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View Full Version : How do I add pace to my forehand?


Tour90
02-25-2004, 09:43 AM
My brother always told me that if I stepped into the shot and rotated my waist that I would get more pace. Unfortunately, I'm not sure if this is working for me. It this really true? or am I just doing it the wrong way? HELP! HELP!

Printer099
02-25-2004, 12:53 PM
I know one good way to hit the ball with more pace is to hit the ball flatter and to hit through the ball longer. If you are not hitting through the ball long enough and using heavy topspin you will nothave any pace because you will be using too much top spin. No matter how hard you swing and rotate if you use top spin you will always get more spin than pace. Watch the pros....they all hit relatively flat (little top spin) and the ball stays low when crossing the net and does not bounce as high

@wright
02-25-2004, 01:08 PM
Try following through more toward your opponent, this will give you more depth and it should help with pace. Other things to consider:

1: Are you turning your shoulders and rotating your shoulders to swing your racquet?
2: Are you swinging with a loose arm instead of muscling your swing?
3: Are you getting low to the ball and using your legs to push through?
4: Is your weight moving forward as you hit?
5: Are you being too wristy and putting too much spin on it?
6: Timing is EVERYTHING! You can get plenty of power if you time it right, and you can get no power if you time it wrong.

Bungalo Bill
02-25-2004, 01:24 PM
Ok, you want power? How about controlled-heavy ball-power?

It all starts with the use of your knees and your feet. Having bent knees allows your knees to move properly to transfer energy which frees your hips to get into the shot which inturn frees your shoulders to rotate INTO the ball.

When you rotate you have to be careful not to rotate AWAY from the shot to soon. The intial rotation is a timed sequence that attempts to put the shoulder and hitting arm to colide INTO the ball. If you want to use your wrist for extra zip - make sure it is measured, from a fixed position, in other words, very little.

When you have prepared properly, you want to rotate your hitting shoulder right into that contact point at impact. This will help you have a long followthrough. Mistime the shoulder, and you take a chance of not hitting with all your force.

So to time it properly you have to understand what grip your using and where the suggested contact point is and go out and make slight adjustments to that contact point to what you like and feel your getting good solid power. You will know when it "clicks". When you do - try and hit every ball in that zone. That means your going to have to keep moving and making your footwork adjustments to try and get the majority of the balls hit to you in that zone.

Your opponent will try and keep it out of that zone - which is why you have to be alert to move quickly so you can cause the ball to bounce into that zone.

lenosucks
02-25-2004, 01:30 PM
Actually Printer, most pros hit with much more topspin than any of us could ever hit with. Even the pros that are considered relatively flat-ball hitters hit with a ton of topspin-it's just not alot compared to other pros, such as Roddick and many of the clay courters.

Hyperstate
02-27-2004, 11:28 AM
I think Guga steps into his forehand shot well when he gets a short one. Watch him play! When I do step in for a shot, I do notice more pace, and an opponent scrambling for the ball. Heheh! Too bad I can only do so when the ball is slow :( You have to time the shot well.

@wright
02-27-2004, 11:51 AM
Guga is very good on rotation for his shots, you'll notice this if you look at videos of his strokes. Unfortunately, this is also what is causing poor Guga to have such bad injuries. It's a trade off.

lendl lives
02-27-2004, 11:59 AM
Have you ever played really tightly and just got the ball back in play and end up lossing a point....then after the point blasting the ball back super fast and it goes in??? Being relaxed and loose helped me remember how to hit hard.

Hyperstate
02-28-2004, 10:42 PM
@wright, why does stepping in/rotation make Guga more prone to injuries? Just curious. What's your take on this?

Grimjack
02-29-2004, 09:42 AM
@wright, why does stepping in/rotation make Guga more prone to injuries? Just curious. What's your take on this?

Kuerten doesn't "rotate" in a way that normal humans understand the word. He has more in common with a Gumby doll than with you or me.

