Looking for lower trajectory...

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Djoker91, Oct 1, 2012.

  1. Djoker91

    Djoker91 Rookie

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    I have solid strokes and solid mechanics, but I'm having trouble keeping the ball lower over the net. It's always high and loopy especially when I try to hit a winner and put some racket head speed. All my friends are starting to hit heavy topspin and low trajectory. Hitting straight winners. How can I do this and not be the weakest player in the group. I don't want to go to low like a flat forehand with high error rate, but about a foot or 2 over the net. Please help guys, you always pull thru for me, could really use some help. Struggling a lot and leaving practice court frustrated and wanting to give tennis up.
     
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  2. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    As someone said, topspin is not about low to high but about across the ball. L2H is OK for lower level players, but advanced players kind of arc over the ball with a closed face when they want to put a lot of pace along with the spin. A more extreme grip helps in this regard.
     
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  3. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    What works for me, strong SW grip, almost W.
    When I'm rallying in singles, I hold the racket loosely and allow the long loopy backswing to hit high, heavy topspin balls.
    When I"m in need of pace, or doubles, I shorten my backswing and move into the ball to hit a flatter, faster, much lower ball that has moderate topspin, but lots of ball speed.
    It might not work for everyone, just my experience with getting my strong SW grip to hit fast moving forehands that stay low.
     
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  4. UCSF2012

    UCSF2012 Hall of Fame

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    Learn the flat block back, with a 1/2 to 3/4 swing. Use a firm arm for consistency.

    Low grazing topspin is useless. It lands short, but it bounces high and far. Gives your opponents plenty of time to get there.

    Hitting flat is the way to get good fast. Topspin is high error. You're swinging away at all your shots, so you miss your targets more often, and you mishit more often. Take controlled swing at 60-70% and hit flat. Hit it 2 ft over the net, but don't hit it so hard it goes out. It's about restraint. Don't believe me? Sampras hit flat, and so does Del Potro.
     
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  5. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Back to 1976, when Crissy was queen.
     
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  6. SuzukiSS

    SuzukiSS New User

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    First of all it is probably not the grip and going western could compound your problem. I am an older 5.0 former college player and have faced the same situation. You need to alter your stroke path and make sure you are using poly. In the old days topspin was created with a flat racket face and a more severe low to high swing path finishing higher over the shoulder which produces your current higher bouncing ball (I call this ball the Chang). To produce the modern ball you need to use a slightly closed racket face and a very slight low to high swing path with the follow thru anywhere from across the shoulder to across the hip depending on the ball you are receiving ( I call this ball the Federer).
     
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  7. user92626

    user92626 Legend

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    Once again you guys make it way too complicated.

    There's only one way to hit the ball forward with topspin and that is hitting with a balance of low2high, forward momentum and some degree of closed faceness.

    If you increase one of those aspects you'll need to decrease one or two of the others. You'll need to dial in the right combination.

    OP, if you want a lower trajectory & a good insurance topspin margin, hit the same top spin but aim the ball ...lower, like 1 or 2 feet above the net.

    There's really nothing else about this "physics". :) The rest of your time should be spent on training your physical and getting the feel. :)
     
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  8. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    "The Chang" hahaha...

    There's also the possibility the OP actually doesn't have "solid strokes" and "solid mechanics" and he is doing something fundamentally incorrect. A posted vid of your hitting will be the fastest track to a solution.
     
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  9. Djoker91

    Djoker91 Rookie

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    Interesting. That's something I haven't tried yet. I've tried to swing more horizontal, more out and less low to high but I still end up long. So maybe having the racket head not perpendicular to the net, but angled down a little bit, more closed at contact?
     
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  10. janm

    janm Rookie

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    What works for me is finishing position and not altering anything else much

    When trying to hit flat I always finish the end of my stroke with the racket just below shoulder height.

    To get more spin finish swing with racket around hip height.
     
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  11. KenC

    KenC Professional

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    I agree. I tend to try and get about 6 inches below the contact point. More than that and timing the impact gets more difficult.

    Loopy balls can also arise from hitting a little too late and then trying to compensate for that. Connect well in front with a slightly closed face and it brings the trajectory way down. It also helps a little to have an 18x20 string pattern as these keep the ball lower than a 16x19 or less.
     
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  12. the cat petter

    the cat petter New User

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    Push the ball in a straight path as long as you can when you try to hit harder.
     
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  13. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    A low trajectory is, generally, not a winning approach to tennis.
     
