Tips on shortening my backswing and making my strokes more compact

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Pezerinno, Apr 12, 2014.

  1. Pezerinno

    Pezerinno New User

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    Hey,

    Does anyone have some good tips on how to shorten ones backswing and generally make your forehand/backhand more compact? I feel this would be of benefit to me but I'm struggling to put it into practise.

    I also feel my ball toss is too high when serving however whenever I try to lower it my serve breaks down (not that it isn't prone to breaking down when I have a high ball toss mind...).

    Any tips or advice would be welcome :)
     
    #1
  2. boramiNYC

    boramiNYC Hall of Fame

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    Begin the prep and swing at the contact point. And you take back only as much as really needed and at the last min.
     
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  3. Pezerinno

    Pezerinno New User

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    Thanks BoraminNYC,

    I have always been taught to start the take back as early as possible i.e. my racquet should be right back by the time the ball is crossing the net? Is this incorrect?
     
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  4. vicp

    vicp New User

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    You should watch and track the ball from the time it leaves your opponents racquet, turning your body (unit turn) progressively towards the ball with your hands in front of your chest, racquet up with your left hand (for righties) on the racquet throat. Don't start your backswing until the ball bounces (unless of course it looks like it will bounce very close or at your feet). When the ball bounces, let go of your left hand and start your backswing. You will then adjust your backswing relative to the time you have to hit the ball. Getting your racquet back right away or when the ball crosses the net will just destroy your timing. Check MTM/Oscar Wegner for tips on how to structure your FH.
     
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  5. boramiNYC

    boramiNYC Hall of Fame

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    It's generally good starting point to practice some active backswing but as you progress you realize it doesn't cover all the bases. Sometimes you need a compact swing. Once you get better the backswing doesn't need to be mechanical. Think of it like addressing in golf. Having a good sense of contact point and timing is more important than the early backswing.
     
    #5
  6. BMC9670

    BMC9670 Hall of Fame

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    This: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vvVcoOl1Cfs.

    My son had too big a take back to the point the racquet got behind him (Macci talks about this being common with kids and WTA). This video helped me form a progression to shorten his swing and change his grip from W to SW. It's paying off in consistency and penetration.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2014
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  7. Pezerinno

    Pezerinno New User

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    Thanks guys. I'm going to try and remember all this the next time I'm on the court. I do turn as a complete unit with my left hand on the throat, my stroke looks similar to this:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8hA28Wqp0Fg

    But I always feel it is a bit too exuberant and I'm wasting energy. It is hard to change the habit of the stroke though!
     
    #7
  8. Pezerinno

    Pezerinno New User

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    Thanks for this video - I found it very useful.

    Managed to have more elbow bend on my take back today which led to a more compact stroke. Timing of the ball was better which resulted in better play - thanks guys!
     
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  9. TennisCJC

    TennisCJC Legend

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    on your FH, keep you off hand on the throat of the racket until the ball bounces on your side. Prep before your opponent's shot cross net by turning to the side a bit and setting your FH grip but keep the off hand on the throat of the racket. Then as ball bounces start your take back and swing. Lots of pros including Federer do this and it is most noticeable on slower shots. You will find that on fast balls, you will naturally take a smaller take back and on slower balls you will take a little longer take back. If you take the racket back before the bounce, it is impossible to shorten the take back for fast balls.

    On BH, take a similar approach in that your prep phase should still keep your hands between your shoulder and you should not start the take back until ball bounces on your side.

    Another tip is to take some shadow strokes on your FH and keep the racket in front the plan of your shoulders the entire time. Of course, your shoulders will rotate toward the side fence, but your racket hand and racket head will not go back and break the line draw through your shoulders. Basically, keep the swing in front of your chest.
     
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  10. RajS

    RajS Rookie

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    @TennisCJC: Great tip, thanks again. I will try this as I am having a backswing crisis on my FH also, as I had posted earlier. It's neat that this method will let one adjust the backswing based on ball speed, which is exactly what I will need for my timing problems.
     
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