Link. (http://www.advantage-tennis.com/guga/IMG_1529.jpg)

NoBadMojo
02-29-2004, 10:29 AM
Guga has/had what is turning into being a common tennis injury that wasnt heard of so much in past days. Hip injury from open stance forehands because it forces the hip into a violent rotation that isnt natural for the hip to do. so the open stancers are getting energy into the ball more from hip rotation than a big shoulder turn and weight transfer into the shot. young people should be very wary of hitting open stance if they wish to play tennis when they get older. and regarding topspin in the pros, most of them use variations and much top when the point is neutral, but when they go offensive, they flatten out. Ed

prince
02-29-2004, 01:14 PM
racquet head speed . all the tips given are components to help get more racquet head speed.

Japanese Maple
03-03-2004, 10:12 AM
Tour 90-hitting a flatter fh when appropiate will take your game to another level due to its pace and depth-you will eventually hit more outright winners.

Here are a few things to try out to see what works best for you:

1) As the ball approaches whether you use an open or semi close
stance make sure you coil your shoulders by placing your non-
hitting arm out front and to the right pointed somewhat at the
ball. Of course your racquet should be going back also.

2) Stride forward towards the ball by pushing of your right foot
and rotating/snapping the hips and transferring your weight
onto your left foot-experiment with both an open stance and a
semi-closed stance where your left foot strides forward at either
approximately 11:00 or 12:00. Also, as you push off your right
foot,sweep your non-hitting arm at full extension towards the
net as you uncoil your shoulders instead of simply dropping the
arm-this allows you to maintain the coil as you rotate forward.

3) Your racquet should be moving forward towards the ball on a
more horizontal plane with a slight low to high motion to take
the net out of play.

4) The contact point you will find is much further out front and to
the right than for a topspin-you really want to go out front after
the ball. Actually experiment with going too far out front and
you will be surprise how well you will still be able to hit the ball.

5) Drive the racquet straight forward towards the net as far as you
can go and catch the racquet out front with your left hand at
shoulder height. Robert Landsdorp had initial taught Pete
Sampras his fh with this method-I actually saw video on Tennis
One of Pete doing this at age of 8-nobody hits a more
penetrating flat ball on tour than Sampras. You literally drive
through the ball and catch your racquet out front and stop-no
follow-through over your shoulder. You won't believe how much
more pace your ball will have and the awesome feeling of full
extension. After I catch the racquet out front I bring both arms
and the racquet back over my left shoulder but not until I catch
the racquet out front-Sjeng Schalken actually does this on tour.

6) To aid in getting the feel of full extension besides driving the
racquet forward on a horizontal axis and catching it out front,
keep your head down on the contact point until your right
shoulder touches your chin. You should have the feeling that
a rope is attached to the racquet tip and someone on the other
side of the net is pulling you forward-you should almost have
the feeling that your arm is slightly coming out of the shoulder
socket if you are fully extended forward-its a great sensation if
you have always hit topspin before and you should love the
results. Driving forward, catching the racquet, and touching
the chin to your right shoulder before looking up will give you
this full extension.

7) Do not over rotate the shoulders as you stride forward to hit
the ball beyond being parallel with the baseline. Thats the other
advantage of catching the racquet out front with your left hand
is that you will not over rotate your shoulders and all of your
forces will go out to the extension of the racquet. This is very
similar to why you tuck your tossing arm into your chest so all
your forces will go to your racquet arm to create racquet speed
on the serve.

8) To hit even a bigger ball experiment snapping your wrist more as
you extend and hit the ball, but only do this after you have
accomplished the above. Also, rally with your practice partner
and let them be the retriever while you try to hit the ball as hard
as you can and don't worry about hitting them long. To do this
you will find that you will need to totally relax your grip to the
point that the racquet will fall out of your hand-any tension and
you can't hit the ball nearly as hard or be able to snap your wrist
Also, you will find that you will be using your legs ,hips, and
shoulders much more aggressively but its critical to totally relax
your grip to get the racquet speed. Actually at times try to hit
the back wall beyond the baseline and gradually bring the ball
down to the baseline-hit out with anger but be very loose,loose,
with your grip. Good Luck!

