

Ideally, you do not stop during your back swing; instead, you slow down. The reason there is a "hand lag" is for the hand and the forearm to be accelerated in a sequence instead of both together. In essence, so long as you get your forearm and arm to start moving forward before your hand, you'll get your lag.

You are not forced to stop to achieve a differentiated acceleration: you can simply slow down or use a slower take back to achieve this. Most pros hit their forehand without breaking their swing's continuity, they simply vary slightly the pace at which they take their racket back. Those who routinely stop, such as Berdych used to or Serena Williams does, tend to see their forehand break down under pressure. Of course, Serena is rarely under real pressure, but the point behind all of this is that stopping forces you to begin a new sequence of movement and that basically implies a much harder time to get the timing right.

So, you should not wish to come to a full stop, but do something more like the calm before the storm... you slow down before accelerating.

I guess you guys are right. Now i'm shadow swinging at home with my racquet and you can feel the same effect without actually stopping but making a sharp angle at the end of the swing and slowing down when you come to that point. It also doesn't hurt my elbow when the arm goes straight. So i think i have found my perfect backswing, thanks. But i'm still wondering if that continuous motion just has to do with timing or it effects the power of the stroke too.

Power Player
12-20-2012, 01:23 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xDJJS3d2N1c&list=SP1824FB3B3B028A75&index=8

Here you go. It is a general rule, not hard and fast. Here is extremely slow mo video analysis proving my point.

OP, I strongly you suggest watching the above link. You will learn a lot.

WildVolley
12-20-2012, 01:32 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xDJJS3d2N1c&list=SP1824FB3B3B028A75&index=8

Here you go. It is a general rule, not hard and fast. Here is extremely slow mo video analysis proving my point.

OP, I strongly you suggest watching the above link. You will learn a lot.

Hmmm. Watch that video again. Seems it is proving my point. The very first pause shows Djokovic on the left and Nadal on the right when the ball is bouncing. Both players have already let go of the rackets prior to the bounce.

Power Player
12-20-2012, 01:33 PM
I watched the video many times. Do you LISTEN to what he said in it? It is also a long video, so I doubt you really paid much attention.

If you just want to argue, that is cool. I put the video up. I rest my case.

The main point is he states very clearly is to not let go until the bounce is close to bouncing or is bouncing. He uses visual evidence of pro players doing this at multiple angles in slo-mo. I am not sure what else needs to be said.

SystemicAnomaly
12-20-2012, 01:36 PM
^ Your link shows (about 1:46) that both players shown have released the top hand prior to the bounce.

WildVolley
12-20-2012, 01:38 PM
I watched the video many times. Do you LISTEN to what he said in it? It is also a long video, so I doubt you really paid much attention.

If you just want to argue, that is cool. I put the video up. I rest my case.

The main point is he states very clearly is to not let go until the bounce is close to bouncing or is bouncing. He uses visual evidence of pro players doing this at multiple angles in slo-mo. I am not sure what else needs to be said.

I'm not sure why you stick to your original claim when the visual evidence is contradicting you. I'm not just saying this to be argumentative, but because I think you are wrong and I don't understand your position.

I admit we are arguing over a small difference, but I believe it is a significant difference and we will lead beginners astray if we tell them to have both hands on the racket at the time of the bounce.

I have no problem with saying that most players let go close to the bounce, so you can sort of use it as a rule of thumb. However, and this is a big however, the pros are almost ALWAYS letting go of the racket before the bounce except on slow balls or very short balls with a lot of topspin.

Power Player
12-20-2012, 01:43 PM
Ok, you like to argue, enjoy it.

Anyone who pops in this thread can see what I said, and I feel pretty strongly that the video supports what you just quoted me on. You don't - I don't care. I see my results on the court.

Hopefully the OP gets better and fixes his timing from this.

TheCheese
12-20-2012, 01:44 PM
Thing is, Lock and Roll's videos is not showing you the technique to hit the Federer/Nadal style forehand. He's teaching you how to hit with the windshield wiper technique used by Roddick, Andreev, and others.

Two totally different techniques.

Check out the Forehand Topspin Drive (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=446939) thread for more info on that.

isilra
12-20-2012, 02:58 PM
Thing is, Lock and Roll's videos is not showing you the technique to hit the Federer/Nadal style forehand. He's teaching you how to hit with the windshield wiper technique used by Roddick, Andreev, and others.

Two totally different techniques.

Check out the Forehand Topspin Drive (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=446939) thread for more info on that.

