About pat the dog

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by isilra, Dec 14, 2012.

  1. isilra

    isilra Rookie

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    Last days, i have been working on my takeback and i realized i'm never ever in the pat the dog position. Today i tried to force myself to do it and i could clearly feel the dragging laggy movement of the racquet. When i don't do it, i hardly feel it. My normal backswing is just the reverse of pat the dog takeback. I mean, when you are doing pat the dog, the butt of the racquet faces the net but in my swing, the top of the racquet faces the net.

    The problem is, i feel so uncomfortable doing it. I mean i have to pronate my wrist to get the butt of the racquet looking towards the net but it just removes my all smoothness.

    Is pat the dog a necessary thing to do for taking your forehand to upper levels, or it is just optional ?

    Edit: Forgot to say i have an eastern forehand. I felt like it is easier to get in a pat the dog with a more extreme grip. Should i change my grip ?
     
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  2. psv255

    psv255 Professional

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    First off, I would suggest you try to avoid delving into minute elements of the backswing; this might help you make it more simple and efficient.

    By "faces," do you mean that the top of your frame points at the net?
    If this is the case, try keeping your racquet more vertical in the beginning of your takeback, in line with your hand. Also, as you probably know, you shouldn't be starting the swing in the "pat-the-dog" position; rather, it's a by-product of the forearm-racquet angle and letting the racquet drop naturally to the lowest point of the swing. At the end of the backswing, the tip of your racquet would point more to the side fence than the net, and then as you begin swinging forward it would even point to the back fence.

    As for the grip, I'm sure you can "pat the dog" with an eastern; I've been doing it with at least some success...don't give up!
     
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  3. isilra

    isilra Rookie

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    Yes, this is clearly my case. After i finish the racquet drop, the top of my frame points the net and the butt points the backfence but i see all the pros do the reverse. And this avoid the racquet lag movement if i don't turn my hips/torso so quickly. I keep my racquet vertical at the start of the movement but i think i'm doing something like leading with elbow and making the racquet drop this way. Have no idea how to fix this.
     
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  4. charliefedererer

    charliefedererer Legend

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    Try watching this APAS video of Federer - he uses an eastern forehand too.
    Roger Federer Forehand on the APAS System http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pPLmCqGIotM

    [​IMG]


    Watch the video with a tennis racquet in hand - or even a ruler or some other object to mimic the movement.

    It is best if you can video yourself - or even set up a mirror - to see if you are doing it properly.




    [You are right to try and work on this. The movement sets up a "lag" of the arm - then suddenly the lag is powerfully overcome as you whip the arm foreward and really bash the ball - like Fed. Note the power in the movement comes from a powerful uncoil coming from the legs and core.]
     
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  5. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Post vid, when you ask for technical instructions.
    Forget patting the dog.
    Can you hit hard with topspin? Can you direct this shot? Can you do it over and over?
    That's all that counts.
    McEnroe and Connors did not pat the dog.
     
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  6. TheCheese

    TheCheese Professional

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    The pat the dog should come as a result of your technique. It shouldn't be something that you force.
     
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  7. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    And if you hit the ball like Connors or McEnroe, you don't pat any dog.
     
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  8. monomer

    monomer Rookie

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    I don't think that many people want to model their groundstrokes after McEnroe & Connors these days.
     
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  9. TheCheese

    TheCheese Professional

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    Could you take videos of yourself hitting forehands from the side? I think that would make it a lot easier to give you some helpful feedback.
     
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  10. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    HOW can all of you ASSUME that the OP doesn't hit like Connors or McEnroe?
    Not every tennis player wants to hit with topspin on every shot. Some hit with sidespin, some hit with underspin, most YOUNG guys want to hit with only topspin.
    WE DON'T know how the OP hits!
     
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  11. isilra

    isilra Rookie

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    I will do that the day i go to the court again and share it with you, thanks.
     
    #11
  12. dominikk1985

    dominikk1985 Legend

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    well it depends.

    if we are talking about a kid playing competitive tennis of course you need to teach him the modern strokes.

    but if we talking about a 25yo rec player it won't matter a lot. clean, hard contact and good placement are much more important as you are probably not going to win wimbledon.

    as for the pat the dog motion: it doesn't really matter were your racket points, that is mostly dictated by your grip. some like to close (pronate) it a little in the takeback but this is a minor detail.

    it is much more important that you drop the rackethead by supination as the swing starts and then swing up using pronation. this will give you a lot of spin and will lead to the desired "pro finish" most of the time. pat the dog is just a cue.
     
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