Forehand: After contact, during follow through, assuming you increased

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by DeShaun, Jan 8, 2012.

  1. DeShaun

    DeShaun Banned

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    muscle tension on contact, do you sort of preserve this tension during most of the follow through, or do you release it not so gradually, letting your arm go floppy pretty much immediately after impact, before it has wrapped around fully or ended its deceleration?

    It feels like muscling the ball when I preserve the impact-tension, maintaining it during the period after impact until complete deceleration is achieved, but the ball control seems greater this way especially on my more powerfully hit shots.

    If one key to a successful forehand is staying as limp or whip-like as possible during the forward swing, I am confused as to how this can be reconciled with increased deliberation during my follow through coinciding with greater ball control over powerful shots.

    With so much weight placed on the follow through, the stroke just feels uglier than cracking the whip to let it wrap around me at its own pace unencumbered by a firm hand on my part.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2012
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  2. Zachol82

    Zachol82 Professional

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    The focus is mainly on my shoulder once my racquet head starts dropping on my forehand. Everything else should occur naturally. Unless you're swinging extremely slow, I don't think you can consciously let go of tension right after your strings make contact with the ball.
     
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  3. DeShaun

    DeShaun Banned

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    Thank you. How do you think of your shoulder in this situation? What is it doing?
     
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  4. Zachol82

    Zachol82 Professional

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    I try to think of my shoulder "pressing" in toward my shoulder-pocket. Pardon my vocabulary, I don't know the actual term of what I'm trying to describe here! Nothing should look different physically on the outside, it's just what I imagine and it's been working for my forehand. I think this helps keeps my elbow from flaring outward as well.

    Edit: Also, toward your comment about "making your arm feel like a whip"...well, your arm shouldn't really go limp. I find that by telling beginners that they should make their forehand "whip-like" tends to make them relax too much and therefore they have a limp forehand. I think the point here is not to intentionally FLEX the arm. Your arm should still be somewhat stiff. You should focus on the 3 major joints on your arm more. These being the wrist, elbow and shoulder. Try locking and unlocking different combinations of these 3 joints and see what it does for each of your strokes!
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2012
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  5. ho

    ho Semi-Pro

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    Yes, at contact, you have to have a firm wrist, arm and body in one unit. That way ball will have more control and power.
    You add more power and spin by releasing your arm right after contact.
    The easiest way to do it is to hit on the side, Where centrifuge force of your body rotation will spit out your arm if you keep a relaxed arm. Not to loopy, not to firm. One way to detect your timing of this release is observe the direction of your ball, If too cross court you are not release too late. If too down the line, you release it too soon.
     
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  6. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    It can't be reconciled. IMO, you should not increase muscle tension on contact. Rather, your arm, wrist and grip should remain relaxed and tension free throughout your entire swing, contact, and follow through. It's actually not as easy as it sounds. But, it will increase racquet speed and improve clean ball striking. Muscle tension impairs racquet speed and diverts your natural swing path. The notion of firming up at contact does not apply to a modern groundstroke.
     
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  7. DeShaun

    DeShaun Banned

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    Thank you everyone.

    The forehand is such a difficult stroke (for me). . .the backhand comes easier, can be learnt/grooved largely through mere repetition, but this forehand seems to have more working parts.

    Thanks again!
     
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  8. Dellon

    Dellon New User

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    ^ De Shaun, totally agree mate. The forehand ( modern one) si the most difficult shot to master. BAckhand is far more easier to learn as you stay closed through the shot. What I noticed from the old clips of old players was that they didn't use the non dominant arm at all almost ( eg point to the right fence stuff these days) ... this is the most difficult part of the shot to me, how to synchronise the two hands to achieve the perfect coil/ uncoil of the body. I've seen that lots of juniors don't fully extend this arm to the right as they are not comfortable to do either. They keep it bent after the two hands separate. Anyways, what I'm doing is trying lots of combinations to achieve the best result for me. What we see in slow motion clips is very deceiving and if you point to the side fence for more than a fraction of a second ( in match play at pro level) you're screwed as the ball will go past you ... everything happens very fast , I would almost say like a Bruce Lee one inch punch :)
     
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  9. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    If you think more about generating torque with your offhand, by initiating the swing by opening up your shoulders and drawing the offheand across your body, your racquet almost swings itself.

    Many times that helps with the little nuances, you just have to get the feel of it.
     
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  10. HunterST

    HunterST Hall of Fame

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    Correct me if I'm wrong, but basically you're saying that when you try to be loose and relaxed you feel like you lose control, especially on big shots, right? I believe that's quite normal when players first start to implement relaxation into the stroke. There was a podcast on essentialtennis about it which said that being loose will make it feel like you have less control at first, but, once you get used to it, you'll have MORE control.
     
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