Mush Mouth
03-03-2004, 02:53 PM
thanks JM

Bungalo Bill
03-03-2004, 02:54 PM
Here is some truth to stepping into the ball and WHY it adds power to your stroke. There are a lot "myths" out there about HOW the step forward adds power.

A lot has been said about using your legs. Vic Braden makes a great point, that stepping into the ball cannot add much velocity to the ball (from an increase in racquet head speed), even if you strike the ball perfectly. However, stepping forward while you swing can help, for a reasons not explained.

In order to hit the ball cleanly, you need to move the racquet in a straight line for approximately four inches (or more), around the time that the racquet contacts the ball.

This will greatly increase your chances of making a clean hit. The longer your line is the better. The easiest way to straighten out the racquet path is to step forward as you hit. This results in greater chances of making good contact between the sweet spot of the racquet and the ball, which dramatically improves ball speed.

In the past, pros (me included), before careful modern analyses of strokes took place, we mistakenly thought that stepping into the ball improved power because the racquet was moving faster. This is not true. The increase in power comes from making the racquet move in a straighter path, resulting in better contact between the ball and racquet.

Additionally, developing a longer straight-line interval (for example by using your legs), will help compensate for not watching the ball with focal vision. Hope that helps.

ho
03-03-2004, 06:10 PM
step into the ball no doubt prolonge racket contact with the ball, however to step into it, your back leg have to raise up, racket face therefore constantly changing, unless you raise both leg at the same time (then you do not have the step in) cause inconsistancy. pushing your hitting arm into the ball at contact or pushing your hitting shoulder forward may be a better way.

Japanese Maple
03-03-2004, 08:42 PM
,Here is some truth to stepping into the ball and WHY it adds power to your stroke. There are a lot "myths" out there about HOW the step forward adds power.

A lot has been said about using your legs. Vic Braden makes a great point, that stepping into the ball cannot add much velocity to the ball (from an increase in racquet head speed), even if you strike the ball perfectly. However, stepping forward while you swing can help, for a reasons not explained.

In order to hit the ball cleanly, you need to move the racquet in a straight line for approximately four inches (or more), around the time that the racquet contacts the ball.

This will greatly increase your chances of making a clean hit. The longer your line is the better. The easiest way to straighten out the racquet path is to step forward as you hit. This results in greater chances of making good contact between the sweet spot of the racquet and the ball, which dramatically improves ball speed.

In the past, pros (me included), before careful modern analyses of strokes took place, we mistakenly thought that stepping into the ball improved power because the racquet was moving faster. This is not true. The increase in power comes from making the racquet move in a straighter path, resulting in better contact between the ball and racquet.

Additionally, developing a longer straight-line interval (for example by using your legs), will help compensate for not watching the ball with focal vision. Hope that helps.

Mush mouth , I notice your message is the same as Bungalo Bill-is it possible that you are the same person, I think so!

Japanese Maple
03-03-2004, 08:45 PM
Here is some truth to stepping into the ball and WHY it adds power to your stroke. There are a lot "myths" out there about HOW the step forward adds power.

A lot has been said about using your legs. Vic Braden makes a great point, that stepping into the ball cannot add much velocity to the ball (from an increase in racquet head speed), even if you strike the ball perfectly. However, stepping forward while you swing can help, for a reasons not explained.

In order to hit the ball cleanly, you need to move the racquet in a straight line for approximately four inches (or more), around the time that the racquet contacts the ball.

This will greatly increase your chances of making a clean hit. The longer your line is the better. The easiest way to straighten out the racquet path is to step forward as you hit. This results in greater chances of making good contact between the sweet spot of the racquet and the ball, which dramatically improves ball speed.

