Exploding into the Ball

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by crazygamer2091, Jan 8, 2013.

  1. crazygamer2091

    crazygamer2091 New User

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2012
    Messages:
    40
    Many pros in today's game hit a majority of their forehands while in the air. Are they jumping (probably not precise terminology or classification) or is it because of the torque that their legs, hips and shoulders create that causes them to be in the air?

    Many of my peers who play high level tournaments like nationals have this trait and I want to incorporate this into my game to add consistency and more power to my shot making but I'm not sure what exactly to do. Any suggestions and tips would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
     
    #1
  2. TheCheese

    TheCheese Professional

    Joined:
    May 10, 2012
    Messages:
    954
    Yeah, it's just a result of properly uncoiling your body. They're not trying to jump just for the sake of it.
     
    #2
  3. The Meat

    The Meat Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2012
    Messages:
    1,998
    Monfills :)
     
    #3
  4. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2008
    Messages:
    10,398
    lifting into a strong up and across contact.
     
    #4
  5. crazygamer2091

    crazygamer2091 New User

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2012
    Messages:
    40
    Wait, so it's the result of the kinetic chain. We all know that you're supposed to bend your knees and thrust up into the ball along with throwing your hips and shoulders when making contact to hit with more pace. This motion alone should lift you off the ground? Would it be similar to serving where your feet leave the ground?
     
    #5
  6. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2008
    Messages:
    10,398
    yes, very much similar.
     
    #6
  7. user92626

    user92626 Legend

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2008
    Messages:
    6,142
    It's rather simple once you understood it. You just need to weigh lighter than the force you could produce with your movements.

    ATP Pros are skinny and strong. They don't do anything special other than running and hitting very hard and the thrust of their actions lift up their lightweight bodies.

    For this reason WTA pros don't go airborn as much as the ATP. :) Well, Serena and Sharapova can run up and smash a FH winner with their feet off the ground though.

    Fat or out of shape guys, no matter how technical, won't go off the ground much either.

    ---

    How is this a 5 star thread whereas other much worthy threads got 3? :confused
     
    #7
  8. WildVolley

    WildVolley Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2007
    Messages:
    5,698
    First, I'm not sure that most groundstrokes, even fhs, are hit in the air. Do you have statistics for that claim?

    The reason that guys are going into the air is because they are jumping (hopping might be a more accurate term) into the shot. This is either to put more power behind the stroke, to lower the strike zone, or to get into position quickly, or some combination of the previous.

    The most common technique is to load your hitting side leg and jump or hop strongly off that side to initiate the stroke. Nishikori is one of the few guys who will do a "lay-up" type move in which he drives the knee of the hitting side leg into the air as he jumps and then kicks back as he hits the ball.
     
    #8
  9. crazygamer2091

    crazygamer2091 New User

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2012
    Messages:
    40
    Who needs statistics? Simply YouTube any tennis highlights.
     
    #9
  10. luvforty

    luvforty Banned

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2012
    Messages:
    1,294
    yeah, yanking to the left is a small contributor... most of the power comes from the ground.
     
    #10
  11. WildVolley

    WildVolley Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2007
    Messages:
    5,698
    We need statistics.

    I've seen a lot of highlights and it still isn't clear to me that the majority hit the majority of their forehands in the air. Most recently I watched highlights of the Murray/Dimitrov match in Australia. Seems that most shots were hit with a foot on the ground. Just as many hops seem to be to shift the feet into position (especially on wide balls) as there were to kill the ball.

    In any case, I'm not against jumping into the ball. Just know that it requires a lot of energy.
     
    #11
  12. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2011
    Messages:
    3,847
    Location:
    San Diego
    Most of the power doesn't come from the ground / legs.
     
    #12
  13. luvforty

    luvforty Banned

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2012
    Messages:
    1,294
    ok - try hit a FH on ice.
     
    #13
  14. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2011
    Messages:
    3,847
    Location:
    San Diego
    Same result. Doesn't change anything.
     
    #14
  15. luvforty

    luvforty Banned

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2012
    Messages:
    1,294
    that was funny.
     
    #15
  16. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2011
    Messages:
    3,847
    Location:
    San Diego
    Yup. And it's also true.
     
