Thinking behind the strokes and question about footwork.

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by SeekHeart, Oct 23, 2011.

  1. SeekHeart

    SeekHeart Rookie

    Mar 30, 2008
    My question to all my fellow tennis players is when you are hitting a forehand or one handed backhand, what should you focus mainly on to add pace and spin? Also how does one really add pace to groundies?

    My second question is about footwork. I currently have sloppy footwork and would like advice on how to remedy this. Should I jump rope or something?

  2. dozu

    dozu Banned

    Feb 19, 2004
    lol... these are impossible questions.

    just play more, and you will find answers for yourself.
  3. SeekHeart

    SeekHeart Rookie

    Mar 30, 2008
    I'm just having a hard time trying to find how to add more pace and spin to my shots >.<'''
  4. Ptrac

    Ptrac Rookie

    Aug 20, 2008
    While hitting forehands I focus on:
    1. Getting my right hip moving forward b4 my racquet
    2. early contact point because I tend to hit late
    3. keeping my head still

    1. All I focus on is the split step.
  5. fuzz nation

    fuzz nation Legend

    Oct 20, 2006
    Think of yourself and your swing sort of like a car. Let's say you're a Corolla and you want to go a little faster that just 40 mph. It's no big deal to get up to 60 mph as long as you give yourself more time to accelerate, right? As long as you don't assume that you've got the acceleration of a Corvette, you'll get up to 60 just fine.

    I like this analogy because sometimes we see players try to hit harder by trying to be the Corvette. They wait, wait, wait... then take an explosive, uncontrolled flail at the ball. They try to do a 0-to-60 that's simply not possible with their timing and mechanics - or in terms of the car analogy, with their little 1.8 liter engine. They might even smoke their tires and lose control.

    So you need to account for a little extra time to get that swing going faster, but the problem is that you can't tell the ball to wait while you get your swing cranked up to a higher speed. To give yourself extra time, you need to learn to make a quicker, more deliberate first move to the ball, probably along the same line of thinking as Ptrac mentioned above. When you can rush your setup more often, you can create that extra margin of time to get your swing going sooner.

    In the same way that we might focus on keeping our eye on the ball on the practice courts, you can also practice this aggressive setup, even when you're having a casual hit. You're looking to develop the instinct of being setup ahead of the ball instead of being merely on time with the ball. A split-step, an aggressive unit turn to the appropriate side, and a very deliberate first step in the right direction all contribute those extra fractions of a second that enable you to start your swing sooner and "0-to-60" your swing under control when the ball comes into your hitting zone.
  6. SeekHeart

    SeekHeart Rookie

    Mar 30, 2008
    any drills to improve swing speed?
  7. ski racer

    ski racer New User

    May 25, 2011
    Try pushing your shoulder and pectoral up and into the ball. this will give you more pace and spin if you do it correctly. you have to relax your bicep and arm and let the shoulder drive the arm and the racquet into the ball. for more spin aim the shoulder up and through at a 45 degree angle.

    this article explains what i mean. it will make a bid difference especially if you drive it up not just fwd. it will help you even if you aren't over rotating like it says in the artivle
  8. goran_ace

    goran_ace Hall of Fame

    Jun 24, 2009
    At Large
    when I was teaching, I didn't like my students to overthink their mechanics and get caught up in micro-adjustments. too many thoughts going on at once ruins the fluidity of the swing. you are already capable of swinging a racket hard enough to hit the back fence. trying to swing faster is not the answer. if you want one thing to focus on to hit a better ball, focus on trying to hit the ball cleaner.
  9. TennisCJC

    TennisCJC Legend

    Apr 20, 2010
    Think of you body as a kinetic chain. You want to rotate into the ball in this order.

    1. Feet
    2. hips
    3. shoulder
    4. arm

    5. extend hand thru contact
    6. naturally wrap into wind shield wiper follow thru.

    Basically, you want to smoothly accelerate into contact and continue thru until the racket wrap over you off shoulder.

    Another key to good power is to maintain a relaxed grip in your hand and keep you arm muscles loose. You are swinging a racket not muscling the ball. Let speed provide power and not bulky muscles.

    Another tip: you do not have to have a big backswing to generate enormous power. Watch video of Fed and Agassi on youtube or fuzzyyellowballs and you will see fairly compact swings that generate plenty of speed. If you take a small kinetic loop with you racket hand and allow the wrist to lay back a bit as the hand starts forward, the racket head will have sufficient speed. Think accelerate thru the ball.

    Go to and see his forehand sequence to see what I mean.

    Also, forehand lesson is good.

    Footwork: practice, practice, practice - split step as opponent makes contacts, move to ball, move foreward into contact (you can hit off front foot initially), and maintain good balance.
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2011
  10. enishi1357

    enishi1357 Rookie

    Feb 21, 2009
    well I don't know if this will help you.
    But my footwork is try to stay on the ground as much as possible.
    Of course there are other things to do like wrist snap and shoulder rotation. i am prob to vague but that is something you have to find
  11. Mick

    Mick Legend

    Jul 21, 2006
    my focus when hitting a forehand or backhand is to place the ball where my opponent will have difficulty getting to it or crushing it. pace and spin are important but if i don't place it well, some guys are going to put that ball away for me.
  12. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Dec 28, 2008
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    My thinking us usually associated with exactly how I want my ball to go, where, what pace, and how consistently.
    I try not to worry about swing, swingplane, swingspeed, setup, footwork, and all the other stuff. That stuff is what practice is for.
  13. rufusbgood

    rufusbgood Semi-Pro

    Dec 26, 2009
    Here is what I noticed this evening (BTW, this changes virtually every evening, but I've probably re-discovered and re-forgot this one a zillion times over the years): As I begin my forward swing, if there weren't a racquet in my hand and my hand could be fully opened, my fingers (forefinger thru pinky) would be perpendicular with the ground and my palm would be facing the net. Pretty much the same thing on the backhand side except instead of my palm, the back of my hand would be facing the net. If I don't begin my strokes from this position, I don't hit as forcefully.

    Tomorrow I will probably have forgotten all this and begin focusing instead on something like turning my body and keeping my arms loose as though my torso were the agitator in a top loading washing machine and my arms were the clothes being dragged by the turning of the agitator first to the left (forehand) then to the right (backhand).

    The next day I will have forgotten all this and concentrate on leading the shot with my hand so that the racquet comes through the shot like a whip.

    The next day I will have forgotten all this and concentrate on trying to squeeze the top of the ball as though it were a cat's head and I was petting the fur on it's head backwards (against the grain).

    It goes on and on.
  14. user92626

    user92626 Legend

    Jan 27, 2008

    For me, there isn't anything about the stroke mechanics that I focus on. It's already perform-by-feel at this point. What I focus on is ...timing the ball's movement which is always a variable and next, remember to exert power into the stroke (the body always tends to get lazy and let up, especially when it's tired :)).
  15. GuyClinch

    GuyClinch Legend

    Aug 12, 2004
    Yes. I'd jump rope 3-4x a week while you are learning it. Jump in small bursts until you can handle high numbers of jumps. Like reps of 50. When you can put together long strings you can throw in some tricks. You can do it during warmups (once you are good enough to not embarass yourself).

    How much this helps you probably depends on your current footwork ability. But if your foot work is poor - likely your jump rope skill is poor - and as you improve at both your game.

    The good thing about jumping rope is that it improves your coordination, makes you feel 'quicker' and best of all conditions you to stay on the balls of your foot and reactive..

    As a bonus once you get pretty good you can add some imitidation factor to your warmup.. :p

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