ATP FH ... is there wrist hinging, does it add to rhs

#1
EDIT: huge mistake to use the word SNAP in my definitions for what I meant. SNAP implies an active wrist snap ... that will likely get you hurt. I'm simply trying to come up with a term for the change in wrist position from 1) flexing back at start of butt cap pull ... to -> 2) any movement from there back to a more neutral flex. I have changed the term SNAP to STRAIGHTEN.

Narrow questions:
1) is there any wrist hinging during any ATP FHs
2) if yes for only "some" FHs ... explain
3) what type of wrist hinging
4 does this wrist hinging add to RHS

So just the wrist. Pro ATP FHs vary per shot ... per situation, so the answer may very well be with some FHs ... yes ... wrist hinging, others ... not so much.

Use following wrist movement definitions for this thread ... if others, define in your post.

Edit: note my use of the term "snap" below isn't intended to describe any active or inactive wrist action ... just chose a word to describe wrist action of relaxing flexed wrist to a more neutral wrist.

1) "laidback/ STRAIGHTEN (edit: STRAIGHTEN replaced term SNAP)" ... if you hold your arm straight out in front of you with your palm down .... flex wrist back ... that is "laid back". If you were to release that laid back wrist to neutral wrist aligned with arm ... I'm referring to that as "snap".

2) "WW" ... with wrist laid back like #1 ... wave right and left... this is arm/hand WW motion
 
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#2
People here really need to lay off the obsession with the wrist snap in their FHs.

There are far bigger elements in the FH that should be mastered first, eg footwork, trunk / core / shoulder rotation, contact point, and weight transfer, yet every other thread I see here is about how best one should implement the wrist snap.

It's like a swimmer who can barely doggy paddle (let alone swim butterfly) asking whether he should do a full body shave to improve his time.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
#3
People here really need to lay off the obsession with the wrist snap in their FHs.

There are far bigger elements in the FH that should be mastered first, eg footwork, trunk / core / shoulder rotation, contact point, and weight transfer, yet every other thread I see here is about how best one should implement the wrist snap.

It's like a swimmer who can barely doggy paddle (let alone swim butterfly) asking whether he should do a full body shave to improve his time.
Why does it have to be a "full" shave?
 
#4
People here really need to lay off the obsession with the wrist snap in their FHs.

There are far bigger elements in the FH that should be mastered first, eg footwork, trunk / core / shoulder rotation, contact point, and weight transfer, yet every other thread I see here is about how best one should implement the wrist snap.

It's like a swimmer who can barely doggy paddle (let alone swim butterfly) asking whether he should do a full body shave to improve his time.
Learning the ATP FH without understanding what the wrist does, or does not do during the stroke would be like your shaved swimmer trying to swim without water in the pool.
 
#5
"laid back" is a must to do the 'WW'.

but, you don't keep it fully laid back thru the shot.... ready my thread titled "don't accelerate thru the ball"... you want RELEASE into the impact.

you don't actively 'snap' into the impact.... rather, you 'glide/coast' into it, so the wrist is not quite as much laid back as at the power position, aka the 'flip'.
 
#6
"laid back" is a must to do the 'WW'.

but, you don't keep it fully laid back thru the shot.... ready my thread titled "don't accelerate thru the ball"... you want RELEASE into the impact.

you don't actively 'snap' into the impact.... rather, you 'glide/coast' into it, so the wrist is not quite as much laid back as at the power position, aka the 'flip'.
I read your thread ... will read it again. But I'm first trying to narrow the debate to:

1) what type of wrist action
2) does it add rhs

So using my definitions ... you are saying "some" snap. I don't like the word snap, because it implies active forceful wrist action. Here, I'm just identifying "what" wrist action, not whether active or inactive. I will go note that use of "snap" in my definition above.
 
#8
"laid back" is a must to do the 'WW'.

but, you don't keep it fully laid back thru the shot.... ready my thread titled "don't accelerate thru the ball"... you want RELEASE into the impact.

you don't actively 'snap' into the impact.... rather, you 'glide/coast' into it, so the wrist is not quite as much laid back as at the power position, aka the 'flip'.
"laid back" is a must to do the 'WW'

That is what I have been thinking ... certainly makes WW easier, and bigger right/left range possible. But check out following video of Fed @00:11 - 00:12. To my eyes, that is WW right prior to his wrist laying back. His arm is pretty much in line with racquet, wrist hasn't laid back yet ... but still WW right.

