Boris Beker: wrist is a key of raquet acceleration

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by albesca, Jan 10, 2012.

  1. albesca

    albesca Rookie

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    Last edited: Jan 11, 2012
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  2. rkelley

    rkelley Hall of Fame

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    The link didn't seem to work. Is this the correct video?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fu[remove]KQXiJ1Eac

    Remove the word [remove] from the link. I assume that this is a Tennis Warehouse thing to make sure we don't write anything horribly offensive.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2012
    #2
  3. bad_call

    bad_call Legend

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    link not working but found right one. thanks...Boris gives good advice. looks like he pulls out the babolat at times. :)
     
    #3
  4. scotus

    scotus Legend

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    The hostess is asking a lot of good questions. Seems to know a lot about tennis.

    Has a model-type of body, too. Who is she?
     
    #4
  5. toly

    toly Hall of Fame

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    The hostess is Annabel Croft, former top-ranked professional.

    This is really great video. Thank you, albesca.

    IMO the wrist is the most important part of the body. The wrist defines everything: type of FH (flat, TS, etc), power, ball’s direction, and so on.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2012
    #5
  6. gameboy

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    Forget the hostess, who is the hot blonde behind Becker in the stands?
     
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  7. albesca

    albesca Rookie

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  8. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    another key thing:

    Becker says whenever you can step in with your left foot, it is "optimal".

    As an all time great, he is obviously correct. I have been saying this forever, but so many people are obsessed with the open stance that they do not understand it is a more defensive way to hit the ball and not optimal when you have time.
     
    #8
  9. maxpotapov

    maxpotapov Hall of Fame

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    Yeah, but it's a pain in the [wrist] to develop injury-free wrist technique...
     
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  10. dominikk1985

    dominikk1985 Legend

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    you also have to keep in mind that for tennis players wrist, hand and forearm are one:D.

    that means that twisting of the wrist (supination, pronation) is also called a wrist movement. that is wrong. of course the wrist is twisted when you pronate but the acutal movement happens at the elbow joint.

    but pro players usually don't devide between those things when they talk about the wrist they usually mean a combination of different movements in the forearm/wrist area.

    they don't break down the swing as much as we do. the learned it as little kids and now do it without much thinking just like we run or breathe.

    so we don't know what movement boris is exactly talking about.

    BTW: can anyone post a link that works?
     
    #10
  11. maxpotapov

    maxpotapov Hall of Fame

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    Here you go, http://youtu.be/***QXiJ1Eac

    OK, just replace *** with *** in your browser

    LOL, auto filtering really works here,
    just do a search in Youtube,
    "Boris Becker: How to Hit The Forehand"
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2012
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  12. toly

    toly Hall of Fame

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    If we use semiwestern/western grip, we are forced to use wrist motion from maximum wrist radial deviation in direction of wrist ulnar deviation.

    Wood cutters, blacksmiths, knights with sword, executioner with ax, and etc have used this particular wrist motions for the duration of thousands years without any problem. That’s why semiwestern/western grips are so popular and so good for wrist FH.:)
     
    #12
  13. dominikk1985

    dominikk1985 Legend

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    perhaps the most important thing he said was to do a lot of different sports as a kid your the body will be trained one sided.
     
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  14. bhupaes

    bhupaes Professional

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    If you look at Boris' demonstration around 4:45 where he says "accelerate with your wrist", it's pretty clear what he is actually showing is pronation involving the whole arm (forearm and upper arm). That said, I agree that the importance of the wrist cannot be overstated - among other things, it is a critical control element that conveys power to the racquet. The thing I disagree with, for reasons that we have discussed many times previously, is that the wrist generates significant power with its own internal torque generating mechanism.
     
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  15. toly

    toly Hall of Fame

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    Yes, it looks like Becker is using wrong terminology, maybe because he is German.

    You disagree that the wrist can generate significant power with its own internal torque generating mechanism. It means you disagree not only with me, but also with Bruce Elliot data about wrist contribution (20%) to ball’s speed in case of TS FH. In case of flat FH it could be even more (40%-60%).

    Can you explain why pros bend the wrist back as much as possible if it doesn’t produce any power? Definitely it causes a lot of problems with control. Why don't they keep the wrist in line with forearm? This could be much more repeatable, reliable etc FH. :confused:
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2012
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  16. bhupaes

    bhupaes Professional

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    Well, I could hit a forehand using only my wrist - it would contribute 100% in that case! It would probably not go over the net, though. :)

    Seriously, I don't know how to read those numbers. 20% for TS FH - well, maybe, although my unscientific gut says it's got to be less than that. 40%-60% for flat FH - my gut just rebels at that thought!

