Hit The Center!

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by HEADfamilydynasty, Aug 8, 2012.

  1. HEADfamilydynasty

    HEADfamilydynasty Rookie

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    I've seen this mentioned from time to time but never saw a thread on it. This was the lesson i re-learned the hard way:oops:. All this hype about RHS and spin, you tend to forget that you don't catch the sweetspot i don't mean s@#t:evil:. All i did was concentrate and hit the SP and i had no more use for excessive RHS. Even on my serve this helped with consistency,power, and spin i'd been missing on my serve since getting caught up in RHS. Such a simple thing makes such a huge difference.:D
     
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  2. OldFedIsOld

    OldFedIsOld Professional

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    You hit directly on the sweet spot for only some shots, for regular ground strokes you want to aim it so the leading edge contacts first to maximize the brushing effect and racquet head speed use.
     
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  3. HEADfamilydynasty

    HEADfamilydynasty Rookie

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    I hit with flattish swing style so i tend to hit flatter trajectory shots. All the excessive RHS throws off my timing and i end with with a significantly less powerful shot. when i do hit with more TS it's true that you don't hit flush on the SP but i only need so much TS for my level if play.
     
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  4. OldFedIsOld

    OldFedIsOld Professional

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    If your generally going to hit more flat shots, I suggest working on on the rise shots and trying to hug the baseline. It's a lot more effective with flatter shots, though there are sometimes when you want to brush a lot as well.
     
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  5. HEADfamilydynasty

    HEADfamilydynasty Rookie

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    Lately that's exactly how i've playing though in order to fully exploit it i need to get in much better shape. when im on my game is monstrous and i hit winners as easily as breathing but this only lasts for the first set. If my fitness and footwork was better my W/L record would be much more positive.
     
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  6. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Maybe to hit "cleaner" is a better way to say it. There are different approaches
    to sweet spots and more than one on the face.
     
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  7. HEADfamilydynasty

    HEADfamilydynasty Rookie

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    Its funny because when i first started out my first coach made me focus on the ball while hitting. I was a very clean hitter as a beginner but i fell out of that habit as i got better. When i watch the ball i hit clean when i don't the results are mixed. maybe i get lucky and nail the shot or( more likely ) i misjudge the contact point and hit off center.
     
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  8. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    You will be surprised how many times club players can't hit on the sweetspot.
     
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  9. OldFedIsOld

    OldFedIsOld Professional

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    I only look at the ball maybe 40% of the time. I focus more on keeping my eyes on my opponent and track the ball with my peripherals. I only concentrate mainly on the ball when my opponent serves, makes contact during a groundstroke, or when the ball is coming to me with some depth. I rarely mishit a ball.

    It all becomes second nature when you've been playing a lot.
     
    #9
  10. HEADfamilydynasty

    HEADfamilydynasty Rookie

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    Makes sense. I've played a total of four years but its was mostly free tennis lessons every summer, high school play in the fall and spring, with recreational play on the side. I've only been able to play 4 tournaments and those weren't league play.
     
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  11. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Sorry, but post 9 is a low level player. Nobody focus's or looks at the opponent after he hits the ball.
    We know where he's going.
    If you don't, you are a low level player.
    Good players don't run helter skelter after hitting a ball.....
     
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  12. OldFedIsOld

    OldFedIsOld Professional

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    "Nobody focus's or looks at the opponent after he hits the ball."
    -After you hit the ball you know where that is going to go, you need to know if your opponent is going to either run around it or whatever, that's why I mainly look at my opponent and focus less on the ball.

    "Good players don't run helter skelter after hitting a ball"
    I never run "helter skelter" after hitting a ball, I'm always in a perfect ready position ready for the next ball.

    I don't really have to focus too much on the ball to hit it cleanly because I can judge the distance it's probably going to travel and adjust to get to it.
     
    #12
  13. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    There you go, from the horse's mouth. Don't look at the ball, look at your opponent! :):)
    And of course, you mistook my idea of looking at the ball instead of the player. I meant, after HE hits the ball, you only need look at the incoming ball, because you know where the player is going.
    Maybe at your level, your opponent runs to net after he hits a deep return, or runs to the bathroom, I don't know.
    At my level, which is lowest 4.0, after my opponent hits the ball, I can tell from WHERE he hits the ball, and how he hits the ball, whether he's going back to recovery position, heading for the bathroom, or rushing blindly towards the net... without looking at him.
    So where SHOULD I be looking, if I don't need to look at him?
     
