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-   -   Please answer these 3 question about FH contact (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=474133)

KillerServe 08-19-2013 11:30 AM

Please answer these 3 question about FH contact
 
Tennis player is at 3 o'clock, net is at 9 o'clock. With respect to this image for a heavy topspin FH shot, please answer the following:



1) Point on ball that racquet makes contact
2) Angle of racquet head with respect to ground at contact
3) Trajectory angle of racquet head

So far I have been visualizing hitting the ball at about 1:30 to 2 o'clock, but note that to do this, I have to maintain a racquet head angle of about 45 degrees wrt ground (i.e. leading with racquet top edge)!! Also the racquet trajectory is also close to 45 deg., although maybe higher. It gives fairly good shots, but not heavy topspin. Seeing that most pros make contact with a nearly vertical racquet face, surely what I am doing is wrong. So what is correct. Please answer the above 3 questions only if you are experienced and have a good idea of the answer. People like LeeD stay away, I know I have to hit many balls and experiment.

Mongolmike 08-19-2013 11:41 AM

I'm not saying this is my form, but this is what I had in mind that I THINK my form is... and thus what you experience didn't really make sense to me...

I'm pretty sure I am not coming underneath the ball (4:00 or 5:00)... but that's what it feels like I am doing.

Also note the direction of the butt cap early in the swing. This is standard teaching... point the butt cap at the incoming ball. If someone is doing this, I think it would be very tough to make contact at 1:30-2:00 as you stated... so you probably have a different swing than this diagram.
\

What I look like coming in for a forehand.... may not be pretty, but like I said, "I feel" like I come underneath and follow through over the top on my forehand, and my buttcap is pointed at the ball.....


KillerServe 08-19-2013 11:48 AM

Yes I get what you're saying. I also come from underneath the ball swinging low to high and buttcap is as it should be point first at the ball because of loose wrist, but the actual contact point on the ball is above the equator (i.e. 3 o-clock). I mean actual contact point on the ball physically has to be 3 oclock or above, right? i.e. If racquet is vertical to the ground.

KillerServe 08-19-2013 11:49 AM

I think the only way to make contact with the ball below 3-oclock would be with an open racquet face, correct?

sureshs 08-19-2013 11:52 AM

Those are tight shorts

sureshs 08-19-2013 12:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by KillerServe (Post 7677511)
I think the only way to make contact with the ball below 3-oclock would be with an open racquet face, correct?

It would be correct if the ball was a rigid body. It is not. You are thinking that is should be open because you feel that otherwise the frame edge would hit the ball first. But it can be closed, and you could start the first contact slightly above 3 with a slightly closed face, but eventually the ball will descend further and be deformed, so you could "grab" some of the below 3 area as well.

It is all in the dwell time and the dwell area. Both are of finite extent, not 0 and a point, respectively. That is when everything happens.

KillerServe 08-19-2013 12:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sureshs (Post 7677564)
It would be correct if the ball was a rigid body. It is not. You are thinking that is should be open because you feel that otherwise the frame edge would hit the ball first. But it can be closed, and you could start the first contact slightly above 3 with a slightly closed face, but eventually the ball will descend further and be deformed, so you could "grab" some of the below 3 area as well.

It is all in the dwell time and the dwell area. Both are of finite extent, not 0 and a point, respectively. That is when everything happens.

Ok so I am referring to FIRST contact only, not anything afterwards. So what is correct? To make contact at 3 oclock? In slo mo of Fed he seems to be making contact with very slightly closed racquet face (nowhere close to mine) and only slightly above 3 oclock. Is this what all of you do too?

TennisCJC 08-19-2013 12:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by KillerServe (Post 7677443)


1) Point on ball that racquet makes contact: visualize hitting lower outside of ball at about 4:30 assuming R handed player.
2) Angle of racquet head with respect to ground at contact: racket face should be a smidge closed - somewhere between 5-15 degree angle
3) Trajectory angle of racquet head: upward angle varies anywhere from 10 degrees to steeper than 45 degrees depending on how much spin and how high you want to hit the ball. Average is around 15 degrees. You are also moving across so while racket path is up, it is also going from lower right 4:30 position to upper left 10:30 position assuming R handed player.

.

Visualize slightly closed racket face at contact swinging from lower right of ball thru top left of ball for a rightie FH. The racket face should be close slightly 5-15 degree. Normal rally balls don't need a steep upward path - 15 degrees or so is fine.

Go here for good analysis of racket angle at contact and swing path: http://blog.tennisspeed.com/

Spending about an hour looking at earlier lessons on the blog above is an hour well spent.

