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ktncnttl
10-06-2005, 11:27 AM
Almost all pros have a loopy takeback for their forehands but only some do for their 2HBHs. Do you have a straight takeback or a loopy one for your 2HBH? Which is better? How big of a loop should be used?

nViATi
10-06-2005, 03:19 PM
Almost all pros have a loopy takeback for their forehands but only some do for their 2HBHs. Do you have a straight takeback or a loopy one for your 2HBH? Which is better? How big of a loop should be used?
it's ALL preference. do what is good for you.

rfederer32291
10-06-2005, 04:28 PM
loopy, all the way, but be careful because it is much harder to time a loopy swing, so you must watch the ball very carefully on the racquet when making contact

JohnYandell
10-06-2005, 07:18 PM
Guys,

Hate to break the news, but there is virtually no such thing as a loop backswing on the two-hander. It's an illusion created by the angle of the hands and the racket tip. Yes even Sharapova. If you watch the hands they move first only with the unit turn--then straight back for 2/3s or more of the distance back--or at a slight incline. But you never see the hands even as high as shoulder height--unless you are watching players who think they are copying the pros. If the racket tip is pointed upward the tip of the racket will trace a curve as the hands change the direction of the swing. The more tilt, the more curve. It's not just a curiosity--it's critical to a solid two-hander. Players who initiate the preparation by raising their hands never really get turned or fully loaded.

Regards,
John Yandell

GrahamIsSuper
10-06-2005, 07:29 PM
I agree with Yandell, it's just too awkward to loop a backhand, and it doesn't really add much in terms of power, precision, etc. Perhaps the primary reason of the looped forhand is that its easier to produce that motion since you only use one hand, yet you have an extra hand to guide the racquet (on a 2 hander) to the pre-hitting position.

TENNIS2
10-06-2005, 08:24 PM
I agree, I don't see much of looping on bh. It's just not as natural to do so, and it definitely take more time, you can't afford that with return of serve.

rilokiley
10-07-2005, 01:31 AM
I have a straight takeback. ya i just tried to make a loop with my backhand--definitely not a natural thing to do. guys like Hewitt and Roddick back their racket right back down, don't they?

Camilio Pascual
10-07-2005, 07:25 AM
Guys,
Hate to break the news, but there is virtually no such thing as a loop backswing on the two-hander. Regards, John Yandell

Okay, but would you agree that there are 2 types of distinctive backswings with the 2H BH? I believe there are and the racquet head is a good way to distinguish them. With one type of backswing, (the one "imitative of the pros") the racquet head is taken back low initially and then brought up to or above the hips. I have noticed this "loop" or "high" backswing is used more successfully by people who use the non-dominant hand/arm more to dictate the swing path.
With the other, the racquet head does not go above the hips. This distinction of the high and low racquet heads is meaningful, because I have to get most people out of the "loop" or "high" backswing mode, since it often causes them to flatten out their swings and impart slice or not very much topspin to the ball due to a lack of low to high brushing up on the back of the ball. So, I tell them to not bring the racquet head up to hip level.
If you agree, then we need some terminology to distinguish the two. I'm not near some tennis mags/books right now (an unusual occurrence for me!) but I also can recall articles advising to use the "loop" or "high" backswing and got the impression this is a more advanced technique best used by skilled, disciplined players who already have good form. Even though I agree with you that it is not a "loop" in the sense that some FH backswings are loopy, I think most people understand what the term means. We could call them "high" and "low" backswings, maybe?

JohnYandell
10-07-2005, 09:37 AM
Good question, and I'm not sure. I tend to think that it is more idiosyncratic and personal than anything. If you look at video and focus on the hands, Agassi goes almost completely straight back and then rotates the hands to change direction.

Nadal the same, maybe slightly more up at the very end of the backswing. Sharapova's hands are about the same as Nadal's--but the racket tip is pointed more upward.