In the past, pros (me included), before careful modern analyses of strokes took place, we mistakenly thought that stepping into the ball improved power because the racquet was moving faster. This is not true. The increase in power comes from making the racquet move in a straighter path, resulting in better contact between the ball and racquet.

Additionally, developing a longer straight-line interval (for example by using your legs), will help compensate for not watching the ball with focal vision. Hope that helps.

Bungalo Billy, is it possible you are the same person as Mush Mouth? I think you are!

ho
03-04-2004, 12:17 PM
step into the ball, bend your knee, low your rear, hit 30 degree, sit and raise up the chair, all these teachings are all VERY GOOD, young people out there should learn before you pass 35 years old. If I learn this way, for a very average old man like me, i drop dead after sit and raise up on the chair 10 times! Mr VIC we have to have some way easier to help make tennis less painful. HELP! HELP!HELP!

PhatAbbott
03-04-2004, 02:49 PM
I personally get alot of my power from a small loop which gets my rythm. Making sure to keep my arm as loose as possible and not stop the motion. I drop the racket in level with the ball and swing through and up.

This way I get a very easy effortless flatter forehand thats very constistant because it has just enough spin to let it drop in.

After a while you will be hitting powerfull accurate forehands in a solid stroke that shoulnt break down.

ho
03-05-2004, 03:53 AM
Mr Japanese Maple, i have a great interest in your post. Seem like we have a different way to create power unlike the way many pro are using. Particular when last week i read an article of Brenda McCarthy in the Tennis magazine. The way she describe it, seem like exactly like you wrote. Pro, particular young one, create power mainly by rotation force from the trunk. They barely extend their elbow out in front, yet they produce awesome power. As i understand, you combine linear and rotation force, theorically, it will give you more power than the first one. If that way going, why so few pro are using this?. I use this way before, until one day, i push the ball when rotating my body, i have a feeling just like you, my arm seems like pop out of my shoulder socket, and the ball go straight with tremendous speed. I remember it, try to practice about a year, but it never been consitant. sometime i can extend, some time i cannot do to ball speed too fast come to me. i do not have time to prepare room far out for the shot. Acording to Brenda, you move you hand first, then rotate after, that seem to have problem, most of the time when ball comming, we take elbow back, then rotate our trunk, then extend your hitting arm to the ball. Which way will create more power. Thanks Mr Maple, i look forward to hear from you.

ho
03-05-2004, 05:14 AM
Keeping your arm loose sure create a lot of speed. When casting a fishing pole, the more rigid your arm is the more the cast lands short. Keeping it loose will create a kinetic chain from your trunk to your racket. A lag behind of all elements of your body will catch up at contact point like a set of pendulum tied together and produce high speed at contact point. However, keeping your arm loose all the time is not easy. particular in heat point and high ball speed. As much as stepping in the ball. and average person can only do it with low ball speed comming to him then he have time to rotate before stepping in. a combitation of two energy, rotational and linear, will help create high speed. That probably answer real fast Mr VIC BRADEN long time research.

Japanese Maple
03-06-2004, 07:52 AM
Ho.

The pro in fact do extend forward with their elbow and hitting arm
on just about all fh except for specialty shots-passing,low mid-court
balls,angle shots,ect. Tennisone.com did a great article with video
on the misperception that the pros do not extend their hitting arm
and merely lift up and go into their follow-through wrap by the side
of their shoulder. The problem is that the extension happens so
fast that the naked eye can't see this extension-it can only be
seen in slow motion on video frame by frame but they definitely do
extend their elbow forward. Interestly, famed teacher Robert
Lansdorp who taught Sampras,Davenport,Austin,believes the
western grip is ruining the fh's of juniors with all this heavy topspin
and the lack of a flatter,more offensive penetrating shot that goes
over the net by only 2-3 feet. The problem with the juniors according to Mr. Lansdorp is that they go into their wrap followthrough with no extension at all and this is not suited to
an offensive game on hardcourts. I thought Brenda Schultz article
in this months tennis magazine was excellent, but even she admits
to having problems with her fh due to the extreme western grip.

