How hard do you hit?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Bergboy123, Jul 4, 2014.

  1. Bergboy123

    Bergboy123 Semi-Pro

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    When playing, how hard do you swing at the ball? Watching the pros at Wimbledon, I feel like they are swinging almost as hard as they can, and easily way harder than any of us.

    Yet when I swing as hard as I can, I feel like the ball FLIES off my racket and is way long. Unless I have the perfect combination of spin and angle... Do you guys feel like you have to tone down your swing to keep the ball in play?
     
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  2. MarinaHighTennis

    MarinaHighTennis Professional

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    Actually I don't think they swing hard unless its a big shot. They use use their body and kinetic energy. I was taught to let your arm flow. Arm focuses on ball contact, power comes from your core and body
     
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  3. zaph

    zaph Rookie

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    No they're not, they hit within themselves most of the time. Even if they do go all out, to be blunt, they have far more control and physical conditioning than you, and infinitely more than me.

    Any player who swings 100% all the time will miss. To be honest, I am beginning to think the ability to hit expectionally hard winners is more innate, I'm not sure it can be taught.

    I can't do it on my backhand, yet most other players and coaches who look at my shots say it is technically my better wing. On the forehand, a less technically sound shot, I have always been able to hit big winners.

    To do it your weight has to be going forward, well that is nearly always true, you have to middle the ball, and the best way to describe it, you need a fast arm. That might not technically correct, but when I get it right, somehow I can inpart enough spin to force it into the court. Even off low ball close to the net.

    It is however an all or nothing shot. Unless you're really in the zone, you will miss as many as you make if you turn the power up high.

    The controlled rally ball, and placing your shots is much more important than hitting flashy winners.
     
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  4. user92626

    user92626 Legend

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    Once I dial in and be able to play my best tennis, most of the time I swing as hard as I can. It's like competition running in which you try to exert as much power as possible to get ahead of your opponent.

    Lately I am happy that I'm able to enjoy tennis more on the basis of strength instead of focusing on frustrating "how-to's" that I used to be preoccupied with in the past. You know what I mean?
     
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  5. zaph

    zaph Rookie

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    I don't think that is a sound way of playing. Trust me, you will meet some canny older player who will get your shots back, move you about and they will use different spins.

    You will then miss. If you really can hit the ball flatout and still have a high shot tollerance, then think about turning pro. The reality is, I think if the quality of your opponents is increased, your power game will be found out.
     
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  6. Rubens

    Rubens Semi-Pro

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    I try to hit the hardest shots than I can, while still preserving energy to last the whole session. To keep the ball in, I add spin and decrease net clearance a little.
     
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  7. Bergboy123

    Bergboy123 Semi-Pro

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    Let me rephrase; I don't hit as hard as I can. I wish I could just hit harder though. I feel like if I take a good cut at the ball it's going to sail on me, and I'm always holding back!
     
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  8. AHJS

    AHJS Professional

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    I f****** crack the ball everytime it comes over the net
     
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  9. wannabe good

    wannabe good Rookie

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    OK, here is a guy using his body and kinetic energy, he lets his arm flow, and power comes from his core and body, yet he looks like he is going all out on this particular shot: http://youtu.be/aJqjFqhODZ0?t=20s
     
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  10. Bergboy123

    Bergboy123 Semi-Pro

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    Part of me wants to blame my racket/strings for how timid I feel I must strike the ball, because I can't imagine people have to restrain like I am
     
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  11. wannabe good

    wannabe good Rookie

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    Are you joking? It's not the racket.
     
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  12. user92626

    user92626 Legend

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    You don't understand. It's very sound and effective for me, or I would have been frustrated and quit tennis a long time ago. I can be very competitive and practical at the same time, meaning I don't like to lose and I'm not ignorant that I don't know if something isn't working and continue to put up with it.

    I don't know your level, but generally speaking we recreational players are sometimes so poor with the how-to's and after a while we're convinced that we're forever restricted by it.

    There are plenty of evidence to show what I mean by playing your hardest. You don't need to watch pros. If you play serious matches, best of 3 or 5, for a long time, you'll find out that after the second set you'd feel exhausted and can hardly lift the racket. You want to hit harder and send the ball deeper or neutralize opponent's deep shots, but your shots wouldn't go much farther than the service line.
     