Hewitt actually goes down first, then up, then down. Nalbandian goes straight back and then slightly up, as does Serena.

Lindsay actually goes slightly up first. Clijsters does it on a longer incline. Hantuchova is the only player I've seen who has something we could call a loop--but here hands stay below her shoulders.

You get the idea. I think the keys are starting with the body turn and the racket moving straight back. Then the hitting arm positions at the start of the forward swing. To a certain extent we can let the players connect the dots.

Even though there isn't a loop like on the forehand, the one "similarity" is how individual the bacskswing motions are on both sides--and how they connect the key positions.

Bungalo Bill
10-07-2005, 01:45 PM
Clijsters does it on a longer incline. Hantuchova is the only player I've seen who has something we could call a loop--but here hands stay below her shoulders.

You get the idea. I think the keys are starting with the body turn and the racket moving straight back. Then the hitting arm positions at the start of the forward swing. To a certain extent we can let the players connect the dots.

Even though there isn't a loop like on the forehand, the one "similarity" is how individual the bacskswing motions are on both sides--and how they connect the key positions.

I do agree that there is a majority of twohanders that give the illusion that they are moving the arms in a circular motion and thus raising and lowering the racket to give the illusion that a loop swing exists. This is apparent in Agassi's backhand, Hewitt's backhand, and Safin's backhand. The hands basically make a "smile" pattern and then when the hands are on the back half of the smile, the wrists will lower the racket head down just before the hands bring the racket forward to contact.

However, there are also those that I see that bring the hands up to bicep level, back, down, then up and forward. This action is predominantely started by the tophand shoulder muscles and is mainly executed by the upper arms. There is little wrist drop down as momentum has already been gained.

In order to do this (which also supports your reasoning that it is more cumbersome) a player needs to really relax the front shoulder and let the back shoulder dominate control over the entire back and forward swing. This is not a popular motion but it is used. The player that comes to mind that I see using a more circular swing (or loop) is Clijsters. You can see her really bring the racket up and back with her shoulder muscles.

I need to take a closer look because I could swear this was her type of swing. Or it could be that she used this type of swing on a certain ball or a certain shot.

JohnYandell
10-07-2005, 05:09 PM
BB,

Go look in the Stroke Archives on Tennisplayer. Think you'll be surprised. I wrote an article recently about this and I think the key is to distinguish between the hands and the racket tip. The tip can be quite high, but the hands stay at waist level or a little higher--take a close look at Agassi because he really does NOT come up with his hands. Look at Rafael as well... Kim is higher than most--you're right about mid tricep.

John

GrahamIsSuper
10-07-2005, 07:27 PM
BB,

Go look in the Stroke Archives on Tennisplayer. Think you'll be surprised. I wrote an article recently about this and I think the key is to distinguish between the hands and the racket tip. The tip can be quite high, but the hands stay at waist level or a little higher--take a close look at Agassi because he really does NOT come up with his hands. Look at Rafael as well... Kim is higher than most--you're right about mid tricep.

John

A lot of people have that same "play" in their backhand, with a high takeback. Yandell is right once again, it really is a difference of hand and tip, although it's really only evident (to the more extreme extent) in the people with wristier backhands, such as Agassi. Regardless of that fact, almost all of them have the same point of impact, at least in general form.

JohnYandell
10-07-2005, 09:28 PM
At the risk of annoying a supporter (hate that!), I'll agree about the contact point to a certain degree, but disagree about the wrist(s). It's similar to the forehand. There is a specific arm and hand position that the players create during the start of the foreword swing. This is with the wrist laid back on the top hand. The amount varies with the grip. The bottom arm is also set in a hitting arm position--it can be straight, quite bent or in between.

Again, the "wristy" thing is an illusion. If you look closely at a lot of video, you'll see their is a rotation backward with the forearms just before or just at the start of the foreward swing. This is what drops the racket head. The hand and arms then role forward as a unit. but it's not really a wrist movement. The wrist moves only as part of this larger rotation. It's actually similar to the wiper effect on the forehand--and is can actually be carried outward into the followthrough--again like the forehand though to a lesser degree.

