Am I dropping the racquet too low?

thomasannand

New User
Hi guys,

So my forehand is by far the weakest part of my game. They have a lot of height on them and not much power. Is the fact I am dropping the racquet too much causing my forehand shots to sail higher? I've studied a few pro forehands on youtube and the racquet drop finishes only just below/in-line with the ball's path. Yet looking at footage of myself from a few days ago my racquet is dropping way way below the ball. I have attached some photo's. Any help would be amazing thanks!

https://ibb.co/gjwmXy4
https://ibb.co/mqnnhKR
https://ibb.co/JqySxd5
 

Bagumbawalla

Hall of Fame
It's a bit hard to say from a few sill pictures, but I suspect you may be leaning back and not getting your weight and momentum driving through the ball.
 

badmice2

Rookie
It looks like you're going out of your way to hit the ball low, hence you think you're swinging low. Also, you're letting the ball go to you vs. moving to the ball. Best to work on meeting the ball waist high.
 
Hi guys,

So my forehand is by far the weakest part of my game. They have a lot of height on them and not much power. Is the fact I am dropping the racquet too much causing my forehand shots to sail higher? I've studied a few pro forehands on youtube and the racquet drop finishes only just below/in-line with the ball's path. Yet looking at footage of myself from a few days ago my racquet is dropping way way below the ball. I have attached some photo's. Any help would be amazing thanks!

https://ibb.co/gjwmXy4
https://ibb.co/mqnnhKR
https://ibb.co/JqySxd5
FYI

I assume that those links refer to a photo hosting website where you have uploaded some of your pictures. ?

The way to post a picture on the forum is
1) click "reply" to get he Reply Box
2) from the Reply Box and with the cursor where you want the picture to be
3) click the image icon across the top of the Reply Box that looks like two mountains and the moon.

4) on the photo hosting website click on your full size picture and right click the mouse, select "Copy Image Location"
5) go back to the Reply Box and post the "...Image Location" into the box from the image icon.
6) this should post your picture into your post. You can preview it to get a look without posting.

The pictures can be highlighted and moved around in your reply.
 

ontologist

New User
It seems like you’re contact point is way to early, or too far out in front which leads to 2 things:
1 is that the ball is going to go long, so you compensate by swinging slower so the ball will drop and,
2 is that you lean back because you would literally fall over if you tried to get your momentum going that far into the ball.

Think about what happens to the racquet face when you hit a ball too far in front of you... it will open up and cause the ball to come off the stringbed at a higher launch angle

Try waiting a little longer and see what happens
 
I think you could get by with dropping the racquet face below the ball as you are doing, but your resulting swing path is very vertical after contact. You're almost scooping the ball. Part of the issue looks like your contact point is too far out in front, but I'm not sure if this is the cause of the problem or a result of something else. You are swinging so slow, that I'm not sure if you are having to scoop the ball because it's easier timing wise, or you are having to swing that slow to keep the ball in the court because of the way you are contacting the ball. One adjustment you could try is to make your swing path more horizontal versus vertical. If you notice on your video, you finish high over your left shoulder. Try swinging in such a manner that your follow through finishes below your opposite arm shoulder (versus finishing over the top of it). Or you might even want to make your finish as low as your left hip (so you are basically starting your swing from your right pocket, and finishing at your left pocket). To finish that low, you will be forced to take a less vertical swing path and most likely will have to increase your racquet head speed.
 

thomasannand

New User
I think you could get by with dropping the racquet face below the ball as you are doing, but your resulting swing path is very vertical after contact. You're almost scooping the ball. Part of the issue looks like your contact point is too far out in front, but I'm not sure if this is the cause of the problem or a result of something else. You are swinging so slow, that I'm not sure if you are having to scoop the ball because it's easier timing wise, or you are having to swing that slow to keep the ball in the court because of the way you are contacting the ball. One adjustment you could try is to make your swing path more horizontal versus vertical. If you notice on your video, you finish high over your left shoulder. Try swinging in such a manner that your follow through finishes below your opposite arm shoulder (versus finishing over the top of it). Or you might even want to make your finish as low as your left hip (so you are basically starting your swing from your right pocket, and finishing at your left pocket). To finish that low, you will be forced to take a less vertical swing path and most likely will have to increase your racquet head speed.
I think you are absolutely right. I have never had formal lessons, just watched countless Youtube videos. The majority of which state the importance of the racquet drop along with swinging low to high. But it feels like I have taken these instructions to literally and am applying them way too much. My racquet drop is probably too low and as you said, my swing path is vertical instead of horizontal because I am so focused on that low to high mentality.
 