Maybe out of subject but i didn't know about forehand pronation before. It is giving the ball topspin by pronating just before contact with a flat trajectory right ? As long as i have an eastern forehand, maybe i should work on some pronation instead of a full windshield viper motion ?

WildVolley
12-20-2012, 03:08 PM
Maybe out of subject but i didn't know about forehand pronation before. It is giving the ball topspin by pronating just before contact with a flat trajectory right ? As long as i have an eastern forehand, maybe I should work on some pronation instead of a full windshield viper motion ?

I wouldn't worry about forehand pronation. If you "pat-the-dog" the racket will lag which will make the hand want to naturally supinate (sort of turn thumbs up). If you then windshield wiper some after contact, you'll most likely be pronating through contact.

In other words, I'd work on your basic form and swing pattern rather than worrying about just the pronation. In fact, I'd say video tape your swing to make certain that you form looks the way you want it to.

isilra
12-20-2012, 03:19 PM
I wouldn't worry about forehand pronation. If you "pat-the-dog" the racket will lag which will make the hand want to naturally supinate (sort of turn thumbs up). If you then windshield wiper some after contact, you'll most likely be pronating through contact.

In other words, I'd work on your basic form and swing pattern rather than worrying about just the pronation. In fact, I'd say video tape your swing to make certain that you form looks the way you want it to.

First i need to master my backswing. It will be a totally new skill for me. Till now, i was confused with the racquet lag thing and swing pauses. I had a continuous big wta type loop that never helped me with the natural wrist lag that i wanted. The problem solved, so time to work on it now. If i have problems with ww motion or topspin, than pronation will be my next subject to discover, thanks.

WildVolley
12-20-2012, 03:45 PM
First i need to master my backswing. It will be a totally new skill for me. Till now, i was confused with the racquet lag thing and swing pauses. I had a continuous big wta type loop that never helped me with the natural wrist lag that i wanted. The problem solved, so time to work on it now. If i have problems with ww motion or topspin, than pronation will be my next subject to discover, thanks.

You can work on your swing off the court. I advise doing this if you don't have a lot of access to court time. Use a camera or a mirror to make certain that you are hitting the positions you want. I'd advise using a pro as a model, despite what people tend to say.

Start slow and then up the speed of your swing. Try to stay smooth and work up to full power swings. The camera is helpful because a lot of people will do the swing properly when slowly going through the motion, but then revert back to old habits when taking a full speed swing.

Good luck and keep practicing.

isilra
12-20-2012, 04:04 PM
You can work on your swing off the court. I advise doing this if you don't have a lot of access to court time. Use a camera or a mirror to make certain that you are hitting the positions you want. I'd advise using a pro as a model, despite what people tend to say.

Start slow and then up the speed of your swing. Try to stay smooth and work up to full power swings. The camera is helpful because a lot of people will do the swing properly when slowly going through the motion, but then revert back to old habits when taking a full speed swing.

Good luck and keep practicing.

I have broken the lights when i was hitting an illusionary winner with my racquet at home 10 mins ago lol. But i'll keep on working, thanks!

WildVolley
12-20-2012, 04:53 PM
I have broken the lights when i was hitting an illusionary winner with my racquet at home 10 mins ago lol. But i'll keep on working, thanks!

Yeah, I understand how that can happen, though I won't admit to smashing stuff.:twisted:

Best to go outside if you can stand the weather. My neighbors think I'm crazy when they see me shadow swinging in the yard, but I don't care. The practice has paid off. It's not a substitute for court time, but it is a really useful adjunct.

TheCheese
12-20-2012, 06:41 PM
Maybe out of subject but i didn't know about forehand pronation before. It is giving the ball topspin by pronating just before contact with a flat trajectory right ? As long as i have an eastern forehand, maybe i should work on some pronation instead of a full windshield viper motion ?

Yeah, you want to pronate in the backswing, before you swing forward. As you bring your arm into the forward swing, the arm will naturally want to supinate. After that, all you have to do is swing more up and across the ball to add topspin, and swing more through the ball to add pace. Also, you don't have to tradeoff one for the other, which is the greatest benefit of this technique. You can hit a hard flat trajectory ball with tons of topspin, for example.

chico9166
12-21-2012, 01:27 AM
I'm working on the lag effect of nadal's and federer's forehands that has been explained with lock and roll videos. You can also say "pull strokes" (I know you will never want to do that).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EMNtq393tvo
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=soADAL_uGs8

The problem is whenever i take a fully continuous and fluid loopy backswing, i can't feel the racquet going back and slap the ball. Whenever i give a hitch at the end of the racquet drop just before forward swing, after i make the unit turn i clearly feel the racquet going back and creating the natural wrist snap.

