PDA

View Full Version : How Do You Hit a HEAVY Forehand?


GhostLigre
09-01-2006, 10:33 PM
I'm really struggling on my forehand right now. It's a very loopy forehand with topspin. My backswing is fairly loopy and with a western grip. But I'm always trying hard to produce enough spin on the ball to make my forehands "heavy". Am I right in accelerating the racket head speed on my forehands to produce a heavier ball or is this false? And would having tennis elbow be an issue in attempting to increase racket head speed?

The Prodigy
09-01-2006, 10:38 PM
I hold a western, but i have a short backswing. Brush like a windshield wiper down to my left waist as my follow through and push it deep... *this is an improper way of stroking.. lol*

GhostLigre
09-01-2006, 10:48 PM
Haha, coincidentally, my forehand used to be exactly like yours. My coach prefers a short backswing because it takes less time to set for a forehand. But I felt like that windshield wiper motion didn't feel fluid much. I sometimes felt like I hit a heavy forehand with that motion, but I stuck with a loopy backswing because it feels more fluid and natural for me. Does the heaviness of your forehand depend on the stroke motion?

RiosTheGenius
09-01-2006, 10:48 PM
good racquet speed will also help give the ball some action, it will make it feel heavier for your opponent and it will also make that beautiful crisp sound, especially if you're holding the racquet firmly.

GhostLigre
09-01-2006, 10:52 PM
What are some factors to good racquet head speed? I mean, I have tennis elbow and I struggle very hard to try to swing faster every forehand I hit. Any possible way to overcome this pain and still produce major racquet head speed?

Andres
09-01-2006, 10:59 PM
Heavy = Pace + Spin.
Not just spin, nor just pace ;)

Bagumbawalla
09-01-2006, 11:18 PM
There are, basically, two kinds of "heavy" forehand (same for backhand, also).

One is more or less the type of shot associated with clay-courters like Nadal. You must hit through the ball at a much steeper angle than normal topspin. A lot of foreward momentum is lost in imparting this extreme topspin so you also have to hit much harder to give the ball foreward speed as well. This ball seems to arc back into the court and leap up with pounding force into the oponent's racket.

The other type of heavy forehand (or backhand) is hit with minimal topspin, almost, but not quite flat. The ball travels low and flat, stays fairly low and pounds the oponet's racket with sheer unexpected speed.

Both require good preparation- plant feet, shift weight, rotate torso, accelerate arms- shoulder, upper arm, forearm-- pulling and accelerating racket in a fast, smooth path through the ball.

adista4
09-02-2006, 04:37 AM
I suggest U copy agassi's...it's more effective and less demanding than nadal's...u just gotta hit it from a confortable position

JCo872
09-02-2006, 04:37 AM
In my opinion, the idea for the need to generate "racket head speed" is the biggest myth in tennis today. Heavy, hard ground strokes come from getting your entire body into contact. Watch how the pros hit through the ball from the shoulder to the hand on contact:
http://www.hi-techtennis.com/forehand/topspin.php

When players try to generate "racket head speed" usually they disconnect the racket from the hand and shoulder and lose any solidity on contact. You just get a flopping wrist or a breaking elbow coming through the ball. This can cause tennis elbow and leads to weak contact with the ball.

I have an article on www.tennisplayer.net about this and another one coming out this month.

Jeff

Marius_Hancu
09-02-2006, 04:52 AM
What are some factors to good racquet head speed? I mean, I have tennis elbow and I struggle very hard to try to swing faster every forehand I hit. Any possible way to overcome this pain and still produce major racquet head speed?
You're very probably a "wrist hitter." You're also probably using a light, head-heavy racquet.

FWIW
check my posting here:

Best arm friendly racquets?
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=58089

Get your technique in order first, then think of power. Get to a good coach.

For pain, see my posting:

Great fitness sites
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=15571

esp the Elbow and Wrist Pain sections in the 2nd section.

You SHOULD STOP playing until no pain, condition your arm (and body), probably select another racquet, reduce the tension, change your strings, then come back to tennis with the idea of improving your technique.

Your body tells you you're doing things the wrong way. Listen to it.

Marius_Hancu
09-02-2006, 05:00 AM
Check the Sticky (topmost thread) here, including my posting on Forehand Issues. One of the links there is this:

Acceleration at contact (observations on Sampras's running FH)
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=42851

Check my posting in the Sticky here on:
The Heavy Ball: How to hit it and defend against it
(#37)

MasterTS
09-02-2006, 09:22 AM
Heavy forehand is a very tricky thing... If you have to ask how to hit it, you're years away from doing it (if at all), but that's not a bad thing either. Some people strive for this feat and simply will not be able to do it! I know very few people that have 'heavy' forehands and I've hit with many players up to 6.0.