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  14. Djoker91

    Djoker91 Rookie

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    Now this is very interesting. I recently hit with a fellow down at the local courts. And he said something very similar. Talked about catching the ball on the racket, and pushing it. Kinda like a hockey stick passes the puck. And he has the fastest forehand I've ever seen. I'm talking pro level speed. Not as consistent obviously. But how do you do that motion of pushing the ball when it's only on the racket for milliseconds? What's the feel to it? The take back and grip and swing path and all that good stuff?
     
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  15. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I think it is a metaphor. He is probably not doing what he claims to be doing.
     
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  16. Djoker91

    Djoker91 Rookie

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    Well look at this young lad hitting.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mDtaC5YgzjI

    It seems to me that he uses that kind of pushing the ball technique. Agassi had one of the best forehands of all time. He obviously hits with spin when on the defensive side of a rally. But when he has an opening, I see that kind of elongated push shot. Much longer than say Hewitt or Nadal. I think it's at least worth a try.
     
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  17. Djoker91

    Djoker91 Rookie

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    Especially 26 seconds in. 26-36 is what I'm looking at. Not the returns or low balls.
     
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  18. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    Go watch Delpo in person and tell me that he hits a flat ball. A huge ball when he goes for it, but when your forehand regularly touches 100mph and doesn't land barely inside the line but at least a few feet in, there is a huge amount of action on that ball. The same goes for Berdych.

    There is a fundamental difference between heaviness and speed. Heaviness is great velocity with large amounts of rotation. In this regard, the big forehand players typically are said to have the heaviest forehands because they're deadly when they can set them up. Gonzalez, Berdych and primarily Federer exemplify this. Raonic in an interview said that playing against the Federer forehand is like no one else's because the ball simply kicks off the court and at you due to the spin on it, so it's as though you have even less time than someone hitting at the same speed. People would likely say that Federer hits with less spin than Nadal on the FH and they're right. Federer undoubtedly has a heavier forehand, which is primarily why up until recently, Nadal had zero success on faster surfaces. Nadal's topspin is for high-margin tennis whereby the spin yields a loopier trajectory with a ball that kicks up rather than through the court. At any level, flat is not safer because you need to guesstimate where you want the ball to land before you stroke it. With topspin, this is less of an issue because the RPMs are a safety margin.
     
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  19. dominikk1985

    dominikk1985 Legend

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    getting a little "lean" of your body into the stroke can help. modern strokes are pretty rotational but getting your weight a little bit into your stroke can help in flattening out your strokes.
     
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  20. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    during that time he could hardly hit across the ball more than there:)
    I don't see the push aspect at all although a good coach I know does
    refer to it as a push in some respect. I don't see it though.
     
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  21. Djoker91

    Djoker91 Rookie

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    Yea the biggest thing I'm looking for is a type of mentality. A "think of doing this while you hit" if you will. Because what I'm doing now is shoveling the ball using a djokovic looking motion. The head droops below the handle and everything. I need to have some type of motion that allows me to hit thru the court. I need more out and not up. I still want insurence topspin, but how do I get that middle ground?! It's driving me insane lol
     
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  22. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    I think there are likely 2 main aspects here.

    1 is not to get as much below the ball as you normally do (and thet may accout
    for what you see as pushing)

    2 is to realize that as you go forward thru the ball, it will be on an arc working
    across in front of you, not trying to push straight out towards the target as it
    sounds your big hitter friend is suggesting. Yes you get more power his way, but
    control is not good enough to develop great confidence in the shot that way.
     
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  23. sundaypunch

    sundaypunch Hall of Fame

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    Unless you hit incredible angles, good players will crush those 70% flat balls. You might as well be feeding it to them with a ball machine. There is a reason that the game has evolved from flat groundstrokes to heavy topspin. And it isn't because it is high error.

    That being said, for many people hitting flatter is probably a good idea. It is more efficient so older players or those with lower RHS may not be able to keep a heavy topspin ball deep over the course of 2-3 sets.
     
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  24. Djoker91

    Djoker91 Rookie

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    Yea I've experienced this. I used to have a good deep topspin forehand. But over the course of a match it will definitely disappear. I miss by a few inches a few times in a row. That why I want an agassi style lower trajectory, flatter ball that lands a lil shallower in the court. Like agassi I want to be able to rally consistently, then when I want the winner push it a little harder. I've heard this "push" method on the forehand, and I think I want to go for that feel. It's either that or changing my grip to more western
     
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