    Toly, I don't know where to even begin to answer that question, so let me respond with a question. When you see a player's wrist flexing, either forward or towards the ulnar side or a combination of both, why do you not believe that it is doing so as a release mechanism? That the hand was accelerated using the big muscles, and either a slowing down or change of direction of the arm is causing the wrist to release? As a field exercise, try powering shots with wrist only and see how (in)consistent your shots are. My opinion is that most of the internal torque generated by the wrist *must* go into control. As a side effect, there will be some power enhancement, of course, albeit relatively smaller in comparison to the contributions of the bigger muscles.

    Even for spin production, I believe the big muscles that are used to lift up the racquet head provide the most power, and most of the ulnar to radial movement is a release. Your calculations all show the amount of movement the wrist joint provides in relation to other joints. I agree with that. How can you definitively say that this movement is powered by the wrist flexors, and is not a release?
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2012
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  17. toly

    toly Hall of Fame

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    To provide wrist release, all others parts of our body, especially the arm motion around shoulder and shoulder internal rotation (bend elbow FH), should slow down significantly in forward direction. In reality, the arm and its parts motions usually accelerate before impact.

    The motions which change direction can increase the racquet speed in its own direction only, which is not forward direction. Thus, they would be useless for forward ball’s speed and forward wrist release.

    One of the most effective, but useless, forward wrist release technique I described in post http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?p=5477462#post5477462.

    Oscar Wegner even suggested to pull racquet’s handle backward, but wasn’t able to explain how to do that.:)
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2012
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  18. albesca

    albesca Rookie

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    Agree Toly ...we would spend more words about internal rotation of the upper-arm into shoulder joint .. it makes really ​​a great difference in terms of power..
     
    #18
  19. dominikk1985

    dominikk1985 Legend

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    yes. as I supposed before seeing the video (link broken) boris showed pronation when talking about the wrist. not uncommon for pro players to mix up wrist joint movements with forearm rotation. after all both move the wrist even if pronation is at the elbow joint.
     
    #19
  20. bhupaes

    bhupaes Professional

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    There are many ways to hit the ball, and I suspect our fundamental models are different. One of the ways in which the wrist can release, for example, is that the forearm externsors get loaded during the racquet drop, they fire in the early phase of the forward swing, and then are in release mode, as they move from ulnar to radial side. All I can say is that if you are actively using the wrist to generate power at contact - which is possible, of course - you will sacrifice a lot of control.

    I understand what Oscar said, but I can't explain it better than him... :(
     
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  21. toly

    toly Hall of Fame

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  22. asifallasleep

    asifallasleep Professional

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    Who's Boris Beker. I thought his name was Becker.
     
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  23. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    This is simply not true. While Federer and others may lay the wrist back quite a bit (wrist extension), not all do. Look at the wrist extension of Becker, Blake and others. Their wrist extension and subsequent flexion is very mild, yet these players can still generate decent spin and pace on the FH.

    As mentioned by others, the wrist action that Boris is referring to is primarily forearm pronation -- which is not really a wrist articulation at all. He may very well be employing radial/ulnar deviation, but I do not believe that this is what he is talking about either.

    While some players can employ more wrist action that others, I do not believe that an exaggerated wrist action is an absolute must to generate power or spin for all players. It is fine for those who can employ it and still maintain a good measure of control/consistency, but I would not insist that it is a requirement for all players.

    I would be more inclined to point out the position or orientation of the racket head rather than the actions of the wrist when teaching the FH, serve or other strokes.
     
    #23
  24. dominikk1985

    dominikk1985 Legend

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    Do the players who bend their wrist back uncock it to contact?

    If it is still bend back it doesn't supply power. could this just be to hit the ball further out front?
     
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  25. GuyClinch

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    Looks to me like when he talks about the wrist he is turning his entire arm over - not really using alot of wrist..

    I find micromanaging the wrist screws me up. So while it may or may not be true I can't really think about using the wrist and hit decent shots..
     
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  26. toly

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    Federer usually lays the wrist back as much as possible. With straight arm, he cannot use internal shoulder rotation to produce additional ball’s speed, which contributes 40% in case of bend elbow TS FH. Thus, he practically always has to apply “crazy” active wrist action. BTW, his control and consistency are not so bad.

    In case of band elbow FH, pros usually don’t want so “crazy” wrist activity, but anyway they are using it actively. There are no exceptions.

