Tennis channel coach: Forehand should be "whippy." Thoughts?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by HunterST, Sep 16, 2011.

  1. HunterST

    HunterST Hall of Fame

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    http://www.tennischannel.com/video/#

    On this "one minute clinic" Joe Dinoffer says the forehand should be slightly whippy. In your experience, is it true that power comes from a whip like action?

    I agree that relaxation is important. However, my issue is that "whip like" kind of implies that the rist is snapping forward which is obviously not desirable.

    Anyone else have thoughts on the idea of whip like strokes?
     
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  2. Up&comer

    Up&comer Hall of Fame

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    Having watched joe play, there isn't a lot id listen to him about. You need whippy when you have a low ball near the net. You need to whip to get a lot of topspin.
     
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  3. rfm29

    rfm29 Rookie

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    I think by whippy he means the hitting arm should be loose, and propelled through contact that way, without ever really tightening up a whole lot.

    Not that you should be thinking about whipping the the racquet with the wrist.
     
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  4. user92626

    user92626 Legend

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    i think the degree of whippiness correlates with the level of skill. More whippiness is always desirable, produces lots of power and topspin but harder to control as well. All top atp pros whip their FH hard.
     
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  5. dozu

    dozu Banned

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    when you whip the human racket, the wrist will stay laid back.

    don't whip the graphite.
     
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  6. pushing_wins

    pushing_wins Hall of Fame

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    the whole torso is supinates and pronates

    dont think whippy
     
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  7. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    Hunter, you seem to overthink a lot of this stuff.

    Swing the racquet properly making sure to turn your shoulder and load up, and what you will notice is that when your wrist is loose, it lays back naturally.

    To finish the shot, the racquet tip should be coming through pointed to the sky after contact like you are checking the time on your racquet hand.

    It's a feel thing once you get it down. It feels whippy because you are loose and playing relaxed, but using your full body to generate power.
     
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  8. gregor.b

    gregor.b Professional

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    If you are hitting a low ball yes,but if you hit the ball flat and try to whip it from waist high or above,you will have very little control.Smooth acceleration of the racquet head is the key with a low to high finish,not necessarily a whipping motion.
     
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  9. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    IMO it is another way of describing how you should accel up and across the contact. The vids showed this very well IMO.
     
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  10. fuzz nation

    fuzz nation Legend

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    I'd only use that as a verbal cue for someone with a stroke that's too stiff or guided through contact instead of universally encouraging everyone to "whip it good".
     
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  11. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Link doesn't take me to the video
     
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  12. HunterST

    HunterST Hall of Fame

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    it's the "good form myth" video.
     
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  13. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Saw it. Right in line with what I have posted before that many powerful pro forehands are actually inside-out-like flatter "slapping" shots with side spin. They do not hit low to high from a foot below on these shots. On the more topspinny shots, the motion is often across the ball, not just low to high. Conventional teaching of low to high top spin does not produce power - a fact easily verified at the club level where a slow topspin looks great but can easily be put to rest by a crafty flattish player.
     
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  14. HunterST

    HunterST Hall of Fame

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    Does the visual of "pulling" at the end of the stroke ever lead to problems with players being too tense? It seems kind of difficult to pull with the arm muscles and keep them relaxed.
     
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  15. HunterST

    HunterST Hall of Fame

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    I'm not sure low to high swings are obsolete, but I do see what you're talking about. A lot of times it looks like pros are hardly dropping below the ball at all.
     
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  16. TennisCoachFLA

    TennisCoachFLA Banned

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    Pretty good analysis, many pros also 'rise up' as they hit the forehand. But you are dead on in that many top pros are hitting some combination of up and across the balls.

    Its actually can be natural for many kids. I have a 9 year old girl that I teach and her cues were to keep the racquet high, then wait as long as possible to explode...dropping the racquet just before the hit. The result is an amazingly powerful stroke. I was thinking just yesterday how utterly crazy her forehands have become, with similar top/side spin as the pros.

    And like you also say...slappy. For many park players it is a bad thing to be slappy in that they have a straight take back and 'slap' at the ball with little power.

    But a trained player who waits and then explodes on the ball with both side/top spin....those strokes do indeed appear slappy, but with unreal power behind them.
     
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  17. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    They don't. They are almost hitting at the height of the ball, with side spin. Those shots travel like in a rigid tube across the court - as if a steel pipe connected the contact and bounce points. It is not limited to the men.
     