@00:11 - 00:12

 

mntlblok

Professional
#9
I don't get to hit topspin, anymore, but a couple of thoughts come to mind.

First, maybe I've missed something, but when you were defining the possible hinge-ings of the wrist, I didn't see anything about ulnar and radial deviation. Looks like there could be something going on in that plane.

On the laid back wrist thing and whether it stays that way on the way to the ball, I forget where I read the thing about a double pendulum that showed that if you don't physically stop the wrist from "un-laying back" on the way forward, then the physics of this double pendulum makes the "lagging" arm of these pendula tend to catch up on its own.

It's the sort of thing that Rod Cross probably has something to say about. Struck me as *most* counter-intuitive. I woulda figgered that the second segment of the double pendulum would not have caught up unless the leading one slowed down.

kb
 
#11

turning a door knob..lag and snap.... but i think his 'snap' is different from your definition.

then add the release as in my thread.
Oh Geca ... I'm hugging you right now over the internet. Clay absolutely nailed it. I'm not crazy ... at least not about the reverse WW. The sad thing is I have watched several of Clay's videos ... wish I hadn't missed this one. He does a fantastic job explaining.

I think the takeaway for me ... besides yelling "I wasn't crazy" is that the wrist ends up both "reverse WW" AND "laid back" at the start of the slot forward. Maybe not every FH ... xFullCourt makes the valid observation that a pro like Fed has multiple FHs. But for anyone starting with the stroke, you need to start from the base concept Clay Ballard just described.

Thanks Geca ... and Clay. I will now go read your "don't accelerate" thread multiple times and like everything you ever post. :)
 
#13
I don't get to hit topspin, anymore, but a couple of thoughts come to mind.

First, maybe I've missed something, but when you were defining the possible hinge-ings of the wrist, I didn't see anything about ulnar and radial deviation. Looks like there could be something going on in that plane.

On the laid back wrist thing and whether it stays that way on the way to the ball, I forget where I read the thing about a double pendulum that showed that if you don't physically stop the wrist from "un-laying back" on the way forward, then the physics of this double pendulum makes the "lagging" arm of these pendula tend to catch up on its own.

It's the sort of thing that Rod Cross probably has something to say about. Struck me as *most* counter-intuitive. I woulda figgered that the second segment of the double pendulum would not have caught up unless the leading one slowed down.

kb
"ulnar and radial deviation"

Sounds like one of my college girlfriend's moves. I actually find all the discussions about shoulder rotations and supination/pronation distracting to the early learning curve with the modern FH. It's too much ... you need to hear basics like stance, hip and shoulder turns ... and in this case, you need to know what the hand/wrist is suppose to do. Nothing is "automatic" with a new stroke until it becomes muscle memory. I think for many ... it's been too long since they were at the front end of learning a stroke. I would have been in the same boat until last summer's 2hbh conversion ... whoa ... goodbye "automatic". I had not thought about shoulders or stance for decades. Fun though...

Geca helped me put closure on my ATP FH w/flip quest. If you watch the video he posted, where Clay talks about the reverse WW. It's actually pretty hard to watch Fed FHs... super slow motion or otherwise, and work out the hand/wrist motions from the drop of the racquet to the forward butt-cap pull, to contact. That's the reason there are so many words devoted to it here at TT. The last session with the ball machine, I got close enough to know what it felt like. I most likely am not going to add the "flip" ... but we will see for sure in spring after TE is totally gone (hopefully).
 
#15
IMO, the less you think about what to do with the wrist, the better.
This is the point I wanted to make in general.

But really, the wrist involvement (or the lack of it) is the cherry on top as far as technique goes. It won't bring your FH from a 3.0 stroke to a 4.0 stroke--it won't even get your FH from a 3.0 stroke to a 3.5 stroke, because there are much, much more influential aspects on the FH that should (and must) be addressed by most amateur players.