    Becker and Blake also apply active wrist actions, especially Becker, see please pictures below.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2012
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  27. toly

    toly Hall of Fame

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  28. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    I think SA has it most right, but comments are over the place here.

    Toly, I may be misunderstanding you, but IMO it would help you to look at the stroke from above and watch the hand as it starts back in before contact. There is a good APAS vid of Fed on the Fh showing clearly how the hand starts to pull back towards mid line prior to contact. If you lay the racket back with most any grip, swing out towards the ball in slo mo with your hand dragging the racket head, then just prior to contact, start the hand back in...
    then the racket head will extend on out to the contact due to the hand position and some centrifugal force. (Swing at normal speed for the centrifugal aspect) The pull back of the hand causes the hand to turn the racket head out without wrist movement. No requirement to actively do anything with the wrist but keep things steady.
    It gives the illusion of wrist action that you seem to be seeing from these ground level pics and vids. IMO there is some action here much like a cam where you have a flatter section of rotation, the at a point it becomes accelerated due to the change of shape caused by the hand returning back.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2012
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  29. toly

    toly Hall of Fame

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    There is something wrong with Vic Braden & Andy Fitzell video about Federer FH. When I analyze it frame by frame, there is no constant elapsed time between consecutive frames, especially when Federer begins fast extreme actions.

    I’m sorry, but I just cannot calculate acceleration of different parts of the body by using this video.:(
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2012
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  30. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    Previously, it appeared that you were implying that all pros laid the wrist back as much as possible. My point was that many do not lay it back to the extent that Fed does. I do not see Blake or Becker with as much wrist extension at all. On some FH shots they appear to have more extension than other of their FH shots but never to the extreme seen with Fed's FHs.

    In looking at the video referenced by the OP, most of Becker's FHs do not appear to have all that much wrist extension or wrist action. Yes, there is possibly some wrist action, but not as much as you would have us believe. The one exception is the chest-high FH, much like the one shown in your pictures above. However, at the point in the vid when he speaks of wrist action, he appears to employ very little or moderate wrist action and, in fact, primarily exhibits forearm pronation.

    On many FH shots of Blake, I do not see much wrist action either. Blake has hit some of the biggest FHs in the game -- he might even have a record of 125 mph (in the 2011 US Open). In the video below, he does lay it back quite a bit (moreso than some other vids of him that I've seen). However, even with this wrist extension, I am not seeing much of a wrist release until well after the ball has left his strings.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L5l6NiQ1Upg

    While Federer does employ a considerable wrist extension, I still do not see this "crazy" active wrist action of which you speak. There might be a bit of wrist release prior to contact but his wrist is still laid back quite a bit at impact.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kmhvKafCYsk

    As 5263 indicates above, much of the perceived wrist action (wrist release) may be an illusion. This appears to be especially true with the more extreme FH grips.
    .
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2012
    #30
  31. morten

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    i agree with you on this one SystemicAnomali
     
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  32. albesca

    albesca Rookie

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    Do you think might be a relationship between activity/passivity of the wrist and the raquet characteristics ?
     
    #32
  33. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    I agree that wrist (if you understand that to be suppination and pronation), is important. But, Becker's explanation is not very helpful at all, IMO.
     
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  34. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Pros don't actively bend the wrist back. The forward movement of the hip, shoulders and then arm, along with inertia of the racquet, cause the relaxed and tension free forearm to suppinate and the racquet head to drop back. Federer, who uses an Eastern grip, does this as well as anyone. Laver, Okker and Nastase did the same thing with Continental grips.
     
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  35. toly

    toly Hall of Fame

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    Can you please read all my post in thread http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=395364? Then we continue this discussion.

    Sorry, but I just cannot repeat the same things over and over again.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2012
    #35
  36. toly

    toly Hall of Fame

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    How are pros able to change the lay back angle if the wrist is in a passive state?:confused:
     
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  37. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Huh? The answer is in my post that you quoted. Don't make it more complicated than it is.

    This view of Federer's forehand is a good example:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fIykniaxp-A&feature=player_detailpage#t=15s

    Here's another:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=20cfdNS0DMs#t=23s
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2012
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  38. ho

    ho Semi-Pro

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    The racket is moving back, meanwhile, the forearm is moving forward, keep a relax wrist it will lay back by itself. Nick B. called Pulling out the slot.
     
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  39. toly

    toly Hall of Fame

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    I will clarify my question. How are pros able to change the lay back angle by a certain number of degrees, if the wrist is in a passive state?