    #16
  17. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2005
    Messages:
    34,752
    Where does most of the power come from? Upper body coiling and shoulder rotation?
     
    #17
  18. luvforty

    luvforty Banned

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2012
    Messages:
    1,294
    you need something to coil AGAINST... and here is where the 'friction' comes into play
     
    #18
  19. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2005
    Messages:
    34,752
    Very interesting, and something I wanted to do for a long time.

    Do you know what is the main cause of friction? Your weight. The frictional force is usually a coefficient (less than 1) times the weight.

    So this is a physics question I always had. If a person standing on a scale tenses his leg muscles to try to "increase" the force on the ground, will the scale show a higher reading? No.

    I just tried it now and it is confirmed.

    So, pressing against the ground cannot increase friction.

    It can only provide a springboard to rise.
     
    #19
  20. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2011
    Messages:
    3,847
    Location:
    San Diego
    :roll:

    It's not the friction. It's the ground reaction force. Literally the planet Earth pushing on you. The legs contribute about 20-30 something %, somewhere in the area, of the power IF you have a well established kinetic chain all the way to the racquet. The energy from the legs has to be efficiently transferred through each link in the chain which means up to the quads, gluts, hips, back, torso, upper chest, back, shoulders, forearm, wrist and then racquet in a coordinated sequential order. Then if you have good rotation and no kinks or hitches or a break in the chain you will get the 20-30 or whatever % it is.

    It is not over 50% of the power even if you're Roger Federer. Therefore MOST of the power does not come from the legs. It's only one of the major contributors. The torso area contributes more power than the legs if you want to get technical.

    I rest my case.

    You're welcome.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2013
    #20
  21. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2008
    Messages:
    10,398
    Did you really have to get on a scale to test this? :???:
     
    #21
  22. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2011
    Messages:
    3,847
    Location:
    San Diego
    ... and I should add that the most important part the legs should play is balance.
     
    #22
  23. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2011
    Messages:
    3,847
    Location:
    San Diego
    No but if you press on the scale with your legs you will get a higher reading.
     
    #23
  24. rkelley

    rkelley Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2010
    Messages:
    2,370
    A niggle and one bigger issue in the above.

    First the niggle:

    Your weight doesn't cause friction. Friction is caused by the characteristics of the two materials in contact, namely a tennis court and a shoe.

    One way to model the frictional force created by two materials in contact is to assume that the force generated is less than or equal to the force between the two surfaces multiplied by a coefficient (as suresh said called the coefficient of friction). For most material combinations it is less than 1.

    Now the bigger issue:

    While just tensing the muscles in your leg won't change the force between your shoe and the ground, bending your leg and lowering your body, like you would setting up for a forehand, and then straightening your leg most certainly will increase the force. Try it on your scale.

    As far as hitting forehands goes I 'm not sure how much of a difference any of this makes. I think the more salient point is that bending your back/outside leg in your set-up allows your leg to help drive your hips around. The legs become an important part of the kinetic chain and add to your power.
     
    #24
  25. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2011
    Messages:
    3,847
    Location:
    San Diego
    If you want to see some good leg action James Blake's qualifying match is just starting now live on aussie open tv on the official site.
     
    #25
  26. ShoeShiner

    ShoeShiner Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2012
    Messages:
    165
    I do not think that jumping could help you adding consistency and more power. I think jumping could help you reaching ball and creating more angle shots.
    If you are not fit enough, do not try to jump too much. It consumes too much energy and causes knees injury. :(
     
    #26
  27. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2008
    Messages:
    10,398
    Of course, I know what you mean, but not sure about that other comment.:???:
     
    #27
  28. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2011
    Messages:
    3,847
    Location:
    San Diego
    you mean 'leg action'?

    was referring to james blake and his patented 'sit and lift' FH.
     
    #28
  29. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2008
    Messages:
    10,398
    I was talking about sureshs wondering if tensing you leg would produce more
    wt on the scale.:(
     
    #29
  30. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2011
    Messages:
    3,847
    Location:
    San Diego
    idk. maybe he was kidding.
     
    #30
  31. directionals

    directionals Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2012
    Messages:
    184
    #31

Share This Page