wrist flick for topspin with semiwestern grip

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by azrael201, Jul 1, 2013.

  1. azrael201

    azrael201 Rookie

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    I read about how Federer has an amazing wrist flick and wonder is it from hyper supinating the wrist on setup? I use to do this and it feels uncomfortable when I had a shorter swing but now I have a full loopy swing and wasn't sure if I wanted to invest in adding that extra motion to my swing.
     
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  2. Lukhas

    Lukhas Legend

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  3. Topspin Shot

    Topspin Shot Legend

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    No; the supination is passive. Sign up for virtual tennis academy and watch Heath Waters's video on the stretch shortening cycle. That's what Federer is doing.
     
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  4. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Instead of "wrist flick", use a reverse finish, lifting hard with the shoulders and back.
     
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  5. azrael201

    azrael201 Rookie

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    don't think i understand what reverse finish means but the video at VTA was pretty good except didn't really explain the stretch shortening cycle. i had to google that.
     
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  6. Lukhas

    Lukhas Legend

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    Forehand with a finish over the head instead of across the body or over the shoulders. There are only two know pro players who do that: Gasquet and Nadal. Forget about the reverse forehand.
     
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  7. RetroSpin

    RetroSpin Hall of Fame

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    Plenty of pros use it, Sharapova for one. Lindsey Davenport used it and it is taught by her longtime coach Robert Lansdorf.
     
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  8. azrael201

    azrael201 Rookie

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    i found the video you guys meant on SSC, however i have a question on timing. i use to open up my chest and try to lead with my shoulder to drag my wrist forward trying to mimic roddick's explosive forehand. my coach told me i was opening too soon and now i try to keep my left hand out to prevent myself from opening too soon. i feel like to get more power i need to open up fast and pull that racquet to achieve maximum SSC or ulnar deviation
     
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  9. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Maria, Serena, and lots of pros use the reverse forehand finish on seemingly 1/4th of their forehands, during match play. During practice, not so much.
     
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  10. Lukhas

    Lukhas Legend

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    It's not a reverse forehand. It's an old-school forehand with over the shoulder finish, which had a flatter direction. Nadal hits a reverse forehand. It doesn't look even nearly the same. EDIT: Got confused with Gasquet thouhg. It's a WW finish, but his finish is so loopy it looks like a reverse forehand, but it isn't.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fK9OZ6FR86g
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G0uCQBiH2Ko
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2013
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  11. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    what are you guys talking about? every wta and atp player hits a reverse forehand. that includes gasquet and sharapova.
     
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  12. azrael201

    azrael201 Rookie

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    I think you guys are really focusing on this reverse forehand...any thoughts about my question above?
     
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  13. johnchung907

    johnchung907 Rookie

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    Ha, if you use semi-western, don't even dream that you can do a federer flick. Maybe if you had a modified eastern like him there's a possibility that I could help (I also use a modified eastern)
     
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  14. Kilco

    Kilco Guest

    Of course you can. Dont listen to this guy.
     
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  15. JohnYandell

    JohnYandell Hall of Fame

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    Love that "wrist flick" term. Actually got into an argument at a presentation I was doing with none other than Johnny Mac about it years ago--suffice it to say he was unpersuaded by evidence, and is (still) one of the main progenitors of this highly misleading term! I showed him a video of Agassi's forehand with the wrist still laid back at contact. But it was like trying to tell someone the wall was blue when they were absolutely certain it was white... still love you John, no one is perfect.

    And so that discussion has always gone...disagreement and more disagreement...the term I am pretty sure is destined for immortality. But I don't think it contributes much to understanding what happens in high level forehands.

    If you study the players in high speed you see that for Fed, or Agassi, or Delpo, or Jo Willie, or any player with a moderate grip, the vast majority of all forehands are hit with the wrist laid back.

    The angle of the lay back can change from the start of the forward swing and decrease at contact. But again in the huge majority of cases it's still laid back well after the hit.

    Some players and coaches believe that this forward flexion is a key to power or spin and an example of that mythical, epic, invisible and misunderstood term the "stretch shorten cycle."

