▲█▬►defending Your Contact Point

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by kiteboard, Aug 9, 2012.

  1. kiteboard

    kiteboard Hall of Fame

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    ▲█▬►defending Your Contact PointThe diagonal coil, whether open stanced or not, gives greater kinetic path way to snap back into the shot so you can put more on it during contact. Some hit with arm bar, some with double bend. At contact, the height of the incoming ball determines how far away you should time the shot. Lower balls are allowed into the middle of the body, way farther in than higher balls for several reasons:

    1. Place your arm out front with the frame as if you are contacting the shot. Now drop it down as if you are about to hit a low ball. There is an arc formed, and the further out front the incoming height of the shot, the further out front your contact should be: If you want to attain the most potential. When the arm is barred whether in double bend bar or straight arm bar, your wrist is locked back so that it can't move back much, that is the point at which you can put the most into the shot kinetically. When the wrist is locked back it applies more solid contact due to the fact it can't move back as much as when it's floppy foward.

    2. If you go out after a low ball too early, you will be on top of it and will tend to net it. If you go out after a high ball too late, you will be under the ball and tend to lift it out long. These are often wrist errors as well as distance out front errors in timing.

    3. A medium height incoming shot will either go long or net depending on whether you are under or on top of the shot. Very often, the distance of that contact point out in front will determine that effect.

    So there is a "gladiator" shaped curved shield in front of you, with its edge curving into you on lower shots. But there is more to the contact point than how far out the shot is hit. It's also where in the string bed, and at what angle the frame strikes. Most good players notch their main strings the most at the 3rd-7th cross down from the top, and that's where most contact occurs, due to the increased leverage and lower power out in front of the frame. The strings are shorter there, and there is less trampoline, and more length of frame, so you have more leverage/lever arm distance on the shot from wrist and more leveraged "control", due to the shorter length of string there, yet further out from wrist. Most top players also strike in the middle third, not the top/bottom thirds of that area, very precisely and don't shank/mis hit much. Most also close the frame off at approach, yet at contact, even though the frame feels closed, it's actually level or perpendicular to the ground. So look at the bed and see where you are notching mains the most. Notch depth/location does not lie.

    Conscious thought at first will slow you down when changing things, so practice with intention that it will become automatic and unconscious.

    Learn to unit turn very fast and "wait" very fast for that exact contact point, and the best defender, is the best attacker. The only difference between elite players and those who don't quite make it is their speed of unit turn, and their speed of uncoiling their core. The elite do it faster, "wait" faster, strike faster.

    Defending this core speed, no matter what the speed of the incoming shot, will also make you invulnerable to being jammed by changes in rhythm. Learn to use fast feet and fast core no matter what, and that is where it starts: the foot work to position your self for the best "shielded" defense of contact. Fast feet no matter what, will put an end to those types of ue. Vision speed is also key. Seeing the ball come off the opponents frame and its spin/speed, angle and deciding how high it will be when it gets into contact zone is vision speed.

    The leading hip opens up first, and the rest of the shot "lags" behind. Core speed is really leading hip opening speed.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2012
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  2. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    IDENTIFY, then try to defend it.
     
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  3. Ash_Smith

    Ash_Smith Hall of Fame

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    Sweeping statement much :)
     
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  4. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    It's true. If you can make your unit turn quicker you can become elite.:)
     
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  5. boramiNYC

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    There's something to it. I don't know about unit turn but more to the line of mastering hip, pelvis, lower back and ab movements. This is literally central to success of any elite athletes. Kind of a prerequisite.
     
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  6. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Isn't that the "unit"?
     
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  7. FrisbeeFool

    FrisbeeFool Rookie

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    You lost me at gladiator shaped curved shield. if pretending you're Russell Crowe helps you play better tennis, more power to you.
     
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  8. Larrysümmers

    Larrysümmers Hall of Fame

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    yeah my take back is wayyy to late. its a really hard habit to break. that is why shots on the run are so much easier for me, because i coil back at the right time. not when the ball is about to bounce, like how i am when i dont have to move that far.
     
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  9. boramiNYC

    boramiNYC Hall of Fame

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    I agree about the arc of contact points, its 3 dimensional nature and the importance of understanding to develop truly versatile strokes. But the arc assumes the position of shoulder is fixed in a way but in reality the position of shoulder esp height is very dynamic from knee bending and jumping. In any case it's a good way to beginning to think about systematical understanding of contact points.

    You emphasize the 'speed' of unit turn and I agree being able to snap the upper torso from the lower torso is critical. However, I wouldn't emphasize 'speed' as much as the ability to control, which includes being able to snap fast as well. Having good flexibility and strength of core muscles (muscles around pelvis) is key to this control and not emphasized enough usually so it's good you bring the issue up at least.

    Again you say 'fast feet', which I agree but i would rather say well coordinated lower body, which emphasizes legs role in not only moving around but keeping the balance of the torso which directly relates to effective use of upper body and arm.

    However, the real challenge is how a player can use all these info and make them become automatic part of their movements. Which is what learning and mastering a skill is all about. You briefly mention consciousness, automatic, unconsciousness. It should be subconscious btw. I recommend a very small book called 'Elements of Skill' by Dr. Dimon who studied this very issue and explains the learning mechanism pretty clearly and effectively.
     
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  10. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    I made a video of me defending my contact point with my shield :) I wish I could curve the shield correctly, but that is beyond my skill set. Seriously though it is a decent analogy ;)

    http://youtu.be/4C7etUEAeKY
     
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  11. dominikk1985

    dominikk1985 Legend

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    this. good point
     
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  12. Ash_Smith

    Ash_Smith Hall of Fame

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    I have always referred to it as "protecting your contact point' with my players and related it more to movement and positioning the body behind the ball. I think if I explained it as Kite has above they'd be more confused than enlightened!

    Cheers
     
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  13. Jay_The_Nomad

    Jay_The_Nomad Professional

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    Im not sure if I'm comfortable with this idea of a curving shield particularly with low to medium shots because you should really get those knees bent with your back straight (all the way to the ground a la agnieska radwanska if need be) rather than reach down/bend down.

    On the other hand with high balls I get your analogy. It makes sense that the contact point would be nearer to the body at a higher strike zone and in this instance we do not have a choice but to reach up due to a persons height.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2012
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  14. kiteboard

    kiteboard Hall of Fame

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    I would challenge anyone to go out and do it and see if it helps. Let the low balls come into the body more, and go out after the high balls further out in front of you than the mid range balls rather than trying to keep the same distance for any height of incoming shot.
     
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  15. treblings

    treblings Hall of Fame

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    i would challenge you to explain your original post in one or two easily understandable sentences:)
     
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  16. FrisbeeFool

    FrisbeeFool Rookie

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    I think the teaching pro I took lessons from explained it as taking the ball in your strike zone. Having good movement and balance and preparation so I have the right spacing between myself and the ball and I'm taking it in my strike zone when I make contact. I couldn't tell if that was what kiteboard was talking about or not.
     
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  17. FrisbeeFool

    FrisbeeFool Rookie

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    Why would we let low balls come into our body more. Shouldn't we be moving around and trying to time our shots, so we're not getting a bunch of low balls.

    I was taught not to let putaway balls drop too low. Time it and take it while it's still above the height of the net.
     
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  18. kiteboard

    kiteboard Hall of Fame

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    Did not read the post or you would see the reason: The shield is curved, with the lower end due to the length of your arm as it lower for lower shots, and you cannot always dictate the height of incoming balls, and many will be low at contact. If you go out too soon after the lower balls, you will net them.
     
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