Less is.... more?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Djoker91, Aug 11, 2012.

  1. Djoker91

    Djoker91 Rookie

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    So on the ground strokes, for rec-players. When we try to smack the ball hard for a winner, we embarrass ourselves. But I played a set against my wife. Obviously not trying to swing hard. Actually slowing my swing down. (who would try to beat their wife 6-0?) But something funny happened!! For some reason (and she got upset at me) I'm producing better than normal rally balls and my winners weren't enough to blow past people, but definitely enough to cause my open a mis-hit! But how can this be?! I wasn't going for a winner! I was purposely swinging slow?! Is less more, kinda like in golf?!
     
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  2. Djoker91

    Djoker91 Rookie

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    Because I was under the impression that racket head speed produces pace and speed. But without that control?... I dunno. What do you guys think?
     
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  3. Up&comer

    Up&comer Hall of Fame

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    The difference (I would assume) is that you are slowing your swing down and focusing on the contact point and stroke, rather than racket head speed and where you are hitting the ball.
     
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  4. Djoker91

    Djoker91 Rookie

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    That's what I thought. My mechanics are more pure when slowed down. But how do I add the pepper and try to swing hard an keep those mechanics pure? I'm always putting it in the bottom of the net or the fence. But swinging slow is also producing a decent stroke with medium- slightly heavy pace. Should I just keep that and play that same way against my normal opponents? I took a set off of a 5.0 player a uspta junior that hit with Serena before. Maybe I need to "stay slow" and that keeps me in the right speed I need to be?
     
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  5. Bagumbawalla

    Bagumbawalla Hall of Fame

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    I suspect that when you try to "punish" the ball, you are altering your stroke, somehow, some-way, and making errors.

    I suggest you get someone who will hit with you so you can practice the stroke. Start hitting with the "new and improved" slower stroke. Hit for a while until you feel you have that grooved pretty well- then gradually start adding speed-- without changing any other element of the stroke.

    If you are able to maintain the same form, a faster head speed should result in more spin/speed on the ball.
     
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  6. Up&comer

    Up&comer Hall of Fame

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    The point of having a solid stroke is that you can speed up your swing when necessary and keep the same stroke. My advice would be to use that swing as it sounds much more solid. The best thing would be to use that slower swing and make sure to place the ball well.
     
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  7. slowfox

    slowfox Professional

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    Perhaps it's a zen-like slowing down. Or maybe calming is a better word. But you're probably just more relaxed, and that resulted in better play. Regardless, do what works!
     
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  8. Djoker91

    Djoker91 Rookie

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    You know what I think that might be it. More relaxed is the term I shoulda used. It's like when I'm not trying hard or thinking about it, bam. That's what I wanted. But when I try to kill it, never works! Maybe even playing against my opponents I should play more relaxed? And kinda trust that even tho it feels like I'm not putting enough in for a winner, that it will be enough for a winner if I stay lax? I nailed a passing shot like that. I wasn't even trying to add pace, ONLY placement. But some how it was enough to smack the winner
     
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  9. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    When YOU slow your swing, you are hitting the way you can.
    When YOU slow your swing, your opponent is not the same level as when you need to swing fast.
     
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  10. Djoker91

    Djoker91 Rookie

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    I understand that point, yet, I mentioned a friend that I have. He's an incredible player. 100 mph serves and everything. An I even took a set off of him using this relax and calm and slowed down approach. And it seemed to produced what I needed. I took a set off him 6-3. Never once tried to kill the ball. Only focused on technique. But somehow that produced some surprising speed. Have you ever experienced that?
     
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  11. connico

    connico Rookie

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    Slow is fast, fast is smooth.

    Smooth in tennis is power! :p
     
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  12. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    John McEnroe and Jimmy Connors had two of the slowest swings in tennis, but managed to hit the ball OK.
    Solid is better than mishits, consistent is better than wild shanks, and you can swing best at the best you can hit, and hit best with the swing you can manage.
     
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  13. Djoker91

    Djoker91 Rookie

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    Yea that's true. If you don't get the ball within the lines you GIVE the opponent the point. Might as well hit in a way that keeps it in the court. But how do people add that tiny bit of extra power when needed and still keep it in? Djokovic and federer do this. When they have the opportunity, a SLIGHT increase in power makes all the difference. Every time I try that, air ball...
     
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  14. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Quality contact is more important than excessive racket speed by a long shot.
     
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  15. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    And sometimes tightening up when you try to hit hard can reduce racquet head speed.
     
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  16. Djoker91

    Djoker91 Rookie

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    So in my case, should I never try to kill the ball for a winner? But every time I play focus on a bit calmer swing and clean contact? And hope that eventually the winners will be produced when needed?
     
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  17. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    I don't know what killing the ball means to you. But, I don't recommend that as a mindset. IMO, that would tend to cause you to tighten up, not a good thing. You can generate the most power and racquet speed by proper execution of your shot, rotating your upper body and keeping your arm, wrist and grip loose and relaxed, rather than trying to swing hard with your arm. If you want more racquet speed, turn faster.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2012
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  18. Djoker91

    Djoker91 Rookie

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    Ok. I will keep these in mind, I'm going to play in an hour. Killing the ball meaning when I'm in a rally, finally get a bad shot from my opponent and going to put it away for the winner. But keep arm/wrist/grip all loose and relaxed. Just turn faster. Got it. Opened stance right?
     
