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Djoker91 10-01-2012 04:58 PM

Looking for lower trajectory...
 
I have solid strokes and solid mechanics, but I'm having trouble keeping the ball lower over the net. It's always high and loopy especially when I try to hit a winner and put some racket head speed. All my friends are starting to hit heavy topspin and low trajectory. Hitting straight winners. How can I do this and not be the weakest player in the group. I don't want to go to low like a flat forehand with high error rate, but about a foot or 2 over the net. Please help guys, you always pull thru for me, could really use some help. Struggling a lot and leaving practice court frustrated and wanting to give tennis up.

sureshs 10-01-2012 05:28 PM

As someone said, topspin is not about low to high but about across the ball. L2H is OK for lower level players, but advanced players kind of arc over the ball with a closed face when they want to put a lot of pace along with the spin. A more extreme grip helps in this regard.

LeeD 10-01-2012 05:41 PM

What works for me, strong SW grip, almost W.
When I'm rallying in singles, I hold the racket loosely and allow the long loopy backswing to hit high, heavy topspin balls.
When I"m in need of pace, or doubles, I shorten my backswing and move into the ball to hit a flatter, faster, much lower ball that has moderate topspin, but lots of ball speed.
It might not work for everyone, just my experience with getting my strong SW grip to hit fast moving forehands that stay low.

UCSF2012 10-01-2012 06:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Djoker91 (Post 6930314)
I have solid strokes and solid mechanics, but I'm having trouble keeping the ball lower over the net. It's always high and loopy especially when I try to hit a winner and put some racket head speed. All my friends are starting to hit heavy topspin and low trajectory. Hitting straight winners. How can I do this and not be the weakest player in the group. I don't want to go to low like a flat forehand with high error rate, but about a foot or 2 over the net. Please help guys, you always pull thru for me, could really use some help. Struggling a lot and leaving practice court frustrated and wanting to give tennis up.

Learn the flat block back, with a 1/2 to 3/4 swing. Use a firm arm for consistency.

Low grazing topspin is useless. It lands short, but it bounces high and far. Gives your opponents plenty of time to get there.

Hitting flat is the way to get good fast. Topspin is high error. You're swinging away at all your shots, so you miss your targets more often, and you mishit more often. Take controlled swing at 60-70% and hit flat. Hit it 2 ft over the net, but don't hit it so hard it goes out. It's about restraint. Don't believe me? Sampras hit flat, and so does Del Potro.

LeeD 10-01-2012 07:25 PM

Back to 1976, when Crissy was queen.

SuzukiSS 10-01-2012 07:31 PM

First of all it is probably not the grip and going western could compound your problem. I am an older 5.0 former college player and have faced the same situation. You need to alter your stroke path and make sure you are using poly. In the old days topspin was created with a flat racket face and a more severe low to high swing path finishing higher over the shoulder which produces your current higher bouncing ball (I call this ball the Chang). To produce the modern ball you need to use a slightly closed racket face and a very slight low to high swing path with the follow thru anywhere from across the shoulder to across the hip depending on the ball you are receiving ( I call this ball the Federer).

user92626 10-01-2012 08:18 PM

Once again you guys make it way too complicated.

There's only one way to hit the ball forward with topspin and that is hitting with a balance of low2high, forward momentum and some degree of closed faceness.

If you increase one of those aspects you'll need to decrease one or two of the others. You'll need to dial in the right combination.

OP, if you want a lower trajectory & a good insurance topspin margin, hit the same top spin but aim the ball ...lower, like 1 or 2 feet above the net.

There's really nothing else about this "physics". :) The rest of your time should be spent on training your physical and getting the feel. :)

Cheetah 10-01-2012 08:47 PM

"The Chang" hahaha...

There's also the possibility the OP actually doesn't have "solid strokes" and "solid mechanics" and he is doing something fundamentally incorrect. A posted vid of your hitting will be the fastest track to a solution.

Djoker91 10-02-2012 03:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LeeD (Post 6930403)
What works for me, strong SW grip, almost W.
When I'm rallying in singles, I hold the racket loosely and allow the long loopy backswing to hit high, heavy topspin balls.
When I"m in need of pace, or doubles, I shorten my backswing and move into the ball to hit a flatter, faster, much lower ball that has moderate topspin, but lots of ball speed.
It might not work for everyone, just my experience with getting my strong SW grip to hit fast moving forehands that stay low.

Interesting. That's something I haven't tried yet. I've tried to swing more horizontal, more out and less low to high but I still end up long. So maybe having the racket head not perpendicular to the net, but angled down a little bit, more closed at contact?

janm 10-02-2012 05:44 AM

What works for me is finishing position and not altering anything else much

When trying to hit flat I always finish the end of my stroke with the racket just below shoulder height.

To get more spin finish swing with racket around hip height.

KenC 10-02-2012 06:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SuzukiSS (Post 6930568)
To produce the modern ball you need to use a slightly closed racket face and a very slight low to high swing path with the follow thru anywhere from across the shoulder to across the hip depending on the ball you are receiving ( I call this ball the Federer).

I agree. I tend to try and get about 6 inches below the contact point. More than that and timing the impact gets more difficult.

