Racket Level @ Contact Point

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by user92626, Oct 10, 2009.

  1. user92626

    user92626 Legend

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    Hi All,

    Is there any significance in keeping the racket horizontally level or racket head slightly dipped down, ie racket butt is higher, at the point of contact?

    Also, on takeback and backswing, do you lead the racket with its butt or can you simply steer the racket head to point at back fence while keeping racket handle with you cuz you are going to swing forward with racket handle leading anyway?

    I know these all might be just finer points but they could be significant in increasing power and consistency or more aligned with the fundamentals. I dunno.
     
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  2. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Try to keep the racket horizontal, or as close to as possible, in your groundies. Some really low balls, and some head high balls would break the rule.
    This just means you need to lower and raise your torso to account for low or high balls.
    For volleys, rackethead usually is held above the hands, except for JohnMcEnroe, who does whatever he wants.
     
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  3. xFullCourtTenniSx

    xFullCourtTenniSx Hall of Fame

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    No, there isn't. It's purely a matter of comfort and starting the racket head below the level of the ball. So in essence, it's 100% based off the height of the ball. You can have the racket head above the wrist (for high balls), on the same horizontal plane as the wrist (for medium height balls), or below the wrist (for low balls) and hit an excellent shot with excellent form. The most powerful shots in all of tennis is where the racket head is above the wrist at contact. However, you must do whatever feels comfortable to you and allows you to properly hit the ball. Don't have the wrong racket position for the wrong shot or else you'll struggle with consistency.

    You can lead the racket with the buttcap (Bollettieri way) or control the racket head (I do the latter but Bollettieri's way is probably better, but I like to swing with the shoulder instead of the arm). I think Federer controls the racket head like I do because he focuses on his wrist and always keeps the face closed, but I have nothing to prove or confirm this. Best way I think overall is to learn by leading with the buttcap. But if it's not comfortable to you, don't do it. Always do what's comfortable and leads to maximum consistency and racket head speed. (So I'm not saying serve with eastern forehand grips. Just because they're comfortable, they don't give access to maximum racket head speed and consistency.)
     
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  4. Blake0

    Blake0 Hall of Fame

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    For your first question, i'm not too sure if there is a significant difference, but i assume that if the racket is horizontal you'd hit flatter then if it was dipped down a bit.

    For your second question, during the backswing you can either lead with the elbow or with the racket/arm, and i'd say leading with the racket would be more benificial timing wise.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BxC4sM2PTWY - Leading with elbow
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ImeQaAyFPc - Leading w/ racket/arm.

    but, i'm pretty sure you meant to talk about the how you finished your backswing/ starting forward swing, if its the but cap is pointing forward or not. It doesn't really matter i'd guess, but a lot of people i've seen around where i live who finish backswing with but cap pointing forward tended to wrist the ball too much causing inconsistency. I'd recommend finishing your backswing at the pat the dog position and let it naturally transition to the buttcap pointing forward during your forward swing.
     
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  5. user92626

    user92626 Legend

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    Thanks, everyone

    Coincidentally I share the same concept with xFull's which is to emphasize on being comfortable to hit a shot. I think comfort underlines the potential for power and even efficiency. So, I'm gonna try to do that. Looking at Fed and Nadal video clips they look like they're really comfortable hitting every rally shot.

    blake, the roddick clip is right on about moving the racket back mainly with the elbow and buttcap. Yeah, that's what I'm talking about. Fed clip, i would say, is neutral. Fed manages to move rackethead and buttcap back relatively equal. I would say Nadal is quite efficient. He appears just to turn his body and twist the upper arm and just the rackethead moves back while the handle stays relatively in the same spot! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=soADAL_uGs8&feature=channel
     
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  6. xFullCourtTenniSx

    xFullCourtTenniSx Hall of Fame

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    Well, he's not a natural lefty. He has to be efficient. The muscles in his left arm weren't as developed, coordinated, or trained like his right arm's muscles.

    He had to keep things simple so he could manage it all. This is probably the reason why he has quite possibly the most racket head speed and acceleration of anyone on the tour aside from maybe Monfils. There are other giant swingers like Federer, Gonzales, Del Potro, and so on, but Nadal's racket head speed is probably higher than all of theirs because of his efficiency. That or his is roughly equal to theirs despite not having the same natural abilities, strength, and coordination in his racket arm as theirs.
     
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  7. user92626

    user92626 Legend

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    Do you think Nadal's focus is to always hit by brushing heavily the back of the ball instead of hitting more thru?

    Godd@mn, whenever I pay attention to brushing / lifting the ball like that my shot becomes a lob or goes long. I have to tone down the hardness in hitting to keep the shot in. Obviously something is wrong with my concept!
     
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  8. Djokovicfan4life

    Djokovicfan4life Legend

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    Federer is leading with the elbow in clip #2. It's just not as bent as Roddick's, so it's not as obvious.
     
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  9. Blake0

    Blake0 Hall of Fame

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    Well yeah, but it isn't the huge elbow thing roddick used to do..what i meant by leading by racket/arm means that you aren't overexaggeratingly leading with the elbow..not sure whats it called..
     
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