How to increase racket head speed?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by davidusc, Sep 25, 2013.

  1. davidusc

    davidusc New User

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    What I found in my game is: when my opponent has strong stoke, the ball I
    hit back tends to be stronger as I use his/her power and counter punch it
    back. However, if the opponent hits ball weaker and no pace, and I try to
    generate power on my own, it is not as good, and my shot is weaker. So I
    have to hit angles and more rallies to wait the opponent to make mistake (or myself) or build up advantage slowly. sometime very tied although feel
    pretty good.

    Try to increase power for the groundstroke. so my opponent can not deal my stroke easily and hit to the cross court. So I have more choice.

    I am currently using Babolat APD, should I switch to a thinner beam/smaller head size racket?
     
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  3. TimeSpiral

    TimeSpiral Professional

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    You're over thinking this one. Increasing racquet head speed is extremely simple: you just swing faster.

    Being able to generate your own pace is a great skill to have. You can work on this without a partner, and you can toss yourself no pace balls.
     
    #3
  4. Fintft

    Fintft Hall of Fame

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    But in order to do that, one also probably has to learn how to relax and not muscle the ball, etc, right?
     
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  5. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Shadow swing.
    Learn to LISTEN to the sound. The higher pitched, the faster you have swung your rackethead.
     
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  6. TimeSpiral

    TimeSpiral Professional

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    Oh, well sure. Stroke mechanics can be very complicated. I'm just saying that racquet head speed is not complicated.

    In my experience, making sure your swing speed is consistent through contact is more important than overall racquet head speed (although I am partial to swinging really fast :twisted: )
     
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  7. Fintft

    Fintft Hall of Fame

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    True and I had a coach in Europe telling me that in his opinion the racquet should accelerate faster after the impact and not before...
     
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  8. toly

    toly Hall of Fame

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    #8
  9. TimeSpiral

    TimeSpiral Professional

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    Not sure that you can accelerate and maintain swing speed consistency : /

    However, if you're not going to swing at a consistent speed, then you definitely want to be accelerating as opposed to decelerating.
     
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  10. TennisCJC

    TennisCJC Legend

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    have your tried using forward momentum with your body.

    Ideally, you want to step into the shot, lift with your legs, and rotate your hips/shoulders into and thru contact.

    As far as RHS, practice keeping a loose grip and using a smoothly accelerating stroke.

    Power comes from the core and direction comes from the arm/hand.

    When practicing, try getting you back foot loaded with your weight and use a bit of knee bend. Then shift weight load from back foot to front foot as you rotate into contact. Try using a neutral or semi-open stance where the front foot is slightly in front of the back foot. Your chest/shoulders should start facing to the side fence and end up facing the net. You can even rotate the shoulders a little beyond the net so they end slightly facing the side fence opposite the side where you began.

    The core/rotation and weight transfer from front to back foot should give you plenty of pace.

    For slower balls, it is even more important to use leg lift and core rotation. I tend to get inconsistent if I think speed up my swing on a slower ball, but get good pace, lots of spin and a kicking bounce if I think lift and rotate.

    Watch video of Berdych FH and BH, Djoko's BH, and Federer's FH where he has time to attack. Watch match play video and not practice. Power comes from weight transfer and core rotation.

    But, don't become a spinner. Some people tend to jump and spin the back leg around instead of transfer weight up and onto front foot. There is a difference - weight transfer into rotation is consistent and powerful. Spinners are inconsistent and less powerful. You can actually transfer weight and rotate core but keep the back leg back. It is probably a good idea to practice keeping the leg back or only let it come forward to where it is equal to front foot to get the feel of weight transfer.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2013
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  11. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Hall of Fame

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    Incorporate the Stretch Shortening Cycle in Your Strokes

    1) Search: Stretch Shortening Cycle
    Basically, SSC means to first stretch a muscle just before shortening it. That way it can shorten faster.

    2) Search: Stretch Shortening Cycle Tennis

    3) Look at slow motion videos of effective pro strokes and notice where they are using the SSC.
    http://www.youtube.com/user/xstf/videos

    4) Take some high speed videos of your strokes and see what you are doing.
    Cheap camera with high speed video capability.
    http://www.kinovea.org/en/forum/viewtopic.php?pid=3059#p3059

    In addition, subscribe to tennisplayer, fuzzy yellow balls, tennisoxygen or other web instruction for more detailed video analysis.

    References on the SSC and tennis -

    Biomechanics and Tennis
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2577481/

    Technique Development in Tennis Stroke Production(2009), Elliott, Reid, Crespo, available only from the ITF Store.
    https://store.itftennis.com/product.asp?pid=86&previousscript=/home.asp
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2013
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  12. toly

    toly Hall of Fame

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    Stretch-Shorten Cycle (SSC) overrated?