Also, be careful with the point the butt step. You should prep with racket head up above hands and in front of your chest. You will turn to side but racket so racket will be on hitting side but still in front of chest. You will see Federer, Djoko, and Nadal do this in photos on the blog above. For slow balls, you actually stop here. On fast balls, it appears pros don't stop here but practicing slow at first and stopping at prep phase and then going into swing is a good idea. From prep, you will go into a CONTINUOUS loop back, down, up and forward to contact, up thru contact and wrap naturally into WW follow-thru. Do NOT lay racket head back early and try to point butt at ball, instead the butt point is just a phase as you go thru the CONTINUOUS loop.

sureshs 08-19-2013 12:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by KillerServe (Post 7677581)
Ok so I am referring to FIRST contact only, not anything afterwards. So what is correct? To make contact at 3 oclock? In slo mo of Fed he seems to be making contact with very slightly closed racquet face (nowhere close to mine) and only slightly above 3 oclock. Is this what all of you do too?

By "low to high" they mean the swing path, not that the ball is hit below 3. But you are right, first contact needs to be above 3 for racket face to be slightly closed. I never thought about it in these terms.

TennisCJC 08-20-2013 08:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sureshs (Post 7677667)
By "low to high" they mean the swing path, not that the ball is hit below 3. But you are right, first contact needs to be above 3 for racket face to be slightly closed. I never thought about it in these terms.

I think you are saying that if the racket face is slightly closed, it will be impossible to make contact on the bottom of the ball. I agree but have not seen any studies done to prove or disprove this.

But, I think the generalization that you can visualize coming up to lower outside and finish going through upper right side is valid. But, you don't actually hit the lower outside of the ball. It is just a visualization technique to get the swing path.

sureshs 08-20-2013 09:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TennisCJC (Post 7679631)
I think you are saying that if the racket face is slightly closed, it will be impossible to make contact on the bottom of the ball. I agree but have not seen any studies done to prove or disprove this.

Studies are not needed. It is just geometry.

Chas Tennis 08-20-2013 11:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by KillerServe (Post 7677443)
Tennis player is at 3 o'clock, net is at 9 o'clock. With respect to this image for a heavy topspin FH shot, please answer the following:



1) Point on ball that racquet makes contact
2) Angle of racquet head with respect to ground at contact
3) Trajectory angle of racquet head

So far I have been visualizing hitting the ball at about 1:30 to 2 o'clock, but note that to do this, I have to maintain a racquet head angle of about 45 degrees wrt ground (i.e. leading with racquet top edge)!! Also the racquet trajectory is also close to 45 deg., although maybe higher. It gives fairly good shots, but not heavy topspin. Seeing that most pros make contact with a nearly vertical racquet face, surely what I am doing is wrong. So what is correct. Please answer the above 3 questions only if you are experienced and have a good idea of the answer. People like LeeD stay away, I know I have to hit many balls and experiment.

1. The height of the point on the ball that the racket first makes contact is completely determined by the racket face angle to the vertical.

2. Look at high speed videos.

Check these Nadal forehands. https://vimeo.com/63687035



(To do stop action single frame on Vimeo press the play pause button as fast as possible. Or download and view with Quicktime where I think the arrows can be used to go forward or backward one frame.)

3. Trajectory angle. See high speed videos. Tennisspeed has some excellent FH displays in the last year or so. There was a very informative thread. Green, red, yellow lines showing the racket face angles and trajectory before and after impact.

See replies #25 on for the Tennisspeed illustrations posted by 10isFreakish.
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showt...nd+tennisspeed

Most pros don't most hit topspin drives with a nearly vertical face. I've read 5 or 10 degrees closed. Nadal's angles above? Maybe when they are flattening it out for pace they are more vertical. Statistics are hard to find. Where did you get 45 d. or the 1:30 - 2 o'clock strike point?

KillerServe 08-20-2013 12:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TennisCJC (Post 7677602)
Visualize slightly closed racket face at contact swinging from lower right of ball thru top left of ball for a rightie FH. The racket face should be close slightly 5-15 degree. Normal rally balls don't need a steep upward path - 15 degrees or so is fine.

Go here for good analysis of racket angle at contact and swing path: http://blog.tennisspeed.com/

Spending about an hour looking at earlier lessons on the blog above is an hour well spent.

Also, be careful with the point the butt step. You should prep with racket head up above hands and in front of your chest. You will turn to side but racket so racket will be on hitting side but still in front of chest. You will see Federer, Djoko, and Nadal do this in photos on the blog above. For slow balls, you actually stop here. On fast balls, it appears pros don't stop here but practicing slow at first and stopping at prep phase and then going into swing is a good idea. From prep, you will go into a CONTINUOUS loop back, down, up and forward to contact, up thru contact and wrap naturally into WW follow-thru. Do NOT lay racket head back early and try to point butt at ball, instead the butt point is just a phase as you go thru the CONTINUOUS loop.

Thanks this was useful. So you actually visualize coming into the ball at around 4 or 5 oclock. I used to do that too until I started seeing Fed slo mo's which showing practically hitting flat.

KillerServe 08-20-2013 12:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chas Tennis (Post 7680219)
1. The height of the point on the ball that the racket first makes contact is completely determined by the racket face angle to the vertical.