    For example, first time pro wants to bend back the wrist just 45°, then 60°, then 0°, and so on.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2012
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  40. ho

    ho Semi-Pro

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    Bit the hell out of me. All of us want to lack back max.
    Do you have anything to think about more?
     
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  41. toly

    toly Hall of Fame

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    Please read carefully post #30!!!
     
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  42. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Hahaha! C'mon, Toly! You're not serious. But, just in case you are, there's no way to make those kinds of adjustments. There is an amount of acceleration that will cause the wrist to lay back, and the forearm suppinate, as much as an individudual's personal flexibility will allow, as long as he/she keeps his forearm, wrist and hand, tension free throughout the swing. I think those videos of Fed demonstrate that.
     
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  43. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    Don't know if the wrist is completely passive with Federer's layback but, for the most part, it is. If one were to actively lay the wrist back it would likely be seen as the wrist be flipped back (to forcefully achieve that wrist extension). I've seen quite a few junior players do this, particularly some fairly high-level females. I cringe every time I see this active wrist extension. You will not see very many, if any, elite players doing this.

    Limpinhitter answered this question quite well already. Another way to look at it is to say that the racket handle is pulled forward with the racket head lagging behind at the start of the forward swing. This allows the wrist to lay back. LH's description is more complete than mine.


    Don't be absurd... No, I don't think that I will wade thru 14 pages of that thread to read all your posts. Why don't you specify pertinent posts (or pages) or just Copy-Paste anything that might apply here.
    .
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2012
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  44. toly

    toly Hall of Fame

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    There is quote from your post #30,

    “Previously, it appeared that you were implying that all pros laid the wrist back as much as possible. My point was that many do not lay it back to the extent that Fed does. I do not see Blake or Becker with as much wrist extension at all. On some FH shots they appear to have more extension than other of their FH shots but never to the extreme seen with Fed's FHs.”

    According to you, different players create different lay back angles and I agree with you. Thus, pros control this motion and that can be done if the wrist is active.
    There is big disagreement between your previous post and LH explanation.

    More importantly, how they are able to control the wrist lay back angle when they swing the arm/wrist forward? Again the wrist should be active!!!:)
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2012
    #44
  45. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Thanks, SI! It's so nice to be able to give some feedback without feeling like I'm being attacked by a pack of African wild dogs.
     
    #45
  46. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Not if you understand (and accept), the technique, which requires a very relaxed, tension free, arm, wrist and hand. The biggest difference between Federer's forehand and, say, Blake's or Becker's forehand is that Federer holds his racquet in a position that allows the greatest amount of flexibility from forearm pronation. Blake and Becker hold their racquets in a position that allows for less pronation and they are left primarily with wrist flexion. In any case, the pronation and wrist flexion are achieved by relaxation. There is also the issue of flexibility. Not all players have the same flexibility, so some will get more pronation and wrist flexion than others using identical technique.

    Like the backhand, you seem to think that all of these racquet positions are calculated and actively manipulated. That's not realistic, or helpful even if achievable. It is the natural result of proper "modern" technique and remaining tension free and relaxed as much as possible. The modern 2hb is virtually identical to the modern forehand in this respect. Although there is much less flexibility with 2 hands on the racquet, the goal is the same, and the swing path of the left hand when hitting a 2hb should be as close as possible to that of the forehand.
     
    #46
  47. ho

    ho Semi-Pro

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    They are all laid to the max, The reason they are different because the way they laid it back and their bone wrist structure....OK, If you do not laid to the max, what will happen? Think, Toly, think...
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2012
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  48. Netspirit

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    I find that if my wrist is completely relaxed I lose a couple of MPHs.

    If I try to keep the wrist somewhat firm I am able to hit harder.

    A firm wrist at contact is not the same as an actively "flapping" one though. I do not think that my forearm muscles are strong enough to add any significant power, so I'd rather trade it for better control.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2012
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  49. ho

    ho Semi-Pro

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    Sure, If the wrist is firm at contact (not too rigid) you will have behind your string bed your whole body. If your wrist is loose, behind your string bed only have your hand
    Wrist laid back to the max will make sure that your racket will not bounce back on contact, ball will be greatly compress on the string result in power and control.
     
    #49
  50. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Then your technique is not optimal. The goal is to begin with the legs, hips and shoulders to throw the racquet at the ball and allow it to take its natural path without inhibiting racquet speed or diverting your swing path.

    A firm wrist and/or grip at contact will reduce racquet speed and deviate your swing path.
     
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