Importance of keeping arm straight after ball toss

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by lenderbender, Jul 20, 2009.

  1. lenderbender

    lenderbender Rookie

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    Just wondering because I've been finding myself bending my arm after the ball toss after playing a bit of badminton over the winter (live in UK so weather isnt great during winter and dont have indoor courts)

    Does this affect your balance and should I try and force myself to keep it straight or is it purely for visual reasons that you keep it straight :confused:
     
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  2. plasma

    plasma Banned

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    just like extending on the forehand the role of your non dominant hand is crucial to power timing and rotation. Something to obsess on in practice though...not match play.
     
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  3. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    Curious. For your badminton overhead shots, are you pointing with your elbow or looking over your forearm as some players do? Or perhaps you're extending a slightly bent arm as in the following Lee Jae Bok smash vid:

    www.youtube.com/watch?v=isgjE0hPK-I

    Altho' there are many similarities between a badminton overhead shot and a tennis serve, there are several important differences. I'll only mention 2 at this time. The racquet drop for a tennis serve is more extreme than the racquet drop for a badminton overhead. Also, the shoulder tilt for a tennis serve is typically greater than that of a badminton overhead.

    One function of the extended tossing arm is to keep the front shoulder higher than the rear shoulder until the racquet drop and upward swing. This should facilitate a good shoulder tilt = a decent trophy position. When tennis players do not extend the tossing hand up high, they typically do not get an adequate shoulder tilt.

    The extended tossing hand will also provide a good spatial reference to the tossed ball. With your arm (nearly) vertical and your hand held high, you should be better able to judge the position of the ball relative to your body. Try to notice the relationship is your hand to the falling ball. This should help you to time your upward swing more accurately. It should also help you to keep your eyes on the ball and contact point longer.

    .
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2009
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  4. masterxfob

    masterxfob Semi-Pro

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    if i don't keep my arm pointed straight up at the ball after the toss, the ball will spin and fall to where my arm is. so, for me at least, it's quite important to maintain a steady serve.
     
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  5. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    lenderbender, are you still there?
     
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  6. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Don't concentrate on bent or straight arm.
    Instead, concentrate on accurate and repeatable ball toss !! The straight arm, like a golf followthru, a WW forehand, or any baseball batter's followthrough, is a RESULT of the complete kinetic swing.
    If you can toss accurately and repeatably with a 90 degree elbow bend, DO IT!
    Since you can't, try to reach out AFTER releasing the ball and extend upwards.
     
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  7. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    ^ The higher than hand is after the ball release, the better (for the most part). A fairly straight arm would ensure this. Getting the arm straight should not detract from developing a good toss. Doesn't really need to be absolutely straight but, still, get that hand up high. This will promote a better shoulder tilt and provide a better spatial reference IMO. No doubt, a good toss is very important, but it is not the only criteria for a good serve.
     
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  8. lenderbender

    lenderbender Rookie

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    sorry been a bit busy recently - thanks for the detailed answer! Probably makes sense as when I was serving recently I noticed that I wasn't dropping my shoulder as much as I used to when I purely played tennis.

    er yea most of the time i 'look over my forearm' I think.
     
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  9. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    ^ NP. Do you know if Lee Jae Bok is still training the UK national team?
     
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  10. lenderbender

    lenderbender Rookie

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    lol no idea sorry highest i play is school squad thats all.
     
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  11. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    ^ Have you checked out at the forums at the BadmintonCentral.com web site? I used to post over there quite a bit. There is a lot of good badminton stuff in those forums. Also quite a bit of good instructional stuff at BadmintonBible.com by Mike Hopley (of the UK). Mike H is the guy that wrote most of the excellent wikipedia badminton entry -- en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Badminton
     
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  12. lenderbender

    lenderbender Rookie

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    I assume you used to play a lot of badminton then?

    Ill check those out when I start playing badminton again thanks for the links.
     
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  13. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    I took a long break from tennis to play a ton of badminton in the 1980s. Tournament player during that time. Played at a B level (not sure what the equivalent would be in the UK). I still play a bit of badminton these days, but it is much harder on my shoulder (and knees) than tennis is.
     
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  14. Double bagel

    Double bagel Banned

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    Something about taking a 200 mph birdie in the eye at point blank range turned me off of badminton.:oops:
     
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  15. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    While badminton shuttle are capable of being smashed at 200 mph, it would be nearly impossible for it to reach your eye at that speed. But I take you meaning. I have been hit in the eye once by a high speed shuttle in 30+ yrs of playing. It stung like hell for a 5-10 minutes but no permanent damage resulted.

    On the other hand, in the same time period, I have been hit in the eyes with a tennis ball three times. Two of those were while teaching -- I was working with & watching one student and got nailed by a second student. The 3rd incident was a freak accident 2 weeks ago while I was picking up a ball from the court -- I turned my head because my peripheral vision picked up some motion. I got hit right in the eye with ball when I turned my head. (If I had know that it was a ball that was in motion, I probably would have turned away instead of turning toward the motion).

    The last incident earned me a black eye. Also had pain & a lot of redness in the eyeball for quite a few days afterward. The previous 2 incidents did not produce a black eye -- the impacts were square on the eyeball. Some permanent damage has resulted from those 2 impacts -- partially detached retinas in both eyes and degradation in my near vision in my dominant eye.