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  14. OldFedIsOld

    OldFedIsOld Professional

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    I never said to only look at your opponent, you obviously have to look at the ball sometimes, which is why I put 40%.

    Whatever, I'll keep sticking to what works best for me and you do whatever works best for you.
     
    #14
  15. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    OK, since you're obviously a good guy and a student of the game.....
    Let's say, I hit wide to your forehand, you contacting the ball about 5' behind the baseline, 3' from your sideline. You get there in time to hit almost anywhere you want.
    So, you hit the ball, I look at the ball you just hit. Where can you go? Obviously, you're not coming to net from 5' behind the baseline. You are not going to continue running to the bleachers. You are not running back to shake the ballboy's hand. So where can you go? You are moving back towards center of intersect of my possible shot! I don't need to look at you whatsoever.
    So, your ball lands deep and wide to my backhand, me lefty. Your ball actually hits near my baseline, with huge topspin and somewhat good pace. You see I prep with a high sliced backhand backswing, you notice I'm behind my baseline also, but trying to short hop the ball so I don't need to retreat farther back. I hit ball.
    Now where do you thing I"M going? Obviously, I'm heading back to the center of intesect of your possible shots, back towards center, but not quite committed to all the way back to center hash.
    YOU KNOW THAT! You dont need to watch me!
    The BALL I hit needs to be watched, as I've just sliced hard and CC again, making a low skidded bounce. My shot is tricky and hard to contact dead center, but I"m going exactly where you expect I'd go.
    Don't watch me, watch the ball I just hit.
     
    #15
  16. OldFedIsOld

    OldFedIsOld Professional

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    1. I wouldn't be 5 feet behind the baseline unless of course you hit an overhead, because I take every ball early by or inside the baseline.
    2. I'm tired of this back to back battle for who is right, since you obviously have 16,000 posts and the majority of it must be from the Tips/Instructions section. You must know everything and probably can coach better than a lot usta official coaches. You win, I won't reply anymore in this poor poster's thread.
     
    #16
  17. mightyrick

    mightyrick Hall of Fame

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    I don't know how you guys are able to focus on exactly where the ball hits the racquet.

    Honestly, all I know is what it feels like when I hit a desired shot properly and what it feels like when I hit it incorrectly. I have no concept of whether I'm hitting it in the center, hitting it high, or hitting it low. I just hit the damned thing.
     
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  18. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Sorry, it's just that when someone posts something ridiculous, I haver to step in and set the record straight. Other people read this forum, besides me and my arch enemies, so we can't go on record stating obvious flaws in ideas and techniques.
    Sorry to take up your time, I hope your tennis game goes well.
     
    #18
  19. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    You were making some important comments. I think he will learn more about the importance of tracking the ball as he plays more.
     
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  20. HEADfamilydynasty

    HEADfamilydynasty Rookie

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    This is what is more or less what i meant as the center is not always the SP.
     
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  21. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Lots of times, for flat first serves, I try to hit the ball nearer to the top of the racket than it's sweetspot.
    On most groundies, slightly below center seems most solid.
    For normal volleys, as close to center as I can. On touch volleys, nearer the top than the sweetspot again.
     
    #21
  22. directionals

    directionals Rookie

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    What are the reasons for the different positions for serves and groundies? I'm trying to learn..
     
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  23. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Serves. Ball is static, I threw it up there. More leverage, more angle, higher racketspeed near the top of the racket.
    Groundies. Ball is incoming with different speeds and spins, hit by the other guy, who's usually trying to beat me. Less leverage, more control, but more torsion and more mass behind my shots.
     
    #23
  24. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    You still are hitting the sweetspot either way, and it will still be a clean hit if you are doing it properly.
     
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  25. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Oh, I thought we were supposed to refer to the center here.
     
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  26. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    And easier to bring the ball down for shorter folks
     
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  27. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Yeah, I figure for a static ball, I don't need much racket mass to hit it hard.
    For a spinning incoming ball, I need the heaviest swingweight I can handle to plow thru my mishits.
     
    #27
  28. Off The Wall

    Off The Wall Semi-Pro

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    Looking at the manufacturer's diagram of a racquet SS, it's all over the place. I think a manufacturer's SS is way over stated. A player's SS is much smaller. And it shrinks with greater playing level.