PhatAbbott
03-06-2004, 08:50 AM
I agree with your comments Maple.

Agassi is a good example of extending out to the ball.

I think players need both the heavy topspin and the flat forehands so they can play all surfaces.

ho
03-06-2004, 03:08 PM
thanks, mr maple. Do we need to extend before contact or at contact and beyond?. Do we need to rotate first then extend or we start the extension before rotation (Brenda say we start the arm first) How do you remind yourself to extend your arm in the heat of the game? Is there is any trick that you use so that extention become natural? thank again, mr Maple

Japanese Maple
03-06-2004, 09:16 PM
Ho,

Good questions-remember there are a variety of fh's to hit depending on the pace of your opponents shot ,where their ball
lands in relation to your body and what type of shot you need to
hit depending on their court position. Whenever you can its best
to drive the ball with full extension, hitting relatively flat with great
depth unless of course your going for angles or passing shots.
In fact, a great shot that I have added to my arsenal that you
see the pro's hit all the time is the reverse fh-you hit the ball with
no follow-through, coming straight up and behind you like
hitting a topspin lob. Next time you hit with your practice partner,
hit for five minutes hitting nothing but reverse fh's and you will
be surprised how effective this shot is and how often you can use
it-a great shot to add to your game. When hitting a driving,flat
fh, you should ideally rotate your hips as you swing forward, and
your arm should be extended out front prior to contact and extend
even further as you hit the ball , driving your palm and racquet head towards the net. In the heat of battle, if the circumstances
call for you to attack and drive the ball deep my best advice is to set
up early, get behind the ball with early racquet preparation, and
go out front after the ball-don't let the ball come into your body-go
out after it and drive forward. Some shots may require you to hit
with hardly any extension but lifting the ball with heavy topspin-
you have to be flexible with your hands but drive the ball with a
flatter trajectory whenever possible.

ho
03-07-2004, 04:56 AM
thank for the tip Mr Maple, however we did not find down how to extend your arm (the angle between forearm and upper arm increase) in any circontance. As i have a chance to told you, some time i do extend some time i don't but i do not know why? It not because of the distance far out. I basicly do two things at the same time: rotation of the body, then linear of the elbow. If I do in reverse sequence, I have tendency just do one thing: linear, then i do not use my big muscle (trunk) to create power. If i keep my elbow close to my body, I have tendency to just rotate. The solution of this is the inside out forehand, you keep elbow in, rotate same time pushing the arm to the right side. But you do not hit inside out all the time and the shot is not natural, you have to tell yourself to do with a lot of help that you have to hit to your far right. Another solution is you point your racket at the right corner instead of the back fence, it help to do linear easier. the third option is you extend early like Federer and Henin. I do not try these yet but i do know that you have did. Your imput is very appreciate, Mr Maple. Thank again

ho
03-07-2004, 10:07 AM
Dear Mr Maple, I think i found the answer this morning by video tape myself in different stroking patern, it seem like when freeze my left shouder, all the rotation force will throw my right shoulder into the shot. By that way i can get an automatic natural extension. How do i freeze my left shoulder?. i start the motion just by droping my left elbow to my rib case and stay there during the stroke.
There is a another way to have full extension is CHEATING, to hit max speed, you have to stop step in, as matter of fact, you have to step out as soon as you stop step in. Hold a wet towel and hit someone with a foward motion, ask him how he feel. Now as the towel approche him, stop and pull it back. Ask him how he feel. The stopping power have create a tremendous speed and can bruise him. To apply to the stroke, close before contact, stop and pull your body back, you will have extension whether you like or not by CHEATING. How do i stop and pull my body back? by pronate my forearm. the direction of power will turn to the side, make your racket point to the ground after the hit. How do i pronate my forearm at contact? I supinate it from the begining of the foreward motion. Do not trust me? look at Federer stroke and see here he land and the racket head position after the hit. Thank my brother.