racquet head speed: "throwing the racquet"

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by barnes1172, Nov 5, 2012.

  1. barnes1172

    barnes1172 New User

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    In one of the posts recently about how to increase the racquet drop on serve, someone talked about thinking in terms of throwing the racquet (like a javelin).

    I took this advice and applied it to groundstrokes. When hitting them, I visualized "throwing" the racquet into the ball. (I'm not talking about actually letting go of the racquet, just the sensation for throwing the racquet)

    I did notice that the ball seemed "pop" off my racquet more, and my shots had more pace. Though I am still learning the timing and control.

    Is anyone else familiar with this as a teaching technique for developing racquet head speed?
     
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  2. dominikk1985

    dominikk1985 Legend

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    #2
  3. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    What really helped me with this is after the trophy pose, opening my chest up towards the ball and making sure my wrist is positioned right on the swing to contact.

    When you open your chest you automatically go into the racquet drop if done correctly.
     
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  4. WildVolley

    WildVolley Legend

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    I don't find strokes other than the serve and overhead to be as much of a throwing motion, though some people will describe the forehand as a side-arm throwing motion, but the concept of throwing can help you get more racket head speed by using a kinetic chain and allowing the racket head to lag and then crack into the ball with the correct timing.

    The other advantage of thinking about throwing is that you realize that you need a certain amount of looseness in the body to throw well and so that can also help people who are tight or who are swinging like a gate to get the proper loose acceleration.
     
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  5. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    I think of my strokes as throwing. Every time I hit one. I set up a hitting structure with my arm and racquet and I throw it out. If timing is right and technique is correct you can notice the delay of the racquet behind the stroke especially when viewed from the side. All good strokes have this look even in 11 year olds.
     
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  6. rkelley

    rkelley Hall of Fame

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    ^^^ Agreed. Serves, and top spin groundies. Maybe not so much with a slice. Not on volleys.

    This is one of the things that makes a 2hbh a bit tricky. It's harder to get that throwing feeling (aka kinetic chain) when you have two hands on a on racquet that doesn't even weigh a pound.
     
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  7. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Lots of pro level 2hbh's are closer to old school forehands with a short racket and support from the other hand.
    Less RHS, less spin, more linear stroke, than the player's forehands.
     
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  8. watungga

    watungga Semi-Pro

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    Done that and decided not to do it again.

    Watch out for your elbow. In some strokes you may not mind supporting it while the "throw" is underway, as Leed mentioned in other threads, snapping elbow is not good. He said "Try kicking motion snapping your knees a hundred times, see what will happen".
     
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  9. NTRPolice

    NTRPolice Semi-Pro

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    The serve motion is not a throw. That has to be the biggest mistake people make, especially beginners. Although the motion looks like a throw, its not.

    The forward movement into the court is the product of exploding upwards into the ball, not from purposefully gliding forward like a baseball pitch or throwing a punch.

    If you have to imagine the motion like a "throw" imagine throwing your racket up into the sky and not forward into the court.
     
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  10. martini1

    martini1 Hall of Fame

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    If you want flat 2bbh, not throwing it out is fine. You can still get tons of power. TS 2hbh only requires more relaxed wrist and grip, and more going from low to high. Think of it with some golf swing look to it. You don't hit out front like the fh side so the lay back look is not important.
     
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  11. watungga

    watungga Semi-Pro

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    Most coaches do apply "throwing" motion to having a good serve stroke. It's still a good advice, as in my case, this 'throw' midnset has made me throw my forearm first, and then the racquet to follow, right up to with the burst motion. It gives my whole body a "template motion" on how to properly burst out.

    Without this throw in mind, I have suffered multiple DFs due to lack of force/impact on the ball.

    But then, however, right after the throw, it pushed my elbow straight in simultaneous racquet impact on the ball. If I hold on to NOT letting it snap, the serve speed weakens.
     
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  12. isilra

    isilra Rookie

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    One time, i really threw my racquet when i was serving. One of the possible side affects.
     
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  13. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    How is a serve not like a throw?
     
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  14. FrisbeeFool

    FrisbeeFool Rookie

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    I think people compare it a football throw and a baseball throw don't they? You pronate just like you do throwing a football. I was reading that a lot of the good American servers in the earlier days grew up playing baseball and learning an overhand throwing motion.
     
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  15. treblings

    treblings Hall of Fame

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    it´s throwing upward not forward, but throwing nevertheless
     
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  16. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    yes i agree. i was trying to get ntrppolice to explain why he believes it's not a throw.
     
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  17. treblings

    treblings Hall of Fame

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    yes, i´d like to hear that too
     
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  18. Orion3

    Orion3 Semi-Pro

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    +1.

    I was tought to THROW the racquet head at the ball. I'm 5'7" and still have a bigger first serve than almost anyone I play. Why - because I have more RHS, better technique and transfer my weight better. All of this comes from launching myself into the 'throw'
     
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  19. JohnYandell

    JohnYandell Hall of Fame

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    The throwing analogy on the serve is complex. There are similarities and big differences. Cross sports analogies are tricky and can cause as much harm as benefit, depending.

    The most obvious difference is that you don't have a ball in your hand on the serve and you don't let go of the racket.

    The release height for a baseball or a football is very different than the height of the contact on the serve. The use of the legs and the timing of the torso rotation are also fundamentally disimilar.

    Nonetheless the internal external rotation of the upper arm is similar--as is the relaxation you want in the arm muscles.

    It's a good exercise to stand on the baseline with a server's stance and practice throwing the ball as high as possible. But really the emphasis should be on getting the key positions in the serve correct by comparing it--not to baseball or football throws--but to good service motions.
     
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  20. treblings

    treblings Hall of Fame

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    i never tell my students that they should think of throwing a football or baseball, a javelin or a tomahawk.
    they are throwing a tennis ball as high as possible.
    and while they´re doing that, i make sure to guide them into the right direction, regarding leg drive, relaxation, using their whole body and not only their arm,...
     
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  21. JohnYandell

    JohnYandell Hall of Fame

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    Treb,

    Agreed. Although throwing a football as high as possible is a good one too.
     
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  22. treblings

    treblings Hall of Fame

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    John,

    i´m sure it is. american football is becoming ever more popular here in europe, so i might just start to use that analogy:)
     
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  23. TennisCJC

    TennisCJC Legend

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    Yes, throwing racket is a good analogy of the serve. Look for Bolleteri's Sonic Serve video on youtube to see how serving is compared to a baseball pitcher throwing a baseball. The video actuall tilts a baseball pitcher up so it looks like he is pitching to the sky. Then, it show side by side of a server and the tilted pitcher and the motions are very, very similar.

    From trophy pose in your serve, the motion can be thought of as pitching or throwing the racket up and out toward contact. Get some push up and in from the legs, and hip/shoulder rotation like a pitcher. Arm stays back until push up/rotation of hips/shoulder activates it into the loop.

    Try throwing a few tennis balls high thru contact point and over the net. Don't overthrow a tennis ball as it is light and you can hurt your shoulder if you try to throw it really fast. Just throw it over the net into the service box with a smooth motion. Then practice serving with similar motion/feel.

    I had a lefty tennis partner for years who pitched on a D1 college baseball team. He developed a really good lefty serve as the motion came pretty easy to him.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2012
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  24. julian

    julian Hall of Fame

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  25. JohnYandell

    JohnYandell Hall of Fame

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    TB,

    Yes I should have said an American football. A real football is a little harder to throw with one hand...
     
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