If you don't think about the wrist and keep it floppy, the natural elasticity of the wrist will produce the perceived wrist snap on the FHs--provided that the requisite footwork, trunk / core / shoulder rotation, weight transfer (all the things that are far more important and worth having multiple threads about) are all already in place. Only then will a loose wrist will create the racquet flip + wrist snapback even without the player trying, unless the player has a tendency to lock up their wrist on the forward swing and follow-through. There are of course, several situations where an active wrist is beneficial or even necessary, but a neutral rally FH generally would not fall under such a situation. Then there are other wrist-related aspects that should be considered, such as takeback styles, and how they affect the movement of the wrist. A straighter takeback with the head of the racquet facing the back fence will produce minimal wrist snap, while a takeback where the hitting face is pointing towards the right side fence (for a RH player) and the head pointing up and / or forwards, will produce a lot more wrist snap.

But either way, trying to create the wrist snap without proper fundamentals is asking for injury, because there is the misconception that the wrist ordinarily has an active role in the FH, when it doesn't. Even amongst the pros, there are quite a few players (notably in the WTA), whose FHs do not feature a loose wrist or wrist 'snap'. That alone should be a good indicator of just how important the involvement of the wrist is on the FH--ie, not much, if at all.

Really, this whole 'wrist snap' business is the flashy pat of FH technique--the FH equivalent of being able to boast a 100+ mph serve. Flash and little substance without mastery of more important core parts of their respective strokes. Everyone wants to have that Federer-esque 'liquid whip forehand', and think that the secret lies with the wrist. It is not.

Just to clarify though--this isn't to say that no-one is allowed to talk about the involvement of the wrist (or lack thereof) in the 'modern forehand', but a general rant about how often it comes up compared to the far more important, influential technical aspects that aren't nearly as flashy.
 
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#16
IMO, the less you think about what to do with the wrist, the better.
I disagree when learning the ATP flip... then agree after it becomes muscle memory. Anyone trying to start with the ATP FH would do themselves a favor to start with that Dave Ballard video that Geca posted. They could save countless hours over "just let it happen". It's the same in golf ... you aren't likely to get your hands set correctly in the backswing, and release late in the swing without thinking about it... and just let it happen.

That said, we all learn differently ... whatever works for you is the way to go.
 
#17
This is the point I wanted to make in general.

But really, the wrist involvement (or the lack of it) is the cherry on top as far as technique goes. It won't bring your FH from a 3.0 stroke to a 4.0 stroke--it won't even get your FH from a 3.0 stroke to a 3.5 stroke, because there are much, much more influential aspects on the FH that should (and must) be addressed by most amateur players.

If you don't think about the wrist and keep it floppy, the natural elasticity of the wrist will produce the perceived wrist snap on the FHs--provided that the requisite footwork, trunk / core / shoulder rotation, weight transfer (all the things that are far more important and worth having multiple threads about) are all already in place. Only then will a loose wrist will create the racquet flip + wrist snapback even without the player trying, unless the player has a tendency to lock up their wrist on the forward swing and follow-through. There are of course, several situations where an active wrist is beneficial or even necessary, but a neutral rally FH generally would not fall under such a situation. Then there are other wrist-related aspects that should be considered, such as takeback styles, and how they affect the movement of the wrist. A straighter takeback with the head of the racquet facing the back fence will produce minimal wrist snap, while a takeback where the hitting face is pointing towards the right side fence (for a RH player) and the head pointing up and / or forwards, will produce a lot more wrist snap.

But either way, trying to create the wrist snap without proper fundamentals is asking for injury, because there is the misconception that the wrist ordinarily has an active role in the FH, when it doesn't. Even amongst the pros, there are quite a few players (notably in the WTA), whose FHs do not feature a loose wrist or wrist 'snap'. That alone should be a good indicator of just how important the involvement of the wrist is on the FH--ie, not much, if at all.

Really, this whole 'wrist snap' business is the flashy pat of FH technique--the FH equivalent of being able to boast a 100+ mph serve. Flash and little substance without mastery of more important core parts of their respective strokes. Everyone wants to have that Federer-esque 'liquid whip forehand', and think that the secret lies with the wrist. It is not.

