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-   -   On the forehand: Early take back vs. continuous loop (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=442465)

HunterST 10-08-2012 08:46 PM

On the forehand: Early take back vs. continuous loop
 
EDIT

Okay, so here's pretty definitive proof that Fed holds racquet at chest and then begins the stroke.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eI5Pa...vwp&NR=1#t=38s

This video, however, shows Serena taking the racquet back and waiting.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rNKIwi54HlY


So, basically, I guess the answer is it doesn't matter?

Obviously Federer has the better forehand, but is Serena's easier to copy for mortals?

END EDIT

A forehand with a continuous loop gives you a lot more topspin. By continuous loop, I mean the take back is a loop, and it flows right into the stroke, almost like the arm is making a circle. This is a pretty commonly given piece of advice.

Another piece of advice that is given frequently is to have early preparation. That is usually described as getting body into a coiled position and have the racket back.

something like this


So, the two pieces of advice seem kind of conflicting. How can you be coiled with the racket back as early as possible AND make the loop continuous. You have to wait for the ball to be close enough to make the loop.

Can anyone shed light on this?

kazamzaa 10-09-2012 05:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HunterST (Post 6943379)
A forehand with a continuous loop gives you a lot more topspin. By continuous loop, I mean the take back is a loop, and it flows right into the stroke, almost like the arm is making a circle. This is a pretty commonly given piece of advice.

So, the two pieces of advice seem kind of conflicting. How can you be coiled with the racket back as early as possible AND make the loop continuous. You have to wait for the ball to be close enough to make the loop.

Can anyone shed light on this?

I'm not a teaching pro, but my coach is very good.
I think you can do both. With the early preparation you can slow things down once you've finished the take back. Then gradually increase the pace of your swing once you've started the forward swing.
With an early preparation you go slow motion in the early forward swing.

That's how I do anyway.

5263 10-09-2012 08:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HunterST (Post 6943379)
A forehand with a continuous loop gives you a lot more topspin. By continuous loop, I mean the take back is a loop, and it flows right into the stroke, almost like the arm is making a circle. This is a pretty commonly given piece of advice.

Another piece of advice that is given frequently is to have early preparation. That is usually described as getting body into a coiled position and have the racket back.

So, the two pieces of advice seem kind of conflicting. How can you be coiled with the racket back as early as possible AND make the loop continuous. You have to wait for the ball to be close enough to make the loop.

Can anyone shed light on this?

I can see why this is confusing. Lots of problems here.

People used to say early prep and get the racket head back towards the fence,
not like Fed here who is just now as the ball is bouncing, starting to sep his
hands. Fed is of the continuing loop side of things and only does the modern
version of early prep, with both hands on the stick with good shoulder turn.
He doesn't do the backswing part early or with a hitch.

I don't like calling his time with both hands on the racket early prep for the
reason of these type mix ups. Better to use a new name to separate it from
past thinking and technique. MTM uses stalking. Because old school teaching
was more of a set, hitch type position, some try to understand stalking that way
but it's not correct. Stalking is a moving sequenced position on several levels,
but mainly keeping the racket in front of the chest area and including in front
of the back shoulder including early part of where the hands separate. If you hate
MTM, then call it something else, but best not to call it early prep, due to old
terms give the confusion you post about. How about modern prep, but many
hate to say modern, so maybe "front prep" for keeping the racket generally in front of
the body as the shoulders turn?

LeeD 10-09-2012 11:58 AM

Don't matter.
Steffi Graff had the best forehand in women's tennis for a while.
Anke Huber had the acknowledged second best. Anke took the racket straight back, dog fully patted, waited for the ball, and hit with great effectiveness. She just didn't play the overall game as well as Steffi, and her backhand was suspect at best.

dominikk1985 10-09-2012 12:00 PM

most of the early take back is actually shoulder turn. the last part (loop with the racket) is actually quite late while the lower body already starts to get uncoiled.

sureshs 10-09-2012 01:52 PM

I have a very simple description of such things. From you current position till the time you have moved to the desired position, completed your back and front swings, with or without a loop, and contacted the ball - call that interval of time T and the distance you are moving D.

Your position in the court and the racket position wrt your body both need to change from your current configuration to the final configuration within T and D.

Make the movement as smoothly continuous as possible over T and D. That is all.

There may be jerky adjustments needed in some cases (like you are running wide and then want to flick the ball in with a quick swing at the last moment), but overall it should be smooth to prevent injury.