Some players do this backward rotatio all the time like Agassi, some almost never, and some do it sometimes. There is an article on "hand and arm rotation" that explains it in a lot more detail on Tennisplayer.

It's nice to be "right" but I think it's less about me being right than the resource of the video. Anyone who takes the time to look at a lot of it can see some of the same things I see--and probably some other things I have missed.

JackD
10-08-2005, 06:22 AM
Here's my two cents worth...

First I would define a looped swing as one in which the forward motion (not the unit turn) is one in which the raq head starts above the the height of the ball at contact, then drops below that level and finally moves upward to the ball at contact. With this definition most pros loop there forhands and backhands.

I agree with Yandell about the wrists not being looped but under my definition they don't have to be and I also agree the the wristy nature of a backhand like Andre's is an illusion.

As far as the turn is concerned I would teach (for both fh and bh) that the the raq tip is around eye level out in front of your body at roughly a 45 degree angle. Making your hand level around waist height or slightly higher. During the unit turn the raq can be kept on the same horizontal plane as the player turns keeping that 45 angle. There is no lift necessary in the turn to create the "loop" if a player is in a good ready position. Also don't drop the raq with a "reset" loop.

The reasons for keeping that raq on the same plane is its quicker in that the shortest distance between two points is a staight line so a player can turn faster. It keeps the blocking option avaiable if a player doesnt have time to complete a full turn and looped swing like on a serve return. Finally there are multiple stuides on biomechanics that havn't found a link between the size of the loop and power. A small loop ala Andre doesn't appear to be biomechanically weaker than taking a huge loop plus its much easier to time. Another advantage of the loop is it makes it easier to handle balls of different heights.

The loop on both sides can look wristy but again I agree with John that its illusion of the loop and often occurs after contact on both sides.

ktncnttl
10-08-2005, 08:20 AM
Guys,

Hate to break the news, but there is virtually no such thing as a loop backswing on the two-hander. It's an illusion created by the angle of the hands and the racket tip. Yes even Sharapova. If you watch the hands they move first only with the unit turn--then straight back for 2/3s or more of the distance back--or at a slight incline. But you never see the hands even as high as shoulder height--unless you are watching players who think they are copying the pros. If the racket tip is pointed upward the tip of the racket will trace a curve as the hands change the direction of the swing. The more tilt, the more curve. It's not just a curiosity--it's critical to a solid two-hander. Players who initiate the preparation by raising their hands never really get turned or fully loaded.

Regards,
John Yandell

Thanks for clearing things up for me.

Bungalo Bill
10-09-2005, 11:51 AM
BB,

Go look in the Stroke Archives on Tennisplayer. Think you'll be surprised. I wrote an article recently about this and I think the key is to distinguish between the hands and the racket tip. The tip can be quite high, but the hands stay at waist level or a little higher--take a close look at Agassi because he really does NOT come up with his hands. Look at Rafael as well... Kim is higher than most--you're right about mid tricep.

John

John!

Very good. Thanks for asking me to take a second look. My problem? Camera angle. It was the camera angle on Clijsters backhand that made me think the "loop" was going on. Here is what I did.

I immediately went to Serena's backhand thinking I had you. I loaded a center backhand video sequence on your site and was salivating thinking you would owe me a beer in Indian Wells about this loop thing. I could have sworn I had you.

Then...I went to another pro's backhand (I think it was Davenports) whom I also thought had a loop. But this time I chose to use a side view camera angle. It felt like someone died. I played it over and over again, slo motion and fast motion - no loop. Damn, I thought, I just saw it with Serena. So I went back to Serena's stuff but this time ran side view angle clip. I was pretty sure I was going to be right but soon discovered I was not.