This article also tells the same thing. You need to give a pause at its farthest back point to create the inertia lag;

http://tennis.about.com/od/forehandbackhand/a/forehandloops.htm

I agree that a huge loop adds momentum and power to your stroke but only if you have the traditional "laid back wrist" type of forehand. I mean if the angle of your wrist/forearm is set at the beginning of the backswing remains the same until the moment of impact, a big loop is a must because the more your racquet travels, you more speed and momentum it gains . But if you don't snap your wrist and expect the movement to do it naturally, your backswing has to have some sharp directional changes or pauses to create that inertia lag. So basically i think a loop is totally useless with that kind of stroke because when you give that hitch, you lose most of the momentum created with the loop.

I wonder your opinions with that, thanks.

Lets define terms here. The unit turn would be the general turning of the torso upon ball recognition, usually at about a 45 degree angle, with the both hands on the racquet. This is generally done, again, as soon as it registers forehand. (in this case)

The backswing would encompass all that happens between the separation of the hands until the beginning of the forward swing. (the arm rotating around the shoulder) I always try and get students to focus on the TEMPO of the backswing. It is the metronome as it were, and largely responsible for "timing".

It should be (backswing)seamless and consistent in it's tempo, regardless of incoming ball speed, depth. It is the "constant" in the equation..For this to occur, the hands would have to separate at slightly different times, as no two balls are the same. At any rate, focus on this aspect of the swing, and you will start to improve your timing.

dominikk1985
12-21-2012, 02:15 AM
you are NOT actively lagging the racket.

the lag is caused by the innertia of the racket (increased by the fact that it is still moving backwards): the wirst is relatively loose and the arm accelerates hard which causes the racket to lay back.

but don't force lag. lag should actually correspond with swing speed which means the harder you swing the more lag you get.

if you try to get the same lag as pros with half the arm speed your timing will be off. on the other hand unless you really strangle the racket grip you will have enough lag. I'm sure pros don't think about laying the wrist back- the are just relaxed (but not too much) and swing hard.

here is a good golf video about forced lag vs natural lag
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bJQVNqyTURM

regarding the pause: you will often see that pros take the arm back early and pause but if you watch more closely you will see that then they will still be doing a "mini backswing" from that position that is directly before the forward swing. that is not a full loop but it ensures that the racket is not starting from a rested position but has some backwards momentum as the arm swing starts.

Cheetah
12-21-2012, 03:01 AM
lag should actually correspond with swing speed which means the harder you swing the more lag you get.

Not that it's a big deal or anything and I suspect this could be the case in golf but with a tennis racquet I don't think this is true.

If you have the correct mechanics and are relaxed and swing the racquet with constant movement from takeback to contact point with no pausing, you can get the full lag effect (as much lag as with your fastest swing) complete with all the SSC action from an extremely slow racquet swing. I do this when I shadow swing. A very slow continuous stroke will still produce the effect to the full extent if done properly.

Ryoma
12-23-2012, 04:31 AM
The "lag" happens when your hand change from neutral to laid back position (think push up).

If you take back with a closed racket face point to the ground, there is no way to hit the ball with the string bed unless your forearm supinate and your wrist laid back at the sametime.

Well unless, you wanna hit the ball dead on with the frame...

TennisCJC
12-23-2012, 07:14 AM
As stated in another thread on this same topic, it is important to note that what is being described as a "pause" isn't actually a "pause."

What is happening is that both Federer and Nadal tend to aggressively "pat-the-dog" which on the speedmaster blog is called "elbow pronation." By pressing down before moving forward, the swing doesn't have a gentle loop but more of a sharp angle at the end of the backswing.

It is this abrupt change in direction at the end of the backswing that creates more stretch reflex and also helps keep the racket face down instead of opening too soon. However, it is definitely not a "pause" in terms of a stop in the motion. Slow motion video shows that on almost all shots the movement is continuous.

^^^ Enough said ^^^

I agree. It isn't a pause but rather a change in direction - as the hand starts to pull forward in the loop, the wrist will lay back and the racket head will lay back. I try to keep the loop small, smooth and continuous and let the wrist lay back as the forward swing starts. I never think or practice pause.