    As I understand the work of Brian Gordon though this isn't actually correct--the real stretch shorten cycle is something happening in the shoulder muscles, as a function of body and backswing position at the start of the forward swing...

    The wrist angle at contact, in reality, seems to be about positioning the racket head to hit the ball directionally. On a crosscourt from a wide position it will come around more, closer to neutral. In this sense it acts like a hinge.

    When the hinge motion is substantial the movement can contribute to racket head speed. But if you look at inside balls--the majority of pro forehands--the wrist hardly flexes if at all and can actually become more laid back after the hit. So it's not some conscious attempt to flex or flick--more the natural relaxed movement of the joint as part of a specific swing path.

    Now the other motion involving the wrist is the rotation of the hand, arm and racket. When this motion is somewhat to very extreme it's usually called the windshield wiper. But it's a component of all forehands to a greater or lesser extent. There is still rotation of the upper arm, forearm, wrist, and racket in counterclockwise direction on an old style "flatish" eastern forehand--think Tim Henman.

    Where Federer broke the mold was in combining a grip that is still close to eastern with the radical hand and arm rotation of the more extreme forehands--a gorgeous blend of classical and modern.

    And since the wrist is attached to the arm (one could only hope...) there is up to 180 degrees of counterclockwise rotation (or even more sometimes...) of the wrist in a big wiper motion.

    Call that wrist flick if you wish. But it's being driven by the rotation of the upper arm in the shoulder joint. This rotation from the shoulder can be very fast--and that's why the wiper can generate so much racket head speed and why Federer can hit so much spin with that grip.

    For skilled players who really do have the more foundational elements of turn and extension, the wiper is very viable situationally or even as more of a norm at higher levels. And now with poly this is more true than ever and even applicable at times at lower levels if those same fundamentals are in place.
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2013
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  16. azrael201

    azrael201 Rookie

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    Thanks for the reply that is a nice explanation. I for some reason thought fed had a semi western.

    So regarding leading with shoulder does that mean it is good to open up fast to whip the arm and wrist to the ball?
     
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  17. JohnYandell

    JohnYandell Hall of Fame

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    I'd think of the preparation--full turn is critical--and then leading with the hand. It's true the hips and shoulders go first. That's because the body knows how to use them to move the hand. Often when players consciously try to activate the hips or shoulders they get way too open too soon.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2013
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  18. TennisCJC

    TennisCJC Legend

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    I agree with everything JohnY said above so it must be right. I don't always agree with JohnY but this is spot on.
     
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  19. TennisCJC

    TennisCJC Legend

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    wrist flick is garbage and should not be consciously worked into your stroke. Passive laid back wrist before, during and a bit after contact is key to consistency. Wrist/hand used for direction and feel. Legs, hips, shoulder, forearm used to generate pace and stroke pattern.
     
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  20. azrael201

    azrael201 Rookie

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    i like the way you put it, i def try to exaggerate the shoulder turn. thanks john
     
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  21. GuyClinch

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    I side with the guys who can hit. Heath Waters clearly explains the stretch shortening cycle in his video. I don't understand how anyone can call it a myth. Especially a guy who can't hit.. <g>

    I got a coach now a big guy who hits a huge serve. Naturally he explains how important the wrist snap his just like Novak - but oh no those guys don't know anything either. The thing is if you just go out and try the advice of these pros - you will often improve your game.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2013
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  22. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Maybe instead of wrist flick, we should think pronation. Turning over of the entire arm with the shoulder muscles.
     
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  23. JohnYandell

    JohnYandell Hall of Fame

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    LD,

    This is correct.
     
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  24. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    One of the coolest vids I've seen was one of Ferrer chasing down a drop shot to his forehand. He laid back his wrist, then just rolled over the ball CC with pronation and SW grip. No arm swing at all.
    No effort, precise (because it was him hitting it), and caught his bigger opponent flat footed at inside NML cheating for the DTL reply.
     
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  25. JohnYandell

    JohnYandell Hall of Fame

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    LD,

    Yep.
     
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  26. KayFactor

    KayFactor Rookie

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    Please do not flick your wrist
     
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  27. RetroSpin

    RetroSpin Hall of Fame

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    In golf a teaching maxim is "feel is not real." I think that may apply here as well.

