Kelvin Miyahira on takeback http://www.hawaii.rr.com/leisure/reviews/kelvin_miyahira/2006-01_drhspeed.htm Traditional tennis teaching suggests that groundstroke preparation should be done early. While that may be true, top pros not only prepare early but more importantly, they prepare fast. In studying tapes of the top pros, one can clearly see that while they see the ball coming at them, their racquet preparation usually starts just before the ball hits the ground. This gives them between 4/10ths of a second to 6/10ths of a second to take their backswing and still swing in time to hit the ball. This is not something taught, this is just way that great athletes do things. In comparison, recreational players take 8/10ths of a second or more to prepare for a shot. They either lack the ability to prepare fast or idea that they should. More likely it is the latter. They may try to take the racquet back early but because it is too early, their swing lacks the rhythm and use of the stretch shorten cycle. Remember, muscles that are loaded or stretched fast, unload faster. Conversely, muscles that are loaded slowly will unload slower. Also, a racquet taken back too early and must wait or pause creates a situation where the muscles are losing its elastic energy. This is no different than the person trying to do a vertical jump but inserts a pause between the bend of the knees and the ensuing jump. That person will not jump as high when he pauses. But that is not the worst effect of the early yet slow racquet preparation. The worst effect is when playing against someone with power; the slow racquet preparation will cause the player to be late on the hit. This is the more obvious flaw of the recreational player. If this is your problem, try working on a faster racquet preparation.