Showing butt cap in forehand

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by sebas_y, May 18, 2013.

  1. sebas_y

    sebas_y New User

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    Hi,

    After playing tennis for about 4 years, my coach is now trying to teach me to face the butt cap of the racquet towards the tennis ball.

    I am having a hard time trying to do that. So I have several questions.

    1. I've seen several tennis players do the same thing, so I think that technique is correct. Do you have any tips to help me master that stroke ?

    2. I currently play with a Dunlop 4D 200, as you know it is a heavy racquet (11.9 oz) with a high swingweight (337). I was wondering if another racquet would help me. I was considering Dunlop Biomimetic 200 lite or Head Youtek Prestige midplus as they both have less swingweight.

    Thanks for your help,
    Sebastian.
     
    #1
  2. Lukhas

    Lukhas Legend

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    If your racquet is headlight enough, you may not need to change, but given the high swingweight, I doubt it's the case. And the weight doesn't give a lot of margin for customization either. But if it becomes tiring and difficult to hit with in long matches, a switch may be beneficial. But that's not for this section.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J74XpkGKyuc
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SZqhHdmqSPQ
    Forget about his commercial, concentrate about leverage points he brings up.
     
    #2
  3. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Good advice from your pro.
    Take your time and develop your feel for it.
    May have to go easy for a bit to work for the feel, but
    the power will come fast with this technique.
     
    #3
  4. rkelley

    rkelley Hall of Fame

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    Totally agree. Practice slowly to get the feel.

    The Dunlop 4D 200 is a nice racquet. You want a racquet with some weight.
     
    #4
  5. Vlad_C

    Vlad_C Semi-Pro

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    I'm kind of working on the same issue myself...
    You probably watched some youtube videos of pros hitting, so you've seen that they all do it.
    Lead the stroke with the hand and butt of the racquet, while the racquet head lags behind. Then whip the racquet head at the ball. If the racquet is set up nicely (ie right balance, SW), the head will come around naturally to meet the ball.

    This guy makes it look ridiculously easy, he must be a pro or something :)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SKuY9zDU1MQ
     
    #5
  6. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I noticed you are very rigorous about it, especially on the BH.

    I have seen some juniors do it very abruptly. I did not like that.

    What exactly does "showing" or "pointing" butt cap mean? Towards what? The ball I assume. But the ball is moving. So the butt is supposed to "track" the ball? Or the tracking is with the strings, and the butt pointing happen only towards the end of the back swing?

    To me, doing it consciously felt awkward and I thought there could be way to make it happen as a side-effect.
     
    #6
  7. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Could it be just a GUIDELINE that tells you about how much backswing your need to really hit the ball?
    Too much, and your backswing is too long, causing you to be late on the ball a lot of times.
    Too little, you are not taking a full swing at the ball, so you're playing grandma tennis.
     
    #7
  8. Thepowerofchoice

    Thepowerofchoice Semi-Pro

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    These two simple drills really help my ground strokes and gave me that pointing butt cap as a "side-effect".

    http://www.feeltennis.net/feeling-the-correct-racquet-path-on-the-forehand-and-backhand-strokes/
    http://www.feeltennis.net/how-to-hit-a-tennis-ball/
     
    #8
  9. The Meat

    The Meat Hall of Fame

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    Changing racquets really won't help or hurt your game as much as technique will. Pointing the butt cap should come naturally if you take a big back swing, if its shorter you won't see this.
     
    #9
  10. Bagumbawalla

    Bagumbawalla Hall of Fame

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    In my opinion (for what it's worth), teaching someone to point the butt-cap is wrong.

    Yes, the butt-cap will point toward the ball if you have correct form. It is the correct form that should be taught- and you will know you are on the right track to gaining that form- if you notice the butt-cap being "dragged" toward the ball at the beginning of the forward motion.

    As you pull forward on the racket, inertia, causes the head of the racket to lag behind (causing the butt-cap to point forward) until, at a point, the head speed increases, swings around the "axis" of the wrist and drives through the ball.
     
    #10
  11. psv255

    psv255 Professional

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    Showing the buttcap to the ball means that the buttcap will be facing the ball before the racquet face does in the forward swing. This aligns the forward-moving racquet with the line of the incoming ball in a smooth and repeatable way, also called "getting into the slot." Something very similar happens in golf. "Showing the buttcap" is only a short moment in time, a checkpoint that the swing goes through.

    The less time between showing buttcap and contact, the more racquet head speed you should be able to generate.

    See here for a more complete overview:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=siEDEWDw70s#t=80s

    [Edit] I agree with Bagumbawalla: it's a sign you're doing things right, but not something to try and consciously do. Focus on the prep and generating power with the core/hips and not the arm, and you will start inadvertently showing buttcap to ball.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2013
    #11
  12. hawk eye

    hawk eye Hall of Fame

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    #12
  13. The Meat

    The Meat Hall of Fame

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    Such lazy footwork as well, and that slight air of arrogance around him....peRFection. :lol:
     
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  14. Lukhas

    Lukhas Legend

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    Aww, you made it too obvious... Gonna edit if you change it.
     