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  18. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    <Sigh> things come easy at that age

    Yes, the slappy shots do have top and side spin, so they are hitting up and across in some way, whether it is inside-out or inside-in, but not dropping too much below the ball and then hitting up.
     
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  19. HunterST

    HunterST Hall of Fame

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    Hmm, I don't know about that. I agree that a lot of times they don't drop below the ball too much, but I think it's physically impossible for the shots not to be a parabola. I'd also say that the shots have a ton of topspin (although it is certainly a combination of top and side).
     
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  20. Mahboob Khan

    Mahboob Khan Hall of Fame

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    I tried to play this vid but it came out with different topic. Nowhere could I see the topic about whippy forehand.
     
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  21. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    I don't find it to be a problem in my teaching. I actually think it allows you to be more relaxed over all.
     
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  22. lethalfang

    lethalfang Professional

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    Has Andy Roddick once said, "my arm is a whip, and my shoulder cracks it?"
     
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  23. TennisCJC

    TennisCJC Legend

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    I frequently think pull thru the FH combined with a relaxed grip. It seems to help with power and consistency. I actually will think the word "pull" thru contact and the follow-thru. It seems to help and doesn't tighten my arm, wrist or grip. It is more of a pulling action with the arm and hand.
     
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  24. thug the bunny

    thug the bunny Professional

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    For me, whipping is the last thing I need to think of, as I already have a propensity for flipping. To ingraine the lag, during practice I always think of hitting with the chest.
     
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  25. TennisCJC

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    Yes, I never think move the wrist during the forehand. If I actively try to move wrist, I tend to roll over too soon or miss time the shot. But, try keeping a loose grip and relaxed arm and let your body rotation pull the arm and wrist into the stroke. A relaxed grip/arm leads to a bit of a whippy feeling in the stroke. More power but your are correct maybe a bit less consistency for most of us. My personal opinion is the wrist does lay back as the arm/hand start forward, but from that laid back position, there is very little wrist movement thru contact until long after the ball is gone and the WW roll-over (pronation) starts. Basically, a fairly consistent and quiet wrist just before and thru contact. If you are having issue with the wrist; try to get in the hitting angle during the pivot/prep. Then, you can make the entire stroke with a fixed wrist - same angle throughout stroke. Fixed means same angle but not rigid or frozen - you can still keep it relaxed and not in a deathgrip. This is not the best for power but you can still hit it hard with body rotation.
     
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  26. 10sLifer

    10sLifer New User

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    I find there is a technique employed by many top pros that requires you to pre-stretch the forearm muscles then release. It takes a lot of timing but allows you to hard with only your arm. Agassi did it. DelPotro does it. I think it puts a lot of pressure on the wrist to and can cause injury i.e. DelPo. Also with high speed film it's not as wippy as it seems. I wish they would put more factual, science based tips on those 1 min clinics. Any time "wippy" is used to describe something you know they are only going on what they think they are seeing.
     
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  27. TennisCJC

    TennisCJC Legend

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    I think what you are referring to is most pros keep the wrist loose. It tends to lay back a bit when they start the arm forward as the wrist and racket head drag behind the arm. Sometimes, the wrist does recover some of the layback thru the contact zone, but my opinion it is very dodgy to do this on purpose. I think you should lay it back either early in your pivot/prep or as the arm starts forward. But, I don't think you should active try to move it during contact. Just think relaxed grip, pull racket head thru contact, and extend into WW follow-thru. I only consiously move the wrist as it wraps into WW pronation which is long after the ball is gone. I will admit that if I am relaxed and keep a loose wrist, there may be some movement thru the contact zone but I don't do movement in my mind. I just think pull thru contact with a relaxed grip. I also admit that there is minor movement in some pro forehands during the contact zone - say 6" before and 6" after contact - but, I bet they aren't even thinking about it. I believe you should think relaxed grip, pull thru, and accelerate thru. This very minor wrist movement will happen if you are relaxed. I would start begginners thinking the opposite of wrist movement - have them be fairly constant thru the hitting zone or very passive with the wrist.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2011
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  28. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    Just try hitting a ball with your wrist loose and relaxed using your normal stroke. Most likely you will experience a naturally laid back wrist and clean contact if your strokes are developed.
     
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