Wrist movement, straight forehand and other questions

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by 10isfreak, Feb 27, 2013.

  1. 10isfreak

    10isfreak Semi-Pro

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    My favorite blogger recently resealed a new article which covers many subjects that might be of popular interest here:
    -anatomical comparison of the Federer and Djokovic forehands;
    -the straight versus bent arm debate;
    -amateurs and pros: differences;
    -the role of the wrist during forehands.

    The role of the wrist
    The author references a German publication on the role of the wrist, maintaining that this joint
    plays a two-folded role in tennis forehands: it both serves an acceleration and control purpose.

    But the most stunning part of it, at least to me, is that players like Federer and Nadal do not
    meat the ball with a very passive, extended wrist... the exact opposite would be true:

    Amateurs versus professionals
    The main argument the blogger makes is to the effect that "less is not more." Many people
    would argue that, unlike pros, amateurs will be bound to perform sub-optimal motions by
    sub-optimally sequencing sub-optimal movements and that, therefore, they should seek
    to simplify their strokes.

    The author goes the other way around the problem. In the world of pros "more is always
    better": optimal forehand motions are complex and they organize very subtle movements that
    are key to a good stroke. By trying to comply with the above advice of simplification, amateurs
    tend to do two things:
    1- Get rid of certain movements -- often useful movement because they rarely
    can differentiate between what is essential and what is not;
    2- Limit the scope of certain movements by restricting the degree of freedom of
    certain of their body parts.

    In other words, you're better off with an approximation of a professional stroke, with an imperfect
    execution of an optimal stroke than with a perfect execution of a sub-optimal stroke. I leave it up
    for discussion.
     
    #1
  2. 10isfreak

    10isfreak Semi-Pro

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    The name of the publication is
    “Tennis Course: Volume 1 Techniques and Tactics”
     
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  3. julian

    julian Hall of Fame

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    German

    BTW:it is the title of the GERMAN publication,not the title of the blog
     
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  4. Relinquis

    Relinquis Hall of Fame

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    so what you're saying is... straight arm is better because roger, nadal and delpo use it and they're pretty awesome.
     
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  5. 10isfreak

    10isfreak Semi-Pro

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    I didn't say that straight arm is better because Federer, Del Potro and Nadal use it. However, the straight arm forehand does enable you to tap into extra power -- which does translate into additional pace and additional spin.

    But that's not due to Federer or Del Potro's or Nadal's awesomeness on the court... it's due to the Stretch-shortening cycles that these players enjoy and that cannot be enjoyed (to the same extent or at all) by players who use a double-bend. One of the SSC happens in the rotator cuff and is a by-product of thee initial external shoulder rotation that straight arm hitters perform and one happens in the forearm due to the extreme position of the hand when you use a straight arm forehand.

    You do factually hit harder with it and, again, factually speaking, it did yield better results almost 3 to 1 in GS since 2004. Now, does that suits you? That's an other question -- and one worth asking.
     
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  6. 10isfreak

    10isfreak Semi-Pro

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    Yes, it's the Title of the book... Obviously, no blog is titled this way and it seemed sufficiently obvious for me to omit the adjective.
     
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  7. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    It's also harder to control and master.
     
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  8. ace_pace

    ace_pace Rookie

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    Well for me, I have been on a quest to see if I could get a forehand similar to Nadal/Federer for probably years now. When I came across that blog, it opened my eyes a lot. I think that now I've achieved the 'straight' arm forehand and to be quite honest, it does feel much more powerful and for less effort too. But I have to admit, it was hard to learn it and I still have consistency issues.

    You could also ask aimr75, his forehands pretty similar to Fed.

    On topic, I agree with the SpeedMaster obviously.
     
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  9. TheCheese

    TheCheese Professional

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    Harder to master. Easier to control.
     
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  10. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    Harder to master but Easier to control? That doesnt make sense
     
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  11. Relinquis

    Relinquis Hall of Fame

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    i hit straight arm since i was a child... have tried double bend, but didn't like it. felt the ball was too close and i couldn't hit through as comfortably. I had no idea about SSC advantages. but i do remember having an epiphany sensation when practicing forehands with my coach... an almost whipping or slingshot feeling of the forearm. it just happened and i was doing it over and over... then some sessions i wouldn't be able to replicate it.. until i kinda figured it out. my forehand is still not pro-level by any means, but i think i'm benefiting from SSC.

    what i found interesting is what happens at contact (hitting straight or otherwise) when i'm really going for my shots (e.g. winners).. hitting more through the ball rather than being passive and/or coming off of it. I don't know if (or how) this relates to SSC or the role of the wrist. i just focus on having the racquet face closed earlier in my swing so that when i hit through it is still closed and launches the ball forward rather than upwards.

    Links in chain

    Two experiences: I can really understand the concept of amateurs not having the proper chain of movements.

    1 - My forehand:
    I never used to think about my footwork, but my forehand was good. I started hearing about open stance vs. neutral stance and "walking steps" and other techniques. i tried them out and lost a bit from my forehand. it messed up my timing. it actually took me a bit of practice to be able to hit my drive forehand again. i had to forget about my legs and let it come naturally. now i just focus on what i want to do to the ball with my racquet and make sure i swing fully. my legs sort themselves out and are now a part of the motion most times as i'm not thinkign about open stance or neutral stance. i just make sure that i'm bouncy enough and am getting to the ball in time. the only "step" i think of at times is the split step when i'm tired late in a match.

    2 - My serve:
    during my service motion, i sometimes feel that i can launch my body into the air, effortlessly or feel a kind of slingshot of my torso, but for some reason it doesn't translate properly into racquet head speed, or when it does i don't make contact with the ball. when performing my serve I have rarely felt that "slingshot" sensation i have felt often with my forehand and backhand (single handed). I feel like the chain isn't linked... need more practice i suppose.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2013
    #11

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