As the argentine mentioned, it is a combination of pace and spin... The spin needs to be very very high but the pace has to be there too. The trick is using your body, a relaxed motion, a high amount of racquet head speed, and a pretty good amount of forward momentum from your body.

These forehands can be loopy like nadal and roddick, or they can be more penetrating like federer.. the end result is a heavy ball! Good luck in this.

superbooga
09-02-2006, 12:26 PM
Regardless of what technique you use, your timing and hand to eye coordination needs to be good enough to ensure good contact between the racquet and the ball. No amount of power is going to create a heavy ball if the racquet doesn't properly contact the ball!

Most recreational players simply do not have the proper footwork and timing necessary to hit the heavy ball. Thus, my advice is to first work on your footwork and timing so that you can get proper ball contact every time.

Bagumbawalla
09-02-2006, 01:44 PM
As far as "racket head speed" being a myth:

A thought experiment.

Imagine a tennis ball hanging from a string exactly at your comfort zone.

Hold your racket against it motionless. Consciously will the ball to fly forward with tremendous pace. Concentrate. No the ball just hangs there.

Now try swinging the racket. Amazing! the speed/spin imparted to the ball almost exactly equals the force imparted to it-- generated by the speed of the head of the racket. You hit slower, faster-- the ball flies slower and faster almost as if there were some kind of relationship there between the two things.

Rickson
09-02-2006, 02:36 PM
I'm really struggling on my forehand right now. It's a very loopy forehand with topspin. My backswing is fairly loopy and with a western grip. But I'm always trying hard to produce enough spin on the ball to make my forehands "heavy". Am I right in accelerating the racket head speed on my forehands to produce a heavier ball or is this false? And would having tennis elbow be an issue in attempting to increase racket head speed?
Totally false. A loopy topspin forehand will hardly be considered heavy, but a flat forehand with monster pace is definitely heavy. It's not the spin that makes the ball heavy, it's the pace. A combination of monster pace and spin would be great, but if you had to choose one thing over the other to make your forehands heavier, choose pace.

superbooga
09-02-2006, 06:38 PM
As far as "racket head speed" being a myth:

A thought experiment.

Imagine a tennis ball hanging from a string exactly at your comfort zone.

Hold your racket against it motionless. Consciously will the ball to fly forward with tremendous pace. Concentrate. No the ball just hangs there.

Now try swinging the racket. Amazing! the speed/spin imparted to the ball almost exactly equals the force imparted to it-- generated by the speed of the head of the racket. You hit slower, faster-- the ball flies slower and faster almost as if there were some kind of relationship there between the two things.

Against incoming balls, the weight you put behind the ball is more important, and is absolutely necessary for stability. Unless the ball is just sitting there, or you are serving the ball, you cannot just snap your wrist to gain speed and expect to maintain solid contact.

Here's a experiment you can try: Clench one hand into a fist, as if it were the ball. Pretend the other hand is the racket. Try hitting the "ball" with your fingers. Now try hitting the "ball" with the bottom part of the palm. Which method imparts more force on the ball?

sibosobe
09-02-2006, 07:02 PM
the speed/spin imparted to the ball almost exactly equals the force imparted to it-- generated by the speed of the head of the racket. You hit slower, faster-- the ball flies slower and faster almost as if there were some kind of relationship there between the two things.

Velocity does play a big role in hitting a heavy ball, but not any bigger than getting your body behind the shot. From a physics POV, hitting a ball is transferring momentum from you to the ball, and momentum is equal parts mass and velocity. Imagine if you tied a racquet to the end of a string, and swung that racquet around super fast--faster than anyone could swing with just their arm. If the racquet hit a ball in with its sweet spot, the ball would still be pretty weakly hit and not as powerful as a slower but more massive forehand with good arm, shoulder, and general body behind it. So racquet head speed and getting good rotation/stepping into the shot all play important roles.

There's an awesome video I found on another thread here of federer:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xNPaZj4yn00&search=federer%20forehand

that shows how much the racquet rebounds and vibrates on contact.

RiosTheGenius
09-02-2006, 09:17 PM
I suggest U copy agassi's...it's more effective and less demanding than nadal's...u just gotta hit it from a confortable position
hmmm.... Agassi's forehand doesn't look heavy at all.... amazing, but not heavy, where do you get that idea from?

GhostLigre
09-02-2006, 11:02 PM
Totally false. A loopy topspin forehand will hardly be considered heavy, but a flat forehand with monster pace is definitely heavy. It's not the spin that makes the ball heavy, it's the pace. A combination of monster pace and spin would be great, but if you had to choose one thing over the other to make your forehands heavier, choose pace.