It was an optical illusion! It was the camera angle that did not give the accurate story. I went through everyones backhand - no loop.

Now, there were differences in how high the hands came up. But for the most part the hands went back, then the wrist angle changed as the hands went down and then forward.

Bottom-line, it was the racket head that was making the circular looking pattern rather then the hands. If you lose the hands behind the body (due to camera angle) the mind fills in the movement of the hands with a loop. This is a mind trick. It is not really happening much like the "loose" wrist myth.

I did see some players who were very conservative with their hand movement relying on that change of direction to generate racket speed (agassi). Some players (as mentioned) raised their hands for a drop as they angled the racket.

So that was a good lesson! Thanks! You have a very productive site being able to see the shot from different camera angles.

JohnYandell
10-09-2005, 12:57 PM
I've been thru the exact same process with some of my cherished, earlier beliefs--things I've published in books--point the left hand at the ball on the forehand, for example.

Your input on this board is consistently "right-headed." Now that we have these resources, I don't think there is much excuse for getting into a ***** fight (rhymes with "twitch"). Instead we can collaborate and discuss. Fun to trip each other up occasionally, sure and I'll buy you that beer anyway--but this has been one of the problems in tennis--the wizard versus wizard paradigm. As Allen Fox once said, the problem with a wizard is you're never completely sure if he has the "real" magic. The stroke archive is like Toto pulling the curtain in the Wizard of Oz...

Naturally there are still going to be some things that are open to interpretation, but at a minimum everyone can compare their beliefs to the footage. If you can't find multiple examples in15,000 clips on the site, chances are excellent that what you thought was happening actually wasn't...

Radical97
10-09-2005, 01:36 PM
Always knew it! Theres nothing wrong with a straight takeback;)

Bungalo Bill
10-09-2005, 02:28 PM
Always knew it! Theres nothing wrong with a straight takeback;)

No there is not. But that is not what we or at least I was talking about. We all knew that there were the Hewitt type takebacks/swings and the Agassi type takebacks/swings.

The analysis centered around if there were those that had a looped takeback as well. This comes from the camera angle and the fact that some of the twohanded backhanders (pro level) bring there hands higher (bicep level). THe camera angle that I had for Clijsters and recently Serena indicated that there was some loop motion going on.

When you switched the camera angle, although the hands went higher, they dropped down, angled the racket down from the wrists, before going forward.

So if you do use the straight back (Hewitt style and somewhat Agassi style) that is good!

joe sch
10-10-2005, 07:38 AM
This has been a great thread discussing stroke, windup and follow thru mechanics which ofcourse is controlled by the hand/wrist's. The racket head orientation is the key to maintaining continuous control during these mechanics. I believe keeping the racket head above horizontal in the windup and then dropping in the follow thru is vital and the angles involved in these racket head changes during the windup and follow thru produce the loop. The wrist forearm angles also play a major role in these mechanics. Its difficult to visualize and verbalize these mechanics and as John and BB have pointed out, having the "Stroke Archives on Tennisplayer" is a gold mine !

Bungalo Bill
10-10-2005, 09:05 AM
Its difficult to visualize and verbalize these mechanics and as John and BB have pointed out, having the "Stroke Archives on Tennisplayer" is a gold mine !

Amen to that. how is it going Joe? Are you still pursuing your "Sampras" style tennis play? Maybe we should hit again.

joe sch
10-10-2005, 11:43 AM
Amen to that. how is it going Joe? Are you still pursuing your "Sampras" style tennis play? Maybe we should hit again.
Hi BB,
Yep, Im trying to play like Kramer :)
Look forward to hitting again ...
Cheers, Joe

Bungalo Bill
10-10-2005, 11:52 AM
Hi BB,
Yep, Im trying to play like Kramer :)
Look forward to hitting again ...
Cheers, Joe


That's right it is Kramer. Kramer...tough player and a champion in his own right. We will get together soon.