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  19. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    You don't have to "kill" the ball to hit big power. You have to execute properly. Focus on a precise set-up, unit turn back and forth, and keeping your arm, wrist and grip loose and relaxed. The faster you turn, the more racquet speed AND mass you will impart on the ball. If you try to swing hard, you tend to create muscle tension which can actually reduce racquet speed.
     
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  20. Djoker91

    Djoker91 Rookie

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    Gotcha. I just picked up my racket and I already can see what you mean. I focused more on my hips, and really jerked back to where the bet would be and the arm came naturally. Used no arm force only hip rotation. And it feels like that's gonna be a heavy stroke. Thanks for the help man
     
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  21. sportsfan1

    sportsfan1 Hall of Fame

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    Similar experience as yours, even if it was just at my lower level. I had won the first set and was leading the second 4-0 and didn't want to hand a bagel, so receiving serve decided to tank one game and thought I would do it by playing very aggressive (which generally results in me making UFEs). As soon as I did that, all the shots - ROS, inside out FH's started working perfectly like as if I was just hitting and not playing a match!
    Of course, this reverse strategy doesn't work for me on demand and is more likely to get me a bagel, lol.
     
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  22. Hi I'm Ray

    Hi I'm Ray Hall of Fame

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    I agree with what others are saying, esp about making better contact when you swing slower. Its harder to control the ball on a fast swing.

    Do you find yourself hitting more from your hips, shoulders, or arms? If you're hitting mostly from the arm its going to be tough to control & get a consistent shot, esp on a fast swing. If you hit by rotating your hips or shoulders you'll likely get more consistent results and also hit harder. Keeping your upper body loose will allow you to swing faster as well. Try throwing a jab as fast as you can with a tightened arm, then try it with a loose arm and you will see how much difference there is in speed.
     
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  23. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    That's it. The hips pull the shoulders which pull the arm and racquet. Your chest turns from 3 O'Clock to 9 O'Clock (if you're a righty), leading with the hips. In addiiton, it's critical to keep the arm and the grip loose and relaxed throughout the swing, ESPECIALLY at contact. Squeezing the grip at contact can kill your shot.
     
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  24. HEADfamilydynasty

    HEADfamilydynasty Rookie

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    I had the same experience last week. i just started slowing down and everything was more consistent and easy. today i did the same thing only i picked up the speed slightly. just that slight increase is enough to hit forcing shots that get you the easy put-away. Increase it a little more and you get a winner. any more is pretty much unnecessary.
     
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  25. Djoker91

    Djoker91 Rookie

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    Man I gotta thank you guys! I played yesterday and won 6-0! My arm exerted ZERO force, focused soley on shoulder rotation. I was basically dragging the racket up and thru the strike zone! Was hitting some nasty winners again! Thanks for helping me find my forehand again!
     
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  26. mightyrick

    mightyrick Hall of Fame

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    It seems obvious to say it, but every single ball that comes to you doesn't need to be hit as a last resort defensive slice... or a 90mph winner. That is where a "rally ball" comes in.

    Every point should have a beginning, a middle, and an end. The beginning is the serve and return, the middle is the rally, and the end is the putaway or error. I think most players (myself included when I first started) focus on the beginning and end... and don't pay enough attention to the middle. The better your "middle" game is, the easier it will make the "end" game. If your "middle" game sucks, then your "end" game will be extremely difficult.

    BTW, this same behavior goes for lots of sports and games. If you want to be successful in any sport or game, you have to learn to execute a good mid-game to properly set up your end-game.
     
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  27. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Very good way to approach most every point...then just enjoy the freebies
    you collect along the way where they come easier for one reason or another.
    Just look to build and approach points like you describe above.
     
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  28. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Good stuff! You see how as you drag the racket to the strike zone, then up & across, the racket face swings out to the ball in a very consistent presentation to
    the contact.
     
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  29. Djoker91

    Djoker91 Rookie

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    Yup! I'm going to remember this every time I hit the court. Shoulder turn, drag effect. An I definitely understand the pattern of the game. I personally don't like American tennis players style nowadays, big serve big forehand. I prefer to rally and construct points. It just bugged me when I finally have a opportunity to put an easy dinker from my opponent away, I always shank it! But now that problem solved. It's soooo important to focus on shoulder turn and not arm movement
     
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  30. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    and as you guys explain, learning to rally well gets you in the match, but
    learning to execute on mid court balls is how you win matches outside
    serving.
     
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  31. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    . . . and loose, relaxed grip. Glad it worked out well. BTW, the same principle applies to 2hb's and serves.
     
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  32. user92626

    user92626 Legend

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    Wow! is that like if you had no arm and you only used the long sleeve of the shirt you wear to swing it into action? The sleeve has zero force of its own. All its movement/force comes from the shoulder. Is that a good analogy?
     