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  13. wannabe good

    wannabe good Rookie

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    In the video above you can see a beautiful Dimitrov's forehand, and now here is another world-class forehand, but one that I don't like: http://youtu.be/dphBSPrSqys?t=42s

    The second one is Berdych, looks so stilted and tense. Compared to Dimitrov, he looks like he is muscling the ball.
     
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  14. user92626

    user92626 Legend

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    You don't need to hold back. If you still have plenty of gas to go, shift it to generating topspin. That takes skill of course. You either close your racket face and/or employ more low to high action. The sky is the limit with topspin and pace. (That means, your strength is the only limiting factor). There's no such thing as a sport that requires the players to hold back strength. Sport is synonymous with strength.
     
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  15. Bergboy123

    Bergboy123 Semi-Pro

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    When I go for heavy heavy topspin, I find my balls landing short, or even losing power and being spin puffs. I guess I just need to find the balance between the two... Sounds so simple when I say it like that haha
     
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  16. Mick

    Mick Legend

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    those guys are pros and have been playing since they were 5 years old and are super talented. Of course you (we) are going to have a problem if we tried to play like those guys. They are world class players and we are not :shock:
     
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  17. Chotobaka

    Chotobaka Hall of Fame

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    Quite a bit of TT comedy gold in this thread. More please.
     
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  18. user92626

    user92626 Legend

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    Then hit harder to have your balls land deeper also, or are you saying that's where you run out of strength? :shock:
     
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  19. KineticChain

    KineticChain Professional

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    the pros have very efficient swing mechanics, unlike most rec players. so yes.. they hit harder than rec players and use less muscle energy as well. they keep the ball in because of topspin and knowing when to pull the trigger on a flatter shot. they have 9,000 more hours of hitting than most rec players... so there's that too.
     
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  20. GoudX

    GoudX Professional

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    Get someone to feed you balls and slowly increase the swing speed to the maximum that you can control. Then hit regular shots with about half of that speed.

    If you want to hit harder then you need to do drills to increase your maximum swing speed, as just swinging closer to your limit will reduce control.
     
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  21. tlm

    tlm Legend

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    I think that my normal swing is probably around 75% of max, but at times i swing all out. Then it gets a lot more risky on whether the ball goes in.
     
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  22. GoaLaSSo

    GoaLaSSo Semi-Pro

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    when you swing hard, you shouldn't be tensing up all crazy in your arms and thinking about smacking it as hard as possible.

    For a hard shot, you should be using your full body and swinging very fluidly. Start with your feet. Really dig into the court with your feet. Twist your core and hips and build tension there, while setting up your hitting arm. Then you release all the tension in your legs and lower body into the shot.

    Watch how much James Blake is twisting and setting up for his forehands. He puts an emphasis on using legs to hit hard. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kluhYnSlGZU

    Personally, I feel like my usual standing swing is around 80% of what I can do. I don't tense up my arms though regardless of how hard I want to hit it.
     
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  23. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Not nearly as hard as I can.
    I don't seem to always be in correct position to hit my hardest shots.
    Those few times, I can hit pretty darn hard, with full fast swing, heavy spin, and lots of pace.
    However, being slow afoot, slow to recoginize and react, I'm in position to hit maybe only 4 out of 10 shots, in singles. A hair better in doubles.
     
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  24. President

    President Legend

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    I push off the backhand, and hit hard off the forehand. The higher the ball, the more of my energy I put into the shot. Also depends how much topspin I want to hit with, when I want to hit a really spinny ball I really try to use a lot of strength.
     
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  25. GuyClinch

    GuyClinch Hall of Fame

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    Pros hit like 60 - 70 percent max pace on a rally ball.. They have something extra in the tank if they are going for a winner. Fed during warmups hits like 20 - 30% pace (guesstimate).

    I do think that the better amateurs 'hit out' - they arent hitting as 'hard' as they can but they accelerating the racquet through the swing and hitting with good zip on all balls. You should have a good finish too..

    This is a 'comfortable' stroke but has a good lot of zip. When starting out you might either hit alot of balls way out (when trying to add pace with bad mechanics) or you might hit softly and let gravity pull it in.