Just to clarify though--this isn't to say that no-one is allowed to talk about the involvement of the wrist (or lack thereof) in the 'modern forehand', but a general rant about how often it comes up compared to the far more important, influential technical aspects that aren't nearly as flashy.
Well, you are jumping to the conclusion that someone talking about the wrist action hasn't worked out your list of other fundamentals. How do you know ... have you seen their FHs? Also ... you asked what the "flip" was earlier. If you start down the path of understanding it ... the wrist isn't a cherry on top ... it's essential. I guess my final disagreement with "a relaxed wrist will make all this happen automatically" is the reverse WW isn't ever going to just happen early when learning.

Thx for permission to talk about wrist. :)
 
#18
Well, you are jumping to the conclusion that someone talking about the wrist action hasn't worked out your list of other fundamentals. How do you know ... have you seen their FHs?
You are right that I am making assumptions, but it is based on the fact that almost every time I come across and try to contribute to a wrist snap thread, I've gone on to realise that the OP or other contributors are not at the stage yet where wrist involvement is the next natural step to focus on.

And after thinking about it for a while, this makes sense to me, because I have yet to meet an advanced player IRL who has / had a conundrum about how best to use his wrist on his FH--they had that figured out already, whether by deliberate choice or by not thinking anything of it. Even YouTube coaches (eg Essential Tennis) stress that the wrist has a limited role in the FH, and that if there is literally anything else that you can focus on instead, you should do that instead. Many advanced players I did ask IRL when I was trying to figure out wrist involvement myself were able to deduce it on their own, based on how their wrists were involved in every other shot in their book.

Finally, it's somewhat unlikely that each and every thread on the wrist snap was opened by someone who was exactly at that stage where forehand wrist technique incorporation was the next natural step, and it is even more unlikely if we eliminate all those threads started purely for knowledge purposes. That leaves players who are dabbling in trivial matters when they really should be looking at bigger, more pressing matters to address. The forehand technique equivalent of asking how to make their serve exceed 100 mph when they haven't learned how to hit it in yet.

Again, please do not take this as a personal slight, as I am making a general statement on wrist snap threads. I make no assumption about your level--whether you are a 2.5 or a 3.0 or a 5.5--but rather a general observation. You could be a weekend public park hack with pusher strokes or you could be Federer himself for all I know.

Also ... you asked what the "flip" was earlier.
Yes, I asked what the flip was, but as it turns out, I already knew what it was, just not what it was called. I was particularly surprised that people were actively trying to create that look.

If you start down the path of understanding it ... the wrist isn't a cherry on top ... it's essential. I guess my final disagreement with "a relaxed wrist will make all this happen automatically" is the reverse WW isn't ever going to just happen early when learning.
No, the wrist is not essential. This is evidenced by the fact that pros have various degrees in which they use or don't use the wrist. This is even more so when you consider that western grips allow for minimal wrist action, if any.

'Essential' implies that it is a fundamental part of the WW FH, without which it cannot function, and that is patently false. Otherwise, it would be borderline impossible to hit a WW FH with a western grip, because as I mentioned before, a western grip allows for minimal wrist movement.

You do not learn how to hit a WW FH by learning how to use the wrist; you learn how to hit the WW with the other fundamentals first, and play around with the wrist action as needed at the end, ie when everything else is in place--hence 'cherry on top'.

If you tried to learn the WW FH by learning how to use the wrist, you end up like my father--with a bum wrist and tennis elbow.
Thx for permission to talk about wrist. :)
You don't need anyone's permission to talk about anything tennis-related, but I would like to point out that you (and posters here in general I find) are vastly overrating the importance of the wrist in the FH. The minimum requirement for the wrist on the FH is that it needs to be there, pain-free--that's it.
 
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#19
I like the following two explanations:



Maybe this last guy is wrong (maybe he's not), but it seems to me that the practical application of what he is saying makes sense and is useful in learning to hit a better forehand.
 
#20
Narrow questions:
1) is there any wrist hinging during any ATP FHs
2) if yes for only "some" FHs ... explain
3) what type of wrist hinging
4 does this wrist hinging add to RHS

So just the wrist. Pro ATP FHs vary per shot ... per situation, so the answer may very well be with some FHs ... yes ... wrist hinging, others ... not so much.