2. Look at high speed videos.

Check these Nadal forehands. https://vimeo.com/63687035



(To do stop action single frame on Vimeo press the play pause button as fast as possible. Or download and view with Quicktime where I think the arrows can be used to go forward or backward one frame.)

3. Trajectory angle. See high speed videos. Tennisspeed has some excellent FH displays in the last year or so. There was a very informative thread. Green, red, yellow lines showing the racket face angles and trajectory before and after impact.

See replies #25 on for the Tennisspeed illustrations posted by 10isFreakish.
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showt...nd+tennisspeed

Most pros don't most hit topspin drives with a nearly vertical face. I've read 5 or 10 degrees closed. Nadal's angles above? Maybe when they are flattening it out for pace they are more vertical. Statistics are hard to find. Where did you get 45 d. or the 1:30 - 2 o'clock strike point.

Point 1 is very interesting. So that means a perfectly vertically racquet face must strike the ball at 3 oclock. Therefore for 5 - 10 degrees closed, it must be between 3 oclock and 2 oclock right?

As for the 45 d and 1:30 strike point I just started doing that because it resulted in strong drives when swung very fast, but was too inconsistent. i.e. I made it up and it wasn't doing me too good.

TheCheese 08-20-2013 02:22 PM

It really depends on your technique. Some techniques you hit with more of a closed racket face and across the ball, others its perpendicular and you go straight up the back.

Chas Tennis 08-20-2013 02:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by KillerServe (Post 7680313)
Point 1 is very interesting. So that means a perfectly vertically racquet face must strike the ball at 3 oclock. Therefore for 5 - 10 degrees closed, it must be between 3 oclock and 2 oclock right?

As for the 45 d and 1:30 strike point I just started doing that because it resulted in strong drives when swung very fast, but was too inconsistent. i.e. I made it up and it wasn't doing me too good.

You can get a protractor and plot angle versus spot on the ball or clock face. 45 d. is way too much. Maybe Nadal's angle is larger than the average. ? We are talking about the initial contact point. The racket does remain in contact with the ball for 2-5 milliseconds and that is not a short time for the racket face to change orientation. More detail than I understand for forehands but I can see the racket change rapidly for the serve.

After you start looking at high speed videos of pro strokes you might consider high speed video for your own strokes as you cannot tell where you are hitting on the ball. If you take a video and the most important and fastest part - impact - is all a blur, you could interpret a slow video to conclude many false conclusions.

I'm now trying a Canon cheap high speed video camera (240 & 120 fps) that cost $119, refurbished. So far the shutter looks fast enough to make the motion blur reasonable for tennis strokes.

KillerServe 08-24-2013 08:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TennisCJC (Post 7677602)
1) Point on ball that racquet makes contact: visualize hitting lower outside of ball at about 4:30 assuming R handed player.

Quote:

Originally Posted by TennisCJC (Post 7677602)
Visualize slightly closed racket face at contact swinging from lower right of ball thru top left of ball for a rightie FH. The racket face should be close slightly 5-15 degree. Normal rally balls don't need a steep upward path - 15 degrees or so is fine.

One more question for you. When you say visualize hitting through the ball at around 4:30, what part of the racquet are you visualizing hitting the ball? The top edge of the racquet cutting through the ball in half? Or do you visualize the sweet spot of the racquet hitting through the ball? Thanks.

HunterST 08-25-2013 08:33 AM

You're way over-thinking the stroke.

TennisCJC 08-25-2013 01:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by KillerServe (Post 7689306)
One more question for you. When you say visualize hitting through the ball at around 4:30, what part of the racquet are you visualizing hitting the ball? The top edge of the racquet cutting through the ball in half? Or do you visualize the sweet spot of the racquet hitting through the ball? Thanks.

I am just trying to say the swing path is from the lower right side of the ball and you hit up and finish going up and out the top left side of the ball. I try to hit the ball in the center. Again, the racket head comes into contact from the lower outside of ball say 4:30 or 5 on the ball as the racket face approaches contact. And, goes out the top left say around 10:30 or 11:00.

The racket face will be slightly closed coming into contact. I use a grip between an E and SW forehand grip and the racket is fairly closed as I take it back and pull forward. So, it is naturally closed a little a contact.

But, don't over think it. Maybe just try it on some slow rally balls and get the feel of hitting the lower outside and pulling up, thru and across.

Chas Tennis 08-25-2013 03:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TennisCJC (Post 7691653)
.....................Again, the racket head comes into contact from the lower outside of ball say 4:30 or 5 on the ball as the racket face approaches contact.......................................

The racket face will be slightly closed coming into contact. .........................
........................

I think that the racket cannot contact the ball "from the lower outside of ball say 4:30 or 5" if it is "slightly closed coming into contact."

Take a tennis ball in one hand and approach it with a closed racket. A closed racket has to first contact the top half of the ball.


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