    The big jump is when you trust your stroke and trust that spin will help it go in..
     
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  26. gambitt

    gambitt Professional

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    I don't think we expect to hit like the actual pros, but there are a couple of guys in their 30's at my club who only picked up tennis a few years ago and are now almost as good as the club coaches who used to play ITF events (close scorelines at least). These guys can generate easy power with great technique. Yes, they bread stick me every time.
     
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  27. GuyClinch

    GuyClinch Hall of Fame

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    ^^^This. If you have good technique - even if you swing faster the ball still goes in. So good players can swing out pretty well on alot of balls.

    If your technique is broken when you try to add more power it just flies on you..
     
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  28. eelhc

    eelhc Professional

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    For me, if I try to hit hard I'm not able to generate nearly as much pace as if I concentrate on making a good stroke. I hit the hardest when there's no tension in my arm/elbow/shoulder/hands... all just there to hold the racquet and along for the ride that the weight shift and body rotation generates.

    As is golf... If I just concentrate on making a good stroke where the ball just happens to get in the way I get the best results. If I concentrate on striking the ball, bad things happen.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2014
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  29. GuyClinch

    GuyClinch Hall of Fame

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    Good point about the tension. FeelTennis guy says you should think about swinging the racquet fast - not hitting hard. "Hard" gives you the wrong mental picture and you tense up like you are going to swing a sledge hammer..

    The tennis ball and racquet are both very light..so its all about RHS. The problem for some players is they can't do anything with that racquet head speed yet. I see this a lot on serves. Lots of guys/girls can swing faster but they are scared to do so - and they just dink it in..
     
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  30. Egoista

    Egoista Professional

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    as hard as superman
     
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  31. Captain Ron

    Captain Ron Semi-Pro

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    I've put some real hurt on the back fence!
    Usually by the second or third game its time to get the ball in the court ;)
     
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  32. TennisCJC

    TennisCJC Legend

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    It is impossible to tell you why you cannot get pace and having trouble controlling balls without seeing your strokes.

    For a basic rally ball, pros and good rec players don't hit 100% of full pace. But, they do take full swings with a good follow through.

    Controlling pace is a function of RHS and swing path to get the right amount of spin and pace.

    Also, you want to let weight transfer and core rotation be the driver for you pace as much as possible. Practice using loose grips and let core rotation provide the power.
     
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  33. Pezerinno

    Pezerinno New User

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    For low and medium height balls I actually swing pretty much as hard as I can - I find it easier in a weird way. I think it is because I generate a lot more spin so they always dip in. For higher balls I have a bit more difficulty (possibly because I play with an eastern).
     
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  34. Big_Dangerous

    Big_Dangerous Legend

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    As far as pace and hitting that perfect forehand goes, I feel like it's more about the footwork and less about swinging for the fences. If you get the footwork right, then you can really hit some devastating shots.
     
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  35. easywin

    easywin Rookie

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    I try to accelerate my arm to the maximum without using my torso too much on average groundstrokes.

    If I really go for it I try to add upper body rotation. I think I got a vid of me hitting some groundstrokes where this is displayed if you are interested - not saying this is the right way though :) could be just me
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2014
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  36. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    I don't try to "hit hard" I just try to "swing fast." Big difference in mentality. :)

    -Fuji
     
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  37. gull_man

    gull_man Rookie

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    about 90%. in other words, you want to hit it as hard as you can, minus a little from that, so that the stroke is still smooth and kinetic transfer still takes place. if you go all out, it will be jerky and you'll lose power. if you relax your swing, and go at 90-95%, you'll still have the kinetc chain playing a part, plus it will be smooth and roughly as fast as you can go.

    if you have proper technique - including topsin - every ball you hit will go in often enough. it will be smoothly struck with power, and it will have topsin which both lifts the ball over the net and brings it back down into the court.


    (haven't read the other posts, but that is what i do)
     
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  38. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    I swing between 25% to 100% during a typical match.
    Conti grip return of serves and some volleys need very little input, while forehand groundie intimidating shots would require all of my 100%.
     
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  39. anubis

    anubis Hall of Fame

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    They also use swing weights way higher than ours. My frame has a SW of around 335. The average pro is 375 or higher.
     
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