    No doubt Johnny Mac feels a wrist flick, but we know from highspeed video that what John Yandel says is true. But John only took us up to impact. If you follow a top (male) pro's swing, you will see that wrist flexion occurs pretty soon past impact. In fact, wrist extension at impact is somewhat less than at the start of the forward swing. So the wrist is slowly flexing during the contact interval and that flexion increases dramatically after contact. Now of course, I am not saying that wrist flex is used to generate power. I think John is correct that it provides directional control predominantly, but I think trying to maintain a fully laid back or extended wrist is also wrong.
     
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  28. RetroSpin

    RetroSpin Hall of Fame

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    The OP concerned what happens when the forward swing begins. Luckily, all the top pros do the exact same thing. Through a combination of inertia, loose wrist and perhaps some manipulation, they go from a pronated wrist with some extension to a fully supinated and extended wrist, producing the distinctive laid back, facing the ground position for the racquet. This move is a reaction to the initiation of the forward swing, which in turn is driven by body rotation, the hitting shoulder going from external to internal rotation, ie SSC, and arm adduction. Biomechanically, an awful lot is going on during a very short span of time.
     
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  29. JohnYandell

    JohnYandell Hall of Fame

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    retro,

    Some good points. I would add this. The laid back position is almost always maintained well after contact. The exact degree differs, again with the ball. So it's critical in most forehands.

    It's fine and good to point out how pros achieve this at the start of the "flip" in the forward swing and how it may or may not change moving to and through contact. And if Brian Gordon is correct, there is an incremental addition in force and racket speed letting this happen naturally as a result of forces in the forward swing.

    My experience with hundreds of players is that often focusing on the laid back wrist--where it starts and how it stays through the critical part of the swing is far more important than the additional "turbo charge" from the pro motion. It's like an ice cream sunday--the whipped cream and the cherry may add, but without the ice cream you don't have a sunday...
     
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  30. azrael201

    azrael201 Rookie

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    Thanks for all the insight guys. Embarrassingly enough I just realized my grip is eastern not semi. I am assuming the SCC is probably most pivotal for eastern grip. Wondering if I should switch to semi western
     
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  31. RetroSpin

    RetroSpin Hall of Fame

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    John Yandell,

    I see the distinction you're making. I suppose the benefit of the "pro motion" is that you can generate a lot of racquet speed with a very compact motion.

    Do you teach them to supinate their wrist, and if so, when? Or is that only a necessity if they are using a SW grip?
     
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  32. RetroSpin

    RetroSpin Hall of Fame

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    John,

    As long as I have your attention, another quick question. What are your thoughts about the now classic WW followthrough versus the trend toward having a forward tilted face at contact which then rolls over? The end points of the follow through, generally across the opposite shoulder, are similar but they get there entirely differently.
     
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  33. JohnYandell

    JohnYandell Hall of Fame

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    Retro,

    The "trend" you talk about is a lot less prevelant than is often described. You see a lot of still pictures posted here of the racket face closed 30 degrees, 45 degrees, even more, after the hit.

    Those are mishits. The ball hitting below center is tilting the top edge forward.

    What the video shows is something different. The vast majority of the hits are still with the racket at 90 degrees or very close. Some are definitely tilted--usually super high bouncing heavy incoming balls.

    According to Rod Cross there is a formula for a certain height, racket speed, racket tilt, etc that will work and I believe him.
    But the tilts I see are in the 5 to 15 degree range. Never seen those same huge angles as in the still photos--unless of course it's a mishit...
     
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  34. andre09

    andre09 New User

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    Do western grips benefit more from the SSC?

    I've been pronating during the take back of my forehand for years, and have gradually become more western as it felt more comfortable to do so with. I didn't understand why I would get so much more spin pronating during the take back, and I worried that it might eventually damage my wrist.

    It wasn't until I watched this Jeff Salzenstein video that my concerns were lifted: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cX6vrAk-GDc&t=2m56s.

    Jeff mentions at 3:25 an extra "turning of the wrist", which I believe is just pronation of the forearm.

    Does the extra 'turning' or 'pronation' during the take back help set up the SSC?
     
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