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Old 10-16-2013, 09:20 PM   #8
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Join Date: Oct 2013
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Originally Posted by GuyClinch View Post
You have to practice. One tip I heard - and I try to practice is to go out and hit different returns. So I try to hit 'loopers' and then "lasers' off the same 'rally' ball...This method will teach your body how to change your swing to achieve the results you want. The thing is your swing is dependent on the incoming ball. So its actually more complicated then this. For a high ball that you want to 'laser' you might swing on a nearly level plane or even slightly will get the same kind of finish.
Thanks for this, Guy. I never realized that or even thought about it that way but what you say makes a lot of sense to me and Iím going to have to think about it and how I can try to improve my forehand with what youíve said.

And I seriously believe that you're right about hitting good loopers, too. For starters, they'll give me more time to recover my position between shots, not to mention the fact that most club and local players don't really handle such balls well on their backhand side...AND it's probably less tiring for me, too!

I know that sounds a bit like being a pusher, but as far as I'm concerned, anything that allows me to attack a weaker shot with less effort and gives me time to catch my breath and get into a suitable volleying position is a good weapon to add to my repertoire. I think it'll make a good approach shot if used correctly, too.

Originally Posted by CaptainCool309 View Post
That's exactly what I did. I was playing a match against someone and I was losing, mostly because my I was having an off day with my forehand (Eastern Grip)...So during the middle of the match I made the switch to a Continental Forehand, and for the rest of the match, I made a lot less unforced errors on my forehand side and I regained confidence in my forehand stroke because of the consistency I had found. I went on to win the match and I decided to ditch my eastern forehand grip and switch over to the continental.

The continental forehand has it's downsides though, It's best suited for low balls, and in today's high-bouncing topspin age, that's a problem. But for me the continental forehand works, and if you feel comfortable with it I see no shame in using it.
Hi Cap, When I was using my Continental forehand regularly, I dealt with the big topspin balls by either trying to take even the deep balls with a drive volley or else hitting a flat slice on the rise mostly. It usually worked because the high loopy flight over the net usually gave me plenty of time to get to the ball.

The reason why I tried changing to the Eastern forehand grip was because I had to stay so intensely focused to play such balls that particular way that when my blood sugar or electrolytes started dropping beyond a certain point after 15 minutes of intense play, I found it very hard to get to the ball to do much with it and trying to stroke it back on the rise at that stage was just impossible because my timing, coordination and reflexes would be shot to pieces, especially if I didn't sip sports drinks laced with plenty of glucose continuously.

I really thought that a stronger grip would allow me to deal with loopy topspin balls in a more conventional way. Getting more power into my shots was never a major consideration for me. At my age and with my particular vices and physical problems, power tennis is not an option - playing smart and aggressive is the only way I can hold my own against younger, fitter, stronger guys who can dingdong from the baseline till the cows come home.

I think I'll try using the Eastern only for balls that I have to take above my biceps height so that I can hit flatter more easily and stick to my Continental for anything below that, especially since I play my flat-slice approach skidder with it. Of course that'll take just as much concentration, focus and discipline so I don't know how that's going to pan out when my sugar and electrolytes start dropping...

Mea culpa. I never could rally patiently even when I was younger though. I prefer to take the fight to my opponent by trying my best to impose my game on my opponent, dictate play and attack the net at every opportunity.
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