Different Swings

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by winstonlim8, Oct 15, 2013.

  1. winstonlim8

    winstonlim8 Semi-Pro

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    I'm curious if anyone else here has different ways of swinging the racquet to hit in different directions.

    To hit a forehand down the line, I either use a flattish sidespin with a windshield wiper finish, a flat-slice skidder slice or a buggy whip topspin shot.

    I hit all deep crosscourt forehands with a flattish topspin swing that's quite old-fashioned but hit inside-out and get acute crosscourt angles with my buggy whip forehand.

    Off the backhand, I can go in any direction with either topspin, flat-topspin, flat-slice or heavy slice, though I tend to shorten the takeback a bit for acute crosscourt angles. And I can also hit on the rise much more comfortably with the backhand regardless of whether I use slice or topspin. I'm sure there are others here like me.

    However, I suspect the reason why I have to use so many different swings for my forehand is that I have much poorer coordination off my right side, even though I am a right-hander, so learning a different stroke is actually easier for me than trying to adapt one stroke and the timing for different purposes.

    Incidentally I miss fewer high backhand volleys (I hit a semi-smash drive-volley) or backhand overheads (a lot less power, obviously, but few balls going out or into the net) and I really don't know why that's so though it does seem to be a family trait - my siblings, most of my uncles, aunts, cousins, and nephews who play tennis are all stronger off the backhand, even the left-handers.

    Sometimes I wonder if preferring backhands is a genetic mutation like having three eyes or six fingers :)
     
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  2. winstonlim8

    winstonlim8 Semi-Pro

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    Dang! I still can't edit and I forgot to add that I now use Eastern grips for all topspin shots and Continental for slice.

    I also use Continental for all my serves, forehand smashes and most volleys - but an Eastern backhand grip for backhand drive volleys and backhand smash.
     
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  3. GuyClinch

    GuyClinch Hall of Fame

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    I think most pros do something like that..

    Federer has a variety of finishes to his forehand because it depends on what kind of ball his getting - and what he wants to do with the ball.

    I am not sure they mentally think of the different shots though. Its all muscle memory with them. They know how they want the ball to go - and they react to the incoming ball.
     
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  4. winstonlim8

    winstonlim8 Semi-Pro

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    I never realised that. I always thought the pros had such great bread and butter shots and footwork that they could return any kind of ball in the same way every time.

    I really wish I could just use the right stroke instinctively but I actually have to think about what I have to do. That's why when my focus goes by even the slightest bit, my forehand goes haywire.
     
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  5. winstonlim8

    winstonlim8 Semi-Pro

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    And my forehand still goes crazy even with an Eastern grip when I am off by the slightest like it did today.

    *sigh* Maybe it's just because I've had more practice with it but I think I should go back to my old Continental...that way, even if I can't get more power or spin, I can still adapt better to different kinds of balls and put them where I want them to go more accurately and with less heartache!
     
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  6. GuyClinch

    GuyClinch Hall of Fame

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    You have to practice. One tip I heard - and I try to practice is to go out and hit different returns. So I try to hit 'loopers' and then "lasers' off the same 'rally' ball.

    This method will teach your body how to change your swing to achieve the results you want. The thing is your swing is dependent on the incoming ball. So its actually more complicated then this. For a high ball that you want to 'laser' you might swing on a nearly level plane or even slightly down.

    The reason why pros strokes look so much more automatic is because of their superior footwork they often get in very good position so MOST of their strokes look similar. I think its backwards to think about trying to replicate your finish. If you take the same ball - and hit it such that it has the same kind of action - you will get the same kind of finish.
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2013
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  7. CaptainCool309

    CaptainCool309 Rookie

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    That's exactly what I did. I was playing a match against someone and I was losing, mostly because my I was having an off day with my forehand (Eastern Grip)...So during the middle of the match I made the switch to a Continental Forehand, and for the rest of the match, I made a lot less unforced errors on my forehand side and I regained confidence in my forehand stroke because of the consistency I had found. I went on to win the match and I decided to ditch my eastern forehand grip and switch over to the continental.

    The continental forehand has it's downsides though, It's best suited for low balls, and in today's high-bouncing topspin age, that's a problem. But for me the continental forehand works, and if you feel comfortable with it I see no shame in using it.
     
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  8. winstonlim8

    winstonlim8 Semi-Pro

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    Thanks for this, Guy. I never realized that or even thought about it that way but what you say makes a lot of sense to me and I’m going to have to think about it and how I can try to improve my forehand with what you’ve said.

    And I seriously believe that you're right about hitting good loopers, too. For starters, they'll give me more time to recover my position between shots, not to mention the fact that most club and local players don't really handle such balls well on their backhand side...AND it's probably less tiring for me, too!

    I know that sounds a bit like being a pusher, but as far as I'm concerned, anything that allows me to attack a weaker shot with less effort and gives me time to catch my breath and get into a suitable volleying position is a good weapon to add to my repertoire. I think it'll make a good approach shot if used correctly, too.

    Hi Cap, When I was using my Continental forehand regularly, I dealt with the big topspin balls by either trying to take even the deep balls with a drive volley or else hitting a flat slice on the rise mostly. It usually worked because the high loopy flight over the net usually gave me plenty of time to get to the ball.

    The reason why I tried changing to the Eastern forehand grip was because I had to stay so intensely focused to play such balls that particular way that when my blood sugar or electrolytes started dropping beyond a certain point after 15 minutes of intense play, I found it very hard to get to the ball to do much with it and trying to stroke it back on the rise at that stage was just impossible because my timing, coordination and reflexes would be shot to pieces, especially if I didn't sip sports drinks laced with plenty of glucose continuously.

    I really thought that a stronger grip would allow me to deal with loopy topspin balls in a more conventional way. Getting more power into my shots was never a major consideration for me. At my age and with my particular vices and physical problems, power tennis is not an option - playing smart and aggressive is the only way I can hold my own against younger, fitter, stronger guys who can dingdong from the baseline till the cows come home.:)

    I think I'll try using the Eastern only for balls that I have to take above my biceps height so that I can hit flatter more easily and stick to my Continental for anything below that, especially since I play my flat-slice approach skidder with it. Of course that'll take just as much concentration, focus and discipline so I don't know how that's going to pan out when my sugar and electrolytes start dropping...

    Mea culpa. I never could rally patiently even when I was younger though. I prefer to take the fight to my opponent by trying my best to impose my game on my opponent, dictate play and attack the net at every opportunity.
     
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