I think you are absolutely right. I have never had formal lessons, just watched countless Youtube videos. The majority of which state the importance of the racquet drop along with swinging low to high. But it feels like I have taken these instructions to literally and am applying them way too much. My racquet drop is probably too low and as you said, my swing path is vertical instead of horizontal because I am so focused on that low to high mentality.
I'm hardly the best one to be giving technical advice, but I believe most advanced players seem to drop the racquet head below the ball around 12 inches. I'd start with that and try a swing path that is very horizontal, even if it means you are driving the ball long. You need to feel your arm and racquet extending out past your ball contact and the finish should naturally occur where your forearm pronates and you finish on your left side. Once you have that feeling down, you can then begin to increase your swing path angle till you find an angle of attack that fits best with your stroke power and spin level. Be sure you don't revert to dropping the racquet head too low though, or you will revert back to taking a very steep swing path up to the ball again. If you are using a ball machine or someone is feeding you balls, I'd start with balls that are not high arcing / slow looping balls, or you may find yourself hitting those as they drop from a really high point and you may revert back to really swinging up to those as they drop down slowly. I think it would be better to drill a ball that has a little more pace on it and has less arc on it (if using a ball machine), so that you can better learn to groove your swing path. If you can get someone to hand feed you balls at varying heights in your strike zone (so maybe 2.5 feet to 4 feet high), then that would be even better. Plus, the feeder can tell you immediately if you start way below the ball or take too vertical of a swing path. Of course, this all assumes you are contacting the ball with a fairly squared up racquet face. If you are not able to contact the ball consistently with a squared up racquet face (or slightly closed), then you're going to struggle with controlling the ball regardless of your swing path. But that is a whole other issue that would require discussing your grip, contact point, spacing, and more.
 

thomasannand

New User
Okay I will certainly try those things tomorrow thanks! Also, in the example of Novak's forehand below you can see that there is not really a racquet drop as such but rather just allowing the racquet face to face the ground. After that his swing is pretty much fully horizontal.

 

Raul_SJ

Legend
Okay I will certainly try those things tomorrow thanks! Also, in the example of Novak's forehand below you can see that there is not really a racquet drop as such but rather just allowing the racquet face to face the ground. After that his swing is pretty much fully horizontal.

Disagree. Racquet head tip dropping 12 inches below contact point sounds about right to me.







 
Last edited:

Bender

G.O.A.T.
Thanks for the feedback guys. I also attach another image which seems to be more extreme, buttcap pointing towards the sky.

You dip your right shoulder at least so it's not just your arm that's dropping far too low. For that height though it is a bit unnecessary to have the racquet drop that far. You'd have been far better off bending your knees (which are completely straight here) and getting under the ball that way for spin. You'd also have more power that way.

As for your left hand...

 

Morch Us

Semi-Pro
From the photo, yest it seems like you have a bit more exaggerated racquet drop. But I would not try to change that before really understanding what makes you loose the drive/power. Purely because most folks have the reverse issue (not having enough racquet drop and driving it straight to target), and most probably the loose of power may be due something other than the exagerrated racquet drop.

It is hard to see from the angle of the photo. But are you contacting the ball too much on your side instead of "in-front" of your body? If yes that would totally explain it. Try to move the contact point more front.

Another thing I notice is you have a tenancy to stay "fully closed" (not even neutral) on some of the forehands. This will limit your power transfer into the shots.

I did not see a huge issue in your weight transfer (other than natural progressions/improvements are needed).

So my forehand is by far the weakest part of my game. They have a lot of height on them and not much power. Is the fact I am dropping the racquet too much causing my forehand shots to sail higher?
 

pencilcheck

Semi-Pro
That is the wrong question to ask, what you are doing essentially, is to "scoop" up the ball, where your right legs hops as you hit the ball.

In my opinion, not meaning to be harsh, but it is in my opinion the truth, is that it is pointless to ask detailed question when the overall premise is wrong.

Your premise in your question asking is that your stroke is correct and that the only thing left is to see if your buttcap is pointing high enough to the sky or if your racquet is too low.

I would suggest the first thing is to question your premise and go up to the level where it is true again and then ask deeper question after you corrected that.

To save you time, I would say that you should change your mindset from "scooping" at the ball from below up, to more of a horizontal rotation like swinging a nunchuck across the body instead, then asking the question of whether your racquet is too low would make a lot more sense to me.
 

golden chicken

Professional
I like to imagine the ideal racket swing path more like the Nike swoosh, where the curl is the take back and the tail of the swoosh is the swing path to contact.

So, the path is low to high but not steep.
 
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