    For me, hitting strokes above the horizontal axis is not sweet. Hitting strokes below dead center is not ideal. I like the hitting the ball toward the top (of the racquet), slightly below the horizontal.
     
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  29. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Nice, so you hit your hardest groundies near the same spot as your most deft touch drop shots.
    And your first flat serves the same spot as you'd hit a super hard incoming groundie.
     
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  30. Off The Wall

    Off The Wall Semi-Pro

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    I purposely didn't mention serves. Though I don't go dead center there either.

    And I don't consider drop shots to be standard strokes.

    But you bring up a point I didn't address...slice strokes. I was describing upward swings. Downward swings would be the opposite...above the horizontal. Still top end of the racquet.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2012
    #30
  31. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Sounds like you are too rigid and one dimensional. You think ONE thing at a time, and keep the parameters to yourself, yet you'll argue your're correct to the very end.
     
    #31
  32. vil

    vil Semi-Pro

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    I hit low ball forehand topspins almost with the tip of my racket. Is that normal? 'Cos I think it's nowhere near the sweet spot.
     
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  33. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Normal and good.
    Why scrape your knuckles on the ground to hit that low ball?
     
    #33
  34. boramiNYC

    boramiNYC Hall of Fame

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    This discussion about aiming slightly off center for different shots is silly. For any shot you try to hit smack in the middle. That's where most power, control, and feel can be had. Plain and simple. You can hypnotize yourself you're hitting off center for different spins and so on but smack in the middle is where best things will happen. This is really a non issue.
     
    #34
  35. vil

    vil Semi-Pro

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    Generally you are right but you'd be surprised how many pros are not hitting to the centre and it's not because they are unable to do any better. There's a reason for it. Have you ever seen Federer in slo mo hitting forehand? He hits it in lower part of the racket and rarely in the middle.
     
    #35
  36. Off The Wall

    Off The Wall Semi-Pro

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    Smack in the middle doesn't deliver the best power or feel...at least once you've felt the power of another inch/inch+a half toward the tip of the racquet.
     
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  37. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Post 34 is exactly correct..... IF we only want to hit the ball it's hardest, with the most control, but not with the most feel. With the LEAST feel, since it's the sweetspot also.
    However, Poster 34 is talking lower levels of tennis, where a tennis racket is any other tennis racket, balls make no difference, and you selection of shot is small and limited.
    At higher levels, you can see players using different parts of their rackets to hit the ball. They don't ONLY want to hit hard and solid, they take advantage of the extra length, the solidity of a lower hit, and the extra touch of using the upper part of the racket.
    It's like saying....you need ONE first serve and get the second serve IN.
    Is that good enough for you? For some, it certainly is. For other's, it's not close to having a serve.
     
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  38. Off The Wall

    Off The Wall Semi-Pro

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    The longer the radius, the faster the speed. Hence, dead center is not better for power over an inch further out in the sweetspot. I don't see how this is disputable.

    That said, I like dead center for half-volleys.
     
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  39. boramiNYC

    boramiNYC Hall of Fame

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    If the racquet is made of solid wooden block, the farthest point argument could make sense but strings are elastic which is why there is a sweet spot. Just try to hit the ball all the way at the tip of the string bed. It should produce most power but clearly it doesn't. String elasticity is a BIG part of power, control, and feel of a racquet.
     
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  40. Off The Wall

    Off The Wall Semi-Pro

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    Yes, of course. There is a point of diminishing returns. That's why I said inch/inch and a half.

    I don't know of anyone who teaches this stuff, but most advanced players figure it out without thinking.

    Experiment with it yourself.
     
    #40
  41. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Center is not always the best for certain shots.
     
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  42. sansaephanh

    sansaephanh Professional

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    nonmnomnom. Counter punching is currently all I can do against good 4.0s, but MAN is it effective. Taking shots on the rise is a must have in everyone's repertoire.
     
    #42
  43. HEADfamilydynasty

    HEADfamilydynasty Rookie

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    Tried it today and interestingly enough the shots were spinnier than i intended. they weren't loopy they were heavy and penetrating. it helped that the ball jumped so high i had no choice but to take it on the rise but it was very successful. i had a field day on my OHBH. i was smacking anything shoulder height and above very short cross-court. anything below shoulder height was just smacked were i saw fit:lol:. Forehands were tremendous. I was hitting a shot today i never had in my repertoire: the IOFH mainly the short angle IOFH.
     
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