    Bottom line for me is that tennis is much riskier to the eyes than badminton.
     
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  16. lenderbender

    lenderbender Rookie

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    ouchh

    there's this guy who used to play squash for england in at my club we used to play dodgeball with him leathering slices at us at speeds faster than we could serve :S

    @systemicanomaly do you find that the badminton interferes with your tennis technique? or is that just a myth to an extent. I was tempted to get a plus sized tennis racket so I didnt have to get used to the different lengths at one point
     
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  17. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    For the most part, it is a myth. However, there may be a adjustment period for a while, particularly when first learning the 2nd sport. But after a while, your body learns the similarities and the differences between the 2 sports -- muscle memory differentiates between the two.

    When I first picked up badminton, I found that my hand-eye skills from 6 years of tennis really helped. After playing badminton for a while, I discovered that it actually started to help my tennis game instead of interfering with it -- my overheads, volleys, touch shots, and reflexes/reaction time in tennis really improved from playing badminton. My serve also benefited somewhat. Sadly, badminton did very little to help my tennis groundstrokes (except for the touch aspect).

    These days, I'll sometimes play one sport within 10 minutes of walking of the court from the other sport. (One of the places that I play is at a local community college where the badminton gym is close to the tennis courts). The transition time from 1 sport to the other is pretty much instantaneous. In fact, I find it easier to transition between tennis and badminton than to transition from a feather shuttle to a nylon shuttle. But event this latter transition is pretty quick for me since I've been playing badminton for so many years now.
     
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  18. bhupaes

    bhupaes Professional

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    Systemic, I agree the tennis serve is a different beast from the badminton smash, but the tennis overhead smash is very similar, isn't it? I find that when I am hitting overheads well, I tend be facing the ball much squarer than while serving, hit the ball pretty flat, and at a lower contact point in front of the hitting shoulder than for a serve. The advice in the badminton video about not obscuring the ball with the raised non-hitting hand seems particularly appropriate for taking tennis overheads, and I realize this is what I have been doing inadvertently. With this technique, it almost feels like it's hard to miss a smash! :)
     
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  19. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    ^ Yes, I would agree that a tennis overhead is often very similar to a badminton smash, much moreso than a tennis serve would be. There is actually much more variety in the way that badminton smashes are implemented than with tennis overheads. The continental grip is pretty standard for tennis smashes. While a basic (neutral) grip is often used for badminton smashes some coaches/players use a slightly different grip -- one that is biased a bit more toward a "forehand" grip. Lee Jae Bok had been advocating a grip that was shifted a bit toward a panhandle grip.

    Other variations are also seen in badminton smashes -- singles players tend to smash somewhat differently that doubles players. Offensive jump smashes are seen more often in badminton than in tennis. In tennis, jumping is usually seen in a slightly more defensive manner -- a scissor-kick (upward & backward) is sometimes employed to play a ball that is almost behind you. The offensive Sampras "flying" smash is an exception -- this is a smashing style that is often seen in badminton.

    Often, smashes in badminton are a full body rotation smash, similar to tennis. At other times they are primarily upper body smashes or shoulder & forearm (pronation) smashes.

    I would not say that a tennis overhead is hit with the body "square" to the net -- that would imply that the chest remains facing the net. However, I would agree that the body does not coil as much as it does for the serve. In badminton, as well as tennis" the body is turned about 90 degrees to set up for the smash. For a tennis serve, the body coils quite a bit more than 90 degrees.

    While a tennis overhead & a badminton smash can be executed in a very similar fashion, there are some differences tht are often employed. The non-racquet arm is often extended higher/straighter in tennis than in badminton. This may yield more of a shoulder tilt since the front shoulder is probably higher -- however, the shoulder tilt is often not as great as it would be for a tennis serve.

    Another common difference is the location of the racquet (head) at the set position (or trophy position). Notice, in the LJB video, that the racquet is set in front & above the forehead. This is very common in badminton. Tennis players employ a racquet postion that is back a bit more -- similar to the trophy position for the tennis serve. This may help set up more of a pectoral stretch than badminton players would employ.

    The racquet drop for a tennis overhead is usually greater than the the racquet drop for employed for a badminton smash. The racquet drop for the tennis o'head can be vertical, just as it would be for a tennis serve. Some tennis o'heads might use a less extreme racquet drop -- similar to the shallower drop use in badminton.

    I believe that the elbow of the racquet arm comes thru a little bit sooner in a badminton smash than in a tennis o'head. The delayed elbow action in tennis tends to produce tht pectoral stretch that I mentioned previously. One coash that I've spoken to likened the elbow action in badminton to the elbow action employed for throwing a football (American football) whereas the elbow action in tennis was more like throwing a baseball.

    youtube.com/watch?v=8QlW8_PdYbw

    Badminton Jump Smash

    FYB: Tennis Overhead

    .
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2009
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  20. federer_15

    federer_15 Rookie

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    I'm not sure about balance and the rest but I know it helps you reach up to the ball and swing up. If the ball toss is in front you will get more power by swinging up and getting weight into it.
     
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  21. Oldracquet27

    Oldracquet27 Rookie

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    Thanks for the Badminton tips. We are into tennis most of all.
     
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  22. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    ^ Inquiring minds want to know.
     
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