changing from muscling to swinging

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by jacklsw86, Jun 18, 2014.

  1. jacklsw86

    jacklsw86 New User

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    Hi everyone,

    I have been playing tennis for some time with different groups of people. Problem started when I played with some people who hit hard with a lot of pace and some people who play slice and dice. All these various pace of balls made me focus just on putting the ball back in play and without noticing, I am now just muscling the ball back to the opposite court instead of letting the racquet swing and hit the ball.

    How can I practise to correct this bad habit of muscling through the ball?
     
    #1
  2. Quadium

    Quadium Rookie

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    Footwork. Aim with your feet. Position your feet in a way where you can naturally allow your body to uncoil & whip the racket head up over the ball. Everything should be fluid & balanced. Also relax your wrist & allow the momentum to travel through it upon contact. A little lead tape never hurts either :lol:
     
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  3. crash1929

    crash1929 Hall of Fame

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    I'd watch the serve doctor's cylinder video. Some good tips there I think.
     
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  4. Povl Carstensen

    Povl Carstensen Legend

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    Relax the grip I would add. Also watching the ball untill you have hit it helps you get away with a more relaxed, less muscelled hit.
     
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  5. jacklsw86

    jacklsw86 New User

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    thanks for all the feedback. Probably I should practice with wall sometimes, to get the swing feel.
     
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  6. Fintft

    Fintft Hall of Fame

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    +1 For this.
     
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  7. jacklsw86

    jacklsw86 New User

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    I did try relaxing my grip on the racquet while playing and told myself to grip tight only during contact but somehow I think I kinda grip it tight already when I prepare to hit by taking a backswing. Then my swing looks quite rigid. I added some lead tapes on 12'o clock but just a lil bit (2 strips of 4" long, 1/4" width each). The more lead tapes I put on my racquet, my swing is getting more rigid so for now i stopped adding leads to my racquet.
     
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  8. my an lien

    my an lien New User

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    no. your pressure should be the same before/at/after contact
     
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  9. RetroSpin

    RetroSpin Hall of Fame

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    Concentrate on lagging the racquet. Feel like your body is pulling your arm around and the arm is just along for the ride. Focus on finishing the stroke.
     
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  10. anubis

    anubis Hall of Fame

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    I too had a lot of trouble with "muscling" the ball. It's a different process for everyone, but for me, the thing that helped the most was changing my strings temporarily.

    I was getting a lot of pain using poly, since I was swinging improperly. So that pain held me back from really swinging freely and loosely through the contact point. I switched to a soft multi for about 4 months, so I had no pain. That allowed me to really swing out.


    Then, once I fixed my issues, I went back to poly and it's all better now. So perhaps look at your setup. If you're holding yourself back for fear of pain, then address that first. You need to remove any physical barriers first.
     
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  11. jacklsw86

    jacklsw86 New User

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    #11
  12. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Hall of Fame

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    'Muscling the Ball,\means using minimal stretch shortening cycle

    ----- duplicate post ------
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2014
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  13. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Hall of Fame

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    'Muscling the Ball' - Means Using Minimal Stretch Shortening Cycle

    The reference Technique Development for Tennis Stroke Production (2009), B. Elliott, M. Reid, Crespo is very helpful for this issue. It has basic discussions of the strokes and what is going on during them and why.
    https://store.itftennis.com/product.asp?pid=86&previousscript=/home.asp

    I did not understand what the stretch shortening cycle (SSC) was until later in my life. SSC has to be an important part of the strokes.

    I believe in these interpretations of common tennis phrases:

    1) 'Muscling the ball' - using minimal SSC when shortening the muscle.

    2) 'swinging through' - not a clear term in usage regarding muscling the ball or use of the stretch shortening cycle. ?

    3) 'free energy' - seems to come from muscles have been pre-stretched and then rapidly shorten. When this happen the same sensations of applying effort are not there because the same nerve signals do not cause pre-stretched muscles to shorten. The motion just seems to happen and feels 'free'.

    4) 'loading' - pre-stretching certain muscles for later use in steps of the kinetic chain.

    5) 'use the kinetic chain' - poorly understood concept. Does speed build up? No. What builds up are certain pre-stretched muscle groups that can rapidly shortened for high racket head speed just before impact.

    6) 'unit turn' - a motion that both increases velocity of the arm and racket AND stretches certain muscles to be used later for faster motions. Watch especially for 'lag' of arm and racket during the forward body turn.

    Google: stretch shortening cycle

    If you are not thinking in terms of using the SSC then a necessary part of understanding the stroke is missing.

    In addition, muscle shortening using the SSC can be faster than by 'muscling the ball' - probably always a very important ingredient for pace. Maybe SSC muscle shortening forces are more consistent too. ?

    Good video, just posted on TW, on the Stretch Shortening Cycle Forehand
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i6JE0aGG-WY&list=UUvQvcthQRTWwkkRgTGrtpsg
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2014
    #13

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