Use following wrist movement definitions for this thread ... if others, define in your post.

Edit: note my use of the term "snap" below isn't intended to describe any active or inactive wrist action ... just chose a word to describe wrist action of relaxing flexed wrist to a more neutral wrist.

1) "laidback/snap" ... if you hold your arm straight out in front of you with your palm down .... flex wrist back ... that is "laid back". If you were to release that laid back wrist to neutral wrist aligned with arm ... I'm referring to that as "snap".

2) "WW" ... with wrist laid back like #1 ... wave right and left... this is arm/hand WW motion
you have to be carefull, to not mistake ESR/supination for wrist lay back. a lot of the laying back of the racket is external Rotation of the arm at the Transition.

here this is explained quite well
http://www.revolutionarytennis.com/step8.html (I don't agree with a lot they say on this site but the ESR Thing is explained quite well)
 

mntlblok

Professional
#21
Oh Geca ... I'm hugging you right now over the internet. Clay absolutely nailed it. I'm not crazy ... at least not about the reverse WW. The sad thing is I have watched several of Clay's videos ... wish I hadn't missed this one. He does a fantastic job explaining.

I think the takeaway for me ... besides yelling "I wasn't crazy" is that the wrist ends up both "reverse WW" AND "laid back" at the start of the slot forward.
Clay is one of the sharpest guys out there on the web, but he's actually relatively *new* to tennis. He's a pro golfer and an *extremely* good educator in that field. Knows his physics and biomechanics and does really cool stuff with his web presentations. He's just a smart, hard worker. And, like me, grew up in Kentucky. :)

One of the things that impresses me the most is that if he's shown that he's got something wrong, he changes it. I'd be willing to bet that he has changed a *ton* of stuff from what he had to say on this 2014 video. I'd bet that today he would *not* claim that the "reverse WW" is an active move, but rather that it's because the racket head is still going backwards because the hand, with its loose grip, has already started forward.

Which reminds me. I had never heard of "lag and snap" until I stuck my toe back into tennisplayer.net earlier this year and finally read Brian Gordon's stuff on the forehand. My assumption was that Brian had come up with this terminology. Via email exchange, I asked Clay if he knew Brian, but was surprised to learn that he didn't even know of him, IIRC.

So, I ask the forum, did Brian come up with this terminology? TIA

kb
 

mntlblok

Professional
#22
'Essential' implies that it is a fundamental part of the WW FH, without which it cannot function, and that is patently false. Otherwise, it would be borderline impossible to hit a WW FH with a western grip, because as I mentioned before, a western grip allows for minimal wrist movement.
Son of a gun. Was aware that I had virtually no understanding of the western grip forehand, but would never have guessed that it involved minimal wrist action. Had wondered a while back if the different wrist orientation given by a western grip might allow me to hit a topspin forehand that way without the pain that has forced me to my ugly slice. My experiment ended with me learning that something was *way* off and it was never going to happen. Now I wonder if it was because I was trying to force too much wrist into it. Sure *looked* like there must be a load of wrist action happening. . .
 
#23
I like the following two explanations:



Maybe this last guy is wrong (maybe he's not), but it seems to me that the practical application of what he is saying makes sense and is useful in learning to hit a better forehand.
Neither guy is talking about an ATP forehand despite what they say. The second guy is especially bad because the swing that he constantly shows as "wrong" is in fact about what a typical ATP swing path looks like. You can't get 3000 rmps of rotation by hitting through the ball with low to high. I do agree that it's not wrist snap. You are definitely NOT twisting the forearm or forcefully flexing the wrist. Just keep the forearm and wrist loose and forget about it.

I think a good way to think about it is throwing the edge of the racquet across the path of the ball. Don't think about wrist snapping, just get that feeling of throwing the racquet's edge in about the swing path the second guy says will never work, keep the wrist loose, and just let the racquet whip. You're swinging the edge across the contact point. Yes you will frame some shots (Federer frames shots), but it's not that hard to do.