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  33. TennisCJC

    TennisCJC Legend

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    As long as you time the ball well and are accelerating a bit thru contact and follow-thru, you can get pretty good power from just decent technique. It does not require high racket head speed.

    Someone cited McEnroe as an example and I agree. Mc had a smoothly accelerating stroke but not crazy fast. Connors too but occasionly Connors would take a vicious swing at a high backhand.
     
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  34. Djoker91

    Djoker91 Rookie

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    Sleeve=0 lbs. arm= I don't know how many pounds, but that's the weight, including the racket, that you drag thru the strike zone. Making a Heavily spun, fast forehand ground stroke. Look at it that way
     
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  35. Djoker91

    Djoker91 Rookie

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    I've used it on serves, with some great success, but found it very hard to execute on the 2hbh. Actually forcing me to switch to my safe 1hbh. I mean I still won, but I would like to improve the 2hbh. The thing is dragging the racket on the forehand it goes low to high, but my 2hbh is always straight thru, and it made every one of them short when I did the drag effect with nice and loose grip. Serve and forehand are down perfect, to where I feel comfortable. 2hbh no where Near where I want it to be
     
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  36. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Here's my short list for the 2hb:

    (1) A 2hb is essentially a left handed forehand. Try to swing with the left hand just as you do on a right handed forehand. The left hand is dominant and the righ hand is passive. The primary role of the right hand is to aid in eye-hand coordination. Otherwise, it's on there for the ride. Take the hands straight back at ball height with a straight right arm, a slightly bent left arm, and the racquet head pointing straight up next to your head. Then begin your kinetic chain by driving with your left hip which pulls your shoulders which pulls your arms and racquet through contact, just like a forehand. When you drive your hip, let the racquet head drop below the level of the ball with a loose arm and grip and TURN BABY TURN.

    (2) With 2 hands on the racquet, it is impossible to swing with the arms from the shoulders. You have to rotate your upper body back and forth, and swing with suppination/pronation of the forearms.

    (3) It takes more active, precise, footwork and set up to hit a 2hb because there is less flexibility to adjust to imperfect set up with 2 hands on the racquet and a straight right arm.
     
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  37. Djoker91

    Djoker91 Rookie

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    OH I see what your saying! So unlike someone like roddick, who goes straight back and snaps thru the shot, it's more like del potro, where it starts a lil high, then drops low and the torso turn is what brings it forward! I'm gonna try that one too man when I play tomorrow! I'm already trying it with my racket now and I see the physics of it. It's more important to focus on unit turn and torso turn than about your arms. I have a pretty big match scheduled Wednesday. I'll be dragging my racket thru the ball by turning on all my strokes. I've seriously never played as good as I've been since using that tip. I'll keep you posted on how that match goes. The guys pretty good, I want the win bad
     
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  38. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Well I guess Pete Sampras did not get the memo.

    And no, another racket sport, table tennis is not like that. The 1-2-3 finish (serve, return, forehand smash) is the desired goal. Only if it is not possible do players resort to more defensive play, biding their time. Volleyball is the same, the goal is to defend the serve, then setup the ball for the spiker, and then he goes for an outright winner.

    Also, every pro player will attack a weak second serve, often trying for an outright winner. Not many people notice this, but often "defensive" Nadal will go for a huge inside out angled winner into the open court when the opponent is expecting a rally ball.

    I agree that patience is a good thing, though, if you are not getting an opening.
     
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  39. Djoker91

    Djoker91 Rookie

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    I agree with the last statement. In tennis, American players focus on big serves and then monster forehands. But are in trouble when they play on clay. That's why McEnroe and others are trying to push for more clay courts to construct points instead of the quick short stuff. It will win a decent amount of matches and get your ranking up, but you will always run into a Nadal or Djokovic or Federer in the final where that style just doesn't cut it against good defenders. Prime case Andy Roddick. 1 us open title. But how many finals did he get to especially Wimbledon, where he loses because of lack of varierty of game? Only attack when you work the point to a green light opening
     
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  40. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Andre Agassi had the best 2hb I've ever seen, and his technique was perfect, simple, and easy to emulate. Here's a great view of what he does:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J1qv6S7KJug

    Djokovic also has great technique, but, I prefer Agassi's straight right arm at contact:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-k40zmz1uvA
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2012
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  41. mightyrick

    mightyrick Hall of Fame

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    You generally have reasonable posts, but the only thing valid in this post is your statement that patience is a good thing. Other than that, you pretty much are just flat wrong. I'm not going to bother with the back and forth debate because I can basically tell that you're not going to be talked off your ledge.

    Let's just say that we'll agree to disagree.
     
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  42. Djoker91

    Djoker91 Rookie

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    I see what you mean about it drooping low. Man agassis looks perfect, I'm going to try to emulate it for my match. Thanks for the help man. I'm understanding the physics of the game more and more
     
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  43. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    An old adage that is applicable to many parts of our lives.... and should therefore be remembered, though not necessarily heeded................................. Keep it simple, stupid... KISS
     
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