Ahh. I see. Thanks for mentioning that. So I can try to hit a heavier forehand by hitting through the ball more with more pace and not necessarily with more spin.

You're very probably a "wrist hitter." You're also probably using a light, head-heavy racquet.

FWIW
check my posting here:

Best arm friendly racquets?
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=77937

Get your technique in order first, then think of power. Get to a good coach.

For pain, see my posting:

Great fitness sites
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=33800

esp the Elbow and Wrist Pain sections in the 2nd section.

You SHOULD STOP playing until no pain, condition your arm (and body), probably select another racquet, reduce the tension, change your strings, then come back to tennis with the idea of improving your technique.

Your body tells you you're doing things the wrong way. Listen to it

Yeah, I probably am using wrong technique on my forehand. It feels like I use a lot of arm on my forehand and not enough shoulder rotation and forward momentum. Also, would using a western grip strain my arm a lot? If it'll help heal my tennis elbow, should I change to a SW grip?

My strings are Luxilon Big Banger Alu Power. Is this a bad choice for someone with tennis elbow? My friend told me all polyester strings are bad for the arm. I used to use Kirschbaum Super Spiky 16 (also poly), which felt good, but worstened my elbow condition because it produced SO MUCH vibration. Luxi feels good, but natural gut is WAY too expensive for me. Lower tensions will help of course, though.

Marius_Hancu
09-05-2006, 01:24 PM
Yeah, I probably am using wrong technique on my forehand. It feels like I use a lot of arm on my forehand and not enough shoulder rotation and forward momentum. Also, would using a western grip strain my arm a lot? If it'll help heal my tennis elbow, should I change to a SW grip?

My strings are Luxilon Big Banger Alu Power. Is this a bad choice for someone with tennis elbow? My friend told me all polyester strings are bad for the arm. I used to use Kirschbaum Super Spiky 16 (also poly), which felt good, but worstened my elbow condition because it produced SO MUCH vibration. Luxi feels good, but natural gut is WAY too expensive for me. Lower tensions will help of course, though.

Switch to S-W. It will reduce the tension on your elbow.

Luxilon, poly=bad for TE. Should listen to your friend. Use multifilaments. I'm using Wilson NXT Tour 17.

MasterTS
09-05-2006, 02:28 PM
My strings are Luxilon Big Banger Alu Power. Is this a bad choice for someone with tennis elbow?

I used Alu Power and love it. My elbow is fine too.

TylerWeekes
09-05-2006, 02:40 PM
A heavy ball is merely an expression of how the ball feels to someone at contact. It seems like everyone wants to think if they hit the ball a certain way with a certain technique, they will make the ball increase mass or something(the real "heavy ball" ...LOL). Fundamentals executed at high speeds will impart spin and pace. It will make the opponent feel uncomfortable for sure.

-Tyler:D

P.S. MaterTS did you reed my explanation under the Highballs thread?
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=117963

MasterTS
09-05-2006, 02:43 PM
P.S. MaterTS did you reed my explanation under the Highballs thread?
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=117963

Yes I did but I didn't care to continue the debate. You went on to talk about how it would be useful in return of serve.. Frankly in the return of serve you either want to take the return early, or step back 5 foot behind the baseline and take it as its on its way down.. You never ever ever want to take the return of serve at a high point just because you have a high elbow takeback.

emcee
09-05-2006, 05:07 PM
If you hybrid Tonic ($25) with something like OG Sheep ($4), each string job comes to about $15. How much is ALU-Power? Like $14 or something right?

If you can afford ALU-Power, you can afford gut. Heck Titan gut is like $17. I'm not saying gut is for everyone but ALU-Power isn't cheap either...

MasterTS
09-05-2006, 11:33 PM
If you hybrid Tonic ($25) with something like OG Sheep ($4), each string job comes to about $15. How much is ALU-Power? Like $14 or something right?

If you can afford ALU-Power, you can afford gut. Heck Titan gut is like $17. I'm not saying gut is for everyone but ALU-Power isn't cheap either...

I would use ALU-Pow over gut any day.. SO much more spin and action iwth ALU-Pow.. PoW PoW!!!

Also I hybrid ALU power with a multi like Wilson Reaction or Prince Preimer.. YOu buy reel of 727' ALU comes out to less than $5 bucks per mains.. You can be as cheap as you want with the crosses.

mahouFuji
09-07-2006, 10:48 AM
well i hold western and i get hits heavy balls by hitting the ball in front of me i kind of copy federer so just watch him.... im trying to copy his backhand too so i switched to one handed recently