Keep in mind that not all pros do this. Some like Roddick prefer to get to a far ball first and then start racket takeback and finish it quickly, others start taking it back smoothly earlier on the run in such a way that the forward swing finally meets the ball. Some like DP and Soderling might prefer to wait for the ball with the racket back much earlier than others, hoping for a huge and fast swing into the ball.

LeeD 10-09-2012 01:57 PM

Artists vs the technician?
Both are athletes.
The artist, AdrianoPanatta and IlieNastase were old examples, vs the technician's BrianGottfried and VitusGerulitus...RaulRameriz and DickStockton.

TennisCJC 10-09-2012 02:14 PM

5263 reconciles early prep and continuous loop very well in his explanation above. Basically early prep or stalk position is with both hands on the racket and the racket in front of the chest - between the shoulders and not laid back pointing toward back fence. From there, you will wait on the ball to start your swing and once you start your swing it will be continuous - flat C.

If you can find old video of Jim Courier forehand, he turned his shoulders and kept his hands out front - less back than Fed. From there, he would start his swing and used a continuous loop. He was an even more extreme example of keep hands together and not laying the racket head back as part of the "prep".

LeeD 10-09-2012 02:17 PM

I don't think you can teach a pig to fly, nor a fish to walk, nor a alligator to climb trees.
Some players need simple mechanics, while other's do better with more intricate, more artistic strokes.

Xizel 10-09-2012 03:01 PM

You can stalk the ball with the racquet held high. Just don't stalk it with the racquet lower at the start of the forward swing. Then, you'll lose racquet speed.

sureshs 10-09-2012 03:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LeeD (Post 6944680)
I don't think you can teach a pig to fly, nor a fish to walk, nor a alligator to climb trees.
Some players need simple mechanics, while other's do better with more intricate, more artistic strokes.

There are fish like lungfish which can walk short distances on land between two water areas

HunterST 10-09-2012 05:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 5263 (Post 6944035)
I can see why this is confusing. Lots of problems here.

People used to say early prep and get the racket head back towards the fence,
not like Fed here who is just now as the ball is bouncing, starting to sep his
hands. Fed is of the continuing loop side of things and only does the modern
version of early prep, with both hands on the stick with good shoulder turn.
He doesn't do the backswing part early or with a hitch.

I don't like calling his time with both hands on the racket early prep for the
reason of these type mix ups. Better to use a new name to separate it from
past thinking and technique. MTM uses stalking. Because old school teaching
was more of a set, hitch type position, some try to understand stalking that way
but it's not correct. Stalking is a moving sequenced position on several levels,
but mainly keeping the racket in front of the chest area and including in front
of the back shoulder including early part of where the hands separate. If you hate
MTM, then call it something else, but best not to call it early prep, due to old
terms give the confusion you post about. How about modern prep, but many
hate to say modern, so maybe "front prep" for keeping the racket generally in front of
the body as the shoulders turn?

This is kind of what I was thinking would make sense. Unit turn happens early and then the loop is part of the swing.

Kind of a lightbulb, and I don't know if this is part of MTM, but is this what people mean when they say the swing shape should be like a C? Never really understood that, but if they're saying the loop is part of the swing, it would make sense.

5263 10-09-2012 06:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HunterST (Post 6944949)
This is kind of what I was thinking would make sense. Unit turn happens early and then the loop is part of the swing.

Kind of a lightbulb, and I don't know if this is part of MTM, but is this what people mean when they say the swing shape should be like a C? Never really understood that, but if they're saying the loop is part of the swing, it would make sense.

Yes, pretty much on target there.
One caution and honestly not promoting MTM here, but just pointing out keys here.
Careful with the old unit turn term, as it plays into some confusion as well. Doesn't hurt
anything to use it of course, if it's all very clear to you, but the
unit turn is often described as this immediate turn fully to the side the ball is
coming to, like in the classic book "Visual Tennis", with the racket full back.
Check out some vid and you likely can see how touring Pros tend to stay sort
of chest on to the ball as the move to it, why we call it stalking it. The unit
turn as demo'd in vid and books shows a near complete shoulder turn right off
the bat, which would be an awkward way to move to the ball.