Loopy balls can also arise from hitting a little too late and then trying to compensate for that. Connect well in front with a slightly closed face and it brings the trajectory way down. It also helps a little to have an 18x20 string pattern as these keep the ball lower than a 16x19 or less.

the cat petter 10-02-2012 06:16 AM

Push the ball in a straight path as long as you can when you try to hit harder.

Limpinhitter 10-02-2012 06:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Djoker91 (Post 6930314)
I have solid strokes and solid mechanics, but I'm having trouble keeping the ball lower over the net. It's always high and loopy especially when I try to hit a winner and put some racket head speed. All my friends are starting to hit heavy topspin and low trajectory. Hitting straight winners. How can I do this and not be the weakest player in the group. I don't want to go to low like a flat forehand with high error rate, but about a foot or 2 over the net. Please help guys, you always pull thru for me, could really use some help. Struggling a lot and leaving practice court frustrated and wanting to give tennis up.

A low trajectory is, generally, not a winning approach to tennis.

Djoker91 10-02-2012 06:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by the cat petter (Post 6931081)
Push the ball in a straight path as long as you can when you try to hit harder.

Now this is very interesting. I recently hit with a fellow down at the local courts. And he said something very similar. Talked about catching the ball on the racket, and pushing it. Kinda like a hockey stick passes the puck. And he has the fastest forehand I've ever seen. I'm talking pro level speed. Not as consistent obviously. But how do you do that motion of pushing the ball when it's only on the racket for milliseconds? What's the feel to it? The take back and grip and swing path and all that good stuff?

sureshs 10-02-2012 07:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Djoker91 (Post 6931134)
Now this is very interesting. I recently hit with a fellow down at the local courts. And he said something very similar. Talked about catching the ball on the racket, and pushing it. Kinda like a hockey stick passes the puck. And he has the fastest forehand I've ever seen. I'm talking pro level speed. Not as consistent obviously. But how do you do that motion of pushing the ball when it's only on the racket for milliseconds? What's the feel to it? The take back and grip and swing path and all that good stuff?

I think it is a metaphor. He is probably not doing what he claims to be doing.

Djoker91 10-02-2012 02:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sureshs (Post 6931175)
I think it is a metaphor. He is probably not doing what he claims to be doing.

Well look at this young lad hitting.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mDtaC5YgzjI

It seems to me that he uses that kind of pushing the ball technique. Agassi had one of the best forehands of all time. He obviously hits with spin when on the defensive side of a rally. But when he has an opening, I see that kind of elongated push shot. Much longer than say Hewitt or Nadal. I think it's at least worth a try.

Djoker91 10-02-2012 02:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Djoker91 (Post 6931908)
Well look at this young lad hitting.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mDtaC5YgzjI

It seems to me that he uses that kind of pushing the ball technique. Agassi had one of the best forehands of all time. He obviously hits with spin when on the defensive side of a rally. But when he has an opening, I see that kind of elongated push shot. Much longer than say Hewitt or Nadal. I think it's at least worth a try.

Especially 26 seconds in. 26-36 is what I'm looking at. Not the returns or low balls.

pvaudio 10-02-2012 03:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by UCSF2012 (Post 6930453)
Learn the flat block back, with a 1/2 to 3/4 swing. Use a firm arm for consistency.

Low grazing topspin is useless. It lands short, but it bounces high and far. Gives your opponents plenty of time to get there.

Hitting flat is the way to get good fast. Topspin is high error. You're swinging away at all your shots, so you miss your targets more often, and you mishit more often. Take controlled swing at 60-70% and hit flat. Hit it 2 ft over the net, but don't hit it so hard it goes out. It's about restraint. Don't believe me? Sampras hit flat, and so does Del Potro.

Go watch Delpo in person and tell me that he hits a flat ball. A huge ball when he goes for it, but when your forehand regularly touches 100mph and doesn't land barely inside the line but at least a few feet in, there is a huge amount of action on that ball. The same goes for Berdych.

There is a fundamental difference between heaviness and speed. Heaviness is great velocity with large amounts of rotation. In this regard, the big forehand players typically are said to have the heaviest forehands because they're deadly when they can set them up. Gonzalez, Berdych and primarily Federer exemplify this. Raonic in an interview said that playing against the Federer forehand is like no one else's because the ball simply kicks off the court and at you due to the spin on it, so it's as though you have even less time than someone hitting at the same speed. People would likely say that Federer hits with less spin than Nadal on the FH and they're right. Federer undoubtedly has a heavier forehand, which is primarily why up until recently, Nadal had zero success on faster surfaces. Nadal's topspin is for high-margin tennis whereby the spin yields a loopier trajectory with a ball that kicks up rather than through the court. At any level, flat is not safer because you need to guesstimate where you want the ball to land before you stroke it. With topspin, this is less of an issue because the RPMs are a safety margin.

dominikk1985 10-02-2012 03:47 PM

getting a little "lean" of your body into the stroke can help. modern strokes are pretty rotational but getting your weight a little bit into your stroke can help in flattening out your strokes.

5263 10-02-2012 04:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Djoker91 (Post 6931926)
Especially 26 seconds in. 26-36 is what I'm looking at. Not the returns or low balls.

during that time he could hardly hit across the ball more than there:)
I don't see the push aspect at all although a good coach I know does
refer to it as a push in some respect. I don't see it though.


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