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  15. marosmith

    marosmith Professional

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    Keep the wrist loose and this should eventually come naturally as you impart spin and increase swing speed.
     
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  16. HunterST

    HunterST Hall of Fame

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    #16
  17. rkelley

    rkelley Hall of Fame

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    That's interesting. I actually don't think about it much on the backhand, though I know it's happening. I've videoed myself and it's fairly prominent. My mental cues on the backhand are:
    - right hand soft on the handle
    - line up the head slightly above the ball with the weight on the back foot
    - drop the head below the ball at the start of the swing
    - step into shot

    One my fh, OTOH, I think about showing the butt a lot. From ptd I really try to drive my hand out to the ball with a relaxed wrist and forearm. This has the effect of both extending my wrist and supinating my forearm. When I do this correctly, and then pull up and across, the racquet really explodes out to and over the ball. Feels incredible. When I don't do get my hand out to the ball first I tend to swing my hand and arm through contact. I don't feel that explosion. I loose power and a lot of spin.
     
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  18. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    That has nothing to do with the links you quoted. That site is an excellent one that explains things rather well.

    If you are consciously pointing the buttcap at the ball then thats not good. So OP, I'd suggest getting the feel of it and then you will see that your stroke will just do it as a result of the sum of the parts.
     
    #18
  19. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    OK that was exactly what I thought - it is at the end of the backswing and starting with the forward swing. I have seen some juniors point their butt cap the earliest they can, and it just doesn't look smooth.
     
    #19
  20. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    It is the most prominent among all the players I have seen, and clearly visible from the other side.
     
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  21. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    #21
  22. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    So are you saying pointing the butt 100% is not required but only the general feeling of the racket lagging behind the hand? The so-called pull forehand?
     
    #22
  23. Thepowerofchoice

    Thepowerofchoice Semi-Pro

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    To me, the cue "brushing up" tend to give me fluffy, loopy topspin but not a whole lot of pace and I'm sure it's because of my technique. "Hitting through" give me flatish ball with more pace but if my timing is off...I'm all over the place.

    "Compressing and rolling" is just the right cue for me. It is easier and simple plus better control...for me :)
     
    #23
  24. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    There is NO required in hitting a tennis ball.
    Connors and McEnroe are the exceptions to almost every rule.
    They hit fine.
     
    #24
  25. sebas_y

    sebas_y New User

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    I'm more confused right now It seems like most of you think that the butt cap should be a side effect of the stroke. My coach started teaching me this because I did not make proper contact with the ball. According to him showing the cap would help make a flat contact with the ball.
     
    #25
  26. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Would you take McEnroe's forehand?
    Lots of shots, he doesn't take the racket back far enough to show buttcap to the incoming ball.
    He hits a locked wrist conti forehand with a slight twist towards Easternforehand...locked wrist.
     
    #26
  27. isilra

    isilra Rookie

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    Use open stance and push your pivot leg suddenly while having a relaxed grip, you will automatically have a racquet lag. No pro has ever learned how to show the buttcap to the ball.
     
    #27
  28. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Wasn't it standard instruction at one time?
     
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  29. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    I think you are referring to Nick Bollitieri, and he did teach that to young kids.
    So it was a concept taught there at least.

    It is a valid concept, but if you are thinking about doing it during every shot, thats bad.

    I think it is better to film yourself hitting and see if you are doing it. That is what I did, and I found that I just do it naturally as a result of my swing.

    In any stick sport aiming the buttend can help reinforce a shot. Its kind of a learn it and forget it type of thing though.

    Example, in lacrosse, I always aimed my butt end at the place I wanted to pass or shoot the ball. After a little practice doing this, I just did it and never thought about it.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2013
    #29
  30. HunterST

    HunterST Hall of Fame

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    In the video on the second link, the guy says a forehand should feel like pushing a ball down into a bench and then rolling it. I don't really know how else to interpret that other than rolling over the ball.

    The first video does say the racket angle should remain constant, so I can see I may be misinterpreting it.
     
    #30
  31. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Just swing at the ball....
    McEnroe shortenned his takeback, hit a decent ball for our levels.
    Then there were pros like JohanKriek, who too huge takebacks and huge cuts at the ball, and it worked for him.
    As long as you have power, replicability, and it don't hurt you, it's fine.
     
    #31
  32. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Shorter swings are more difficult to execute than longer swings
     
    #32
  33. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Can you say that catagorically, for everyone?
    How about McEnroe?
    How about the old geezer who retired after working for 45 years?
     
    #33
  34. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Short strokes are more difficult, because you need to have great acceleration and low margin of error to produce a good shot
     
    #34
  35. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    In McEnroe's case, superb timing, sweetspot hit, and unreal placement.
    In old geezer's case, big stiff light rackets to push the ball around.
     
    #35

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