FH Takeback

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Ownstroy, Aug 28, 2010.

  1. Ownstroy

    Ownstroy New User

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    hey all, just a random question on the takeback on the forehand side...


    can you guys throw out some pros/cons of the straight back takeback and then the loop/power C takeback?? also a few technical explainations would be wonderful. thanks in advance!
     
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  2. CoachingMastery

    CoachingMastery Professional

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    In most cases, players who learn first with a general straight back backswing will develop a loop swing naturally as well as the type of loop that matches their style of play.

    The advantages of a straight back backswing are simplicity in getting the racquet back below the ball in a controlled, conscious position to start the contact phase. Where, I've witnessed hundreds of players who were taught a loop backswing first not learn to get the racquet below the ball for topspin. Also, forcing to adapt a type of loop might not be a loop that is natural for certain players.

    The advantages to any loop is the continuous flow of the stroke from the "stalking" stage to the contact stages using gravity to accentuate the fall of the racquet in a fluid swing with no stopping of the backswing as in the straight back.

    However, if a player does not develop a loop swing within a reletively short period of time, there are many ways to train the loop so a player will explore the loop swing that complements the progression of the stroke.

    That said, there are players who have reached extremely high levels with a very straight backswing on one side or the other. (Backhands, look at Lleyton Hewitt and Serena. Not a lot of pro forehands have a true straight back backswing but many will shorten the backswing loop like Agassi and Fed did/do on serve returns. But, like I said, most all students will develop a loop swing on their own as they gain mastery of the forehand.
     
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  3. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    I second this post and very well said.
     
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  4. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    All of Dave's explanations are well worded and very complete.

    However, its been my experience that some player using the "straight back" approach have difficulty in getting the racquet head below the ball whereas on the loop (don't like a big or high loop) seem to be able to generate much more topspin. If you can get they to go straight back and down, then your all set but many keep the racquet path pretty parallel to the court or in some case the racquet actually goes up a spec (especially older players). If I can get a little loop going with them (around arm-pit high) it seems to drop nicely.

    Although I'm not a fan of a big loop for most players, I must admit I use it often - probably too often.
     
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  5. CoachingMastery

    CoachingMastery Professional

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    Thanks, Papa...

    Yes, I would agree that there many exceptions to every sentiment. I use my experience just as everyone does. I have been very fortunate to have been exposed to many different teaching environments as well as the sheer number of years I've been in the industry.

    From this experience, (especially when I would watch pros at a certain club teach the loop over and over regardless of whether the player was ready, willing or able, to execute a loop, try and force-feed the loop to them...only creating frustration and failure over and over), I saw where initial instruction of the loop could be very detrimental. Of course, I question the patterns that they were using to teach it, too.

    The nice thing about the straight back concept is that you can actually position the racquet for the student, giving them a true reference point to initiate the contact phase from. Once this is established, then the loop is almost automatic. (I think I've specifically had to encourage the loop in less than ten studens...out of 3000+.)

    But, I do agree that we can see players not develop the proper stroke even from this basic foundation of a straight back swing. It is just rare, in my experience, that players don't progress from it.

    And don't get me wrong...the loop is by far the most used backswing pattern. I use one, and as I've said, most all of my students use it. I just see the progression of the straight back back-swing being more prolific in the typical player's mastery of a highly skilled stroke...with fewer problems and a more natural application.

    And I hope I'm not discouraging good pros from teaching the loop and using proper tools in such instruction. I just don't like to see people downplay the straight back stroke as if it were prohibitive in some way to players reaching their potential.
     
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  6. bhupaes

    bhupaes Professional

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    All great points. I have struggled with this aspect of tennis - to loop or not to loop - for a long time. I have settled for a small loop on my FH and 2HBH. The problem is that even though I play only on hard courts (it's California after all :) ), some courts are really rough and slow, and some that haven't been resurfaced in a while are worn so smooth that they are blindingly fast. Not being blessed with pro-quality timing skills, I find that having a small loop is a reasonable compromise in that I can adjust my timing to either type of court, within limits, of course. Not saying this is what one should teach, though - I understand that considerations for beginners are different.
     
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