    This is quotation from B Elliot article – Biomechanics and tennis:

    “Elliott et al9 showed that speed of internal rotation of the upper arm was increased by about 20% for a no‐pause compared with a 1.5 second pause condition. In tennis it is therefore essential that only a short pause occurs between the backswing and forward swing phases of stroke production . . . ”

    In real tennis there is no 1.5 sec pause. For example Djokovic forehand forward swing is 0.1sec. If there is a pause between backward and forward swings around 0.2sec, he maybe is going to decrease RHS just 1%. Does it matter? :confused:
     
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  13. Attila_the_gorilla

    Attila_the_gorilla Professional

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    Paralysis by analysis. Don't think about tecnique. Just practice swinging fast while staying comfortable and relaxed.
     
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  14. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Hall of Fame

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    I noticed a similar Elliott statement also, where, I believe, 1 second was used. ?? The actual allowed delay time, in my opinion, seems much shorter from what I've read about SSC. But I don't have numbers.

    Also, the 20% increase is over simplified. The faster the shortening the less force the actin-myosin (active) muscle process is capable of producing in comparison to the pre-stretch component (passive). The force supplied by the actin-myosin process for the fastest shortening velocities might reach zero while the pre-stretch process can still supply force - the likely answer to the OP's question. ? Search: muscle shortening force vs velocity.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Here is a reference for the comment "after 1 second approximately 50% of stored energy is lost." in Biomechanics of Advanced Tennis (2003), Elliott, Reid and Crespo, page 34. Only the abstract is available free.

    "Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1991 Mar;23(3):364-70.
    The effect on performance of imposing a delay during a stretch-shorten cycle movement.
    Wilson GJ, Elliott BC, Wood GA.
    Source

    Department of Human Movement and Recreation Studies, University of Western Australia, Nedlands.
    Abstract

    Twelve experienced male weight lifters of varying ability completed a series of bench press lifts at 95% of maximum. These lifts included a rebound bench press, which was performed without a delay between the downward and upward components of the lift, a bench press performed without a downward phase, and two bench press movements performed with various pause periods imposed between the downward and upward phases of the lift. Force and cinematographic data were collected during each lift. The augmentation to performance derived from prior stretch was observed to decay as a function of the pause duration. This relationship was accurately described (P less than 0.01) by a negative exponential equation with a half-life of 0.85 s. The nature of this decay is discussed with reference to the implications for stretch-shorten cycle movements that are performed with a period of pause between the eccentric and concentric phases and for stretch-shorten cycle research paradigms."


    Pre-stretched muscles have an advantage at higher velocities of muscle shortening. When you use heavy weights, as in a bench press, the shortening is always limited to very slow shortening velocities.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Also, a lot of the stretching is done by bigger body parts turning and stretching other muscles by inertia - the arm and racket can't move fast enough and lag behind, so the pec gets stretched, etc.

    Another interesting point about shortening, until recently I believed that SSC only occurred near the end of the range of motion when the muscles are near fully stretched. I now believe that it can be controlled to occur with the muscle shorter, at mid-length for example. Take a can of soup and hold it in your hand. Shake it up and down with the elbow at about 90°. I believe that the rapid oscillation is produced by the stretch shortening cycle and the muscles are only at mid-length.

    There is interesting recent research going on in muscle stretching, titin, etc..
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2013
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  15. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    ^ Seriously, I think you guys may have lost the OP with these responses. I get the distinct impression that English is not even his primary language.

    Not sure what you guys mean by these statements. Max acceleration and RHS occurs just prior to contact. Once contact is made, the RHS drops due to the collision with the ball. Increasing the RHS again after the (4ms of) contact has no effect on the ball. The image below of a Sampras serve shows max RHS immediately prior to contact. (Data points represent equal chunks of time. Ergo, if the points are further apart, the tip of the racket is traveling faster).

    [​IMG]
     
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  16. TimeSpiral

    TimeSpiral Professional

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    Great post!

    I meant "consistent through contact" knowing that the energy transfer during the contact phase will clearly cause an abrupt change in RHS. It's one of those "feel" things that can help, but is not physically correct, you know?
     
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  17. Mahboob Khan

    Mahboob Khan Hall of Fame

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    Improving racket-head speed on ground strokes: Remove strings from one of your rackets. No strings at all.

    Ask a partner to feed you balls from basket;
    Since the racket has no strings you feel instant racket-head speed and it will also make you "hit the ball in the center" of your racket head, if you don't ball will hit the frame.

    It's a great drill dry it. Hit about 50 balls like this.

    Then take a regular racket with strings and you will feel the difference.

    Pointers:

    Hit the ball on the rise. You will feel loss of power if you hit a descending ball.

    Keep strings a bit looser as looser strings generate more power.

    On forehand keep your hitting arm relax.

    Turn your upper body nicely .. in doing so your left arm will also go back .. watch top players .. they all do that.
     
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