This is also how the confusion seeps in as related to stalking, as the unit turn
is a quick turn to a position, where stalking is a turn to that side that tracks
the ball path with the 2 hands on the racket unless there is a long run to the ball.
You normally turn to track the balls with eyes and shoulders, with the hands on
the racket in front of your chest or shoulder.
So this is why stalking is never so static as the instruction for a unit turn seems to be.
Stalking is more of a moving position where you cover ground and work the shoulder turn
with the racket in a position to start the loop you mention.

tlm 10-09-2012 06:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 5263 (Post 6945058)
Yes, pretty much on target there.
One caution and honestly not promoting MTM here, but just pointing out keys here.
Careful with the old unit turn term, as it plays into some confusion as well. Doesn't hurt
anything to use it of course, if it's all very clear to you, but the
unit turn is often described as this immediate turn fully to the side the ball is
coming to, like in the classic book "Visual Tennis", with the racket full back.
Check out some vid and you likely can see how touring Pros tend to stay sort
of chest on to the ball as the move to it, why we call it stalking it. The unit
turn as demo'd in vid and books shows a near complete shoulder turn right off
the bat, which would be an awkward way to move to the ball.

This is also how the confusion seeps in as related to stalking, as the unit turn
is a quick turn to a position, where stalking is a turn to that side that tracks
the ball path with the 2 hands on the racket unless there is a long run to the ball.
You normally turn to track the balls with eyes and shoulders, with the hands on
the racket in front of your chest or shoulder.
So this is why stalking is never so static as the instruction for a unit turn seems to be.
Stalking is more of a moving position where you cover ground and work the shoulder turn
with the racket in a position to start the loop you mention.

Excellent analysis 5263, because there is a lot of confusion on this subject. The picture of fed clearly shows his shoulder turn has been made, but he is not even close to having the racket take back complete.

sureshs 10-09-2012 07:51 PM

It depends on the situation and at what point the photo is taken. With a neutral stance or gravity step, racket can be elsewhere for the same distance to the ball.


tricky 10-09-2012 09:09 PM

Going along with 5263's point, it's very very important that you are "stalking" the ball or trying to find the ball with your non-hitting hand. THAT should be done as soon as possible.

More or less, when you find the ball with your non-hitting hand, you automatically initiate your unit turn. Once your hitting hand separates, you want your takeback to be ideally against the direction of your overall momentum. That gives you the smoother, more rhythmic backswing that gives you the better timing.

It's a little like throwing a football while rolling to your right. Unless I'm running at full sprint, I still want to find my target before I separate my non-throwing hand from the football. If I just separate, THEN roll out, that will end up just as a pitch or dink-and-dunk pass.

5263 10-09-2012 10:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tricky (Post 6945204)
Going along with 5263's point, it's very very important that you are "stalking" the ball or trying to find the ball with your non-hitting hand. THAT should be done as soon as possible.

More or less, when you find the ball with your non-hitting hand, you automatically initiate your unit turn. Once your hitting hand separates, you want your takeback to be ideally against the direction of your overall momentum. That gives you the smoother, more rhythmic backswing that gives you the better timing.

It's a little like throwing a football while rolling to your right. Unless I'm running at full sprint, I still want to find my target before I separate my non-throwing hand from the football. If I just separate, THEN roll out, that will end up just as a pitch or dink-and-dunk pass.

Good analogy here,
and thanks tlm.

ATP100 10-09-2012 10:43 PM

IMO: Whatever you use, the finish is more important.

FrisbeeFool 10-09-2012 11:15 PM

You can have an early takeback and a looped backswing. In the modern game, most players have a higher takeback. They turn their shoulders and coil and take the racket head back high. The high takeback is what creates the appearance of the loop.

The best explanation I've seen on the boards came from TCF. He described teaching kids the high takeback, and then to drop the racket into the hit.

Old school players like Jimmy Connors and Chris Evert take the racket head back early, but they do so with a lower takeback than modern players.

Look at this video of Wawrinka. His coach talks about his early take back. Since Warinka has a high takeback on his backhand, it also has that loop appearance.
http://m.youtube.com/index?&desktop_...?v=f97Krt-SnTM

This video has a pretty good explanation of the high takeback.
http://m.youtube.com/index?&desktop_...?v=-6rzrad0kWw

If having someone tell you to "stalk" the ball helps you learn early preparation or a higher takeback, more power to you. Personally, when I hear the phrase stalk the ball, i don't visualize any of that. I personally would need more concrete descriptions, such as, "take the racket head back high" "turn your shoulders" "drop the racket into the hit" etc.

FrisbeeFool 10-09-2012 11:46 PM

I remember watching a video with Boris Becker, where he says his coach didn't focus on the backswing much at all. He just focused on the contact and follow through. He didn't care how the player took the racket back. So a variety or methods can create great strokes.

People understand some thing intuitively, but need concrete advice on other things. Everybody learns differently.


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