Also, when second guy says that the "bad" swing is disconnected from the body, that's about what your looking for. By the time the racquet contacts the ball is mostly about racquet momentum. It's also good to have a quiet, still body near contact because it will make seeing the ball and hitting the contact point a lot easier.
 
#24
IMO, the less you think about what to do with the wrist, the better.
99% of the time, this is not the case for the amateur player...

attacking the ball with a turning-the-door-knob action is not natural. most people want to attack the ball with the strings... that is a flip, then all hell breaks loose on the fh.
 
#25
You are right that I am making assumptions, but it is based on the fact that almost every time I come across and try to contribute to a wrist snap thread, I've gone on to realise that the OP or other contributors are not at the stage yet where wrist involvement is the next natural step to focus on.

And after thinking about it for a while, this makes sense to me, because I have yet to meet an advanced player IRL who has / had a conundrum about how best to use his wrist on his FH--they had that figured out already, whether by deliberate choice or by not thinking anything of it. Even YouTube coaches (eg Essential Tennis) stress that the wrist has a limited role in the FH, and that if there is literally anything else that you can focus on instead, you should do that instead. Many advanced players I did ask IRL when I was trying to figure out wrist involvement myself were able to deduce it on their own, based on how their wrists were involved in every other shot in their book.

Finally, it's somewhat unlikely that each and every thread on the wrist snap was opened by someone who was exactly at that stage where forehand wrist technique incorporation was the next natural step, and it is even more unlikely if we eliminate all those threads started purely for knowledge purposes. That leaves players who are dabbling in trivial matters when they really should be looking at bigger, more pressing matters to address. The forehand technique equivalent of asking how to make their serve exceed 100 mph when they haven't learned how to hit it in yet.

Again, please do not take this as a personal slight, as I am making a general statement on wrist snap threads. I make no assumption about your level--whether you are a 2.5 or a 3.0 or a 5.5--but rather a general observation. You could be a weekend public park hack with pusher strokes or you could be Federer himself for all I know.


Yes, I asked what the flip was, but as it turns out, I already knew what it was, just not what it was called. I was particularly surprised that people were actively trying to create that look.


No, the wrist is not essential. This is evidenced by the fact that pros have various degrees in which they use or don't use the wrist. This is even more so when you consider that western grips allow for minimal wrist action, if any.

'Essential' implies that it is a fundamental part of the WW FH, without which it cannot function, and that is patently false. Otherwise, it would be borderline impossible to hit a WW FH with a western grip, because as I mentioned before, a western grip allows for minimal wrist movement.

You do not learn how to hit a WW FH by learning how to use the wrist; you learn how to hit the WW with the other fundamentals first, and play around with the wrist action as needed at the end, ie when everything else is in place--hence 'cherry on top'.

If you tried to learn the WW FH by learning how to use the wrist, you end up like my father--with a bum wrist and tennis elbow.
You don't need anyone's permission to talk about anything tennis-related, but I would like to point out that you (and posters here in general I find) are vastly overrating the importance of the wrist in the FH. The minimum requirement for the wrist on the FH is that it needs to be there, pain-free--that's it.
Happy Thanksgiving ... 2 hours until Turkey for me.

"I am making a general statement on wrist snap threads"

So why are you making that point here. This was never a wrist snap thread. I had to declare some terms and definitions in the initial post in order to have the discussion. I definitely should not have selected the word "snap" for laid back wrist release. But if you read the initial post again, including the edit ... you will see this was not to be a discussion of "active" vs "not thinking about it". It was an attempt to identify the hand/wrist movements happening in the flip. The flip is the first time in 40 years of competitive tennis I ever felt I needed to understand the hand/wrist/hinge action. The flip is not the WW swing, it is an addition to it. I currently hit a decent WTA type WW FH ... relaxed wrist and grip ... never thought about shoulders, arms, wrist. Edit: did think about shoulder turn, prep, timing loop. Then I started trying to add the flip ... nothing automatic about it.

Let me ask you some questions. Do you currently hit the flip? If yes, how do you know? Have you videoed your FH? Is the video good enough to show if you get the reverse WW at the start of the butt cap pull forward? Did you take the video from behind ... that's the best angle I think.

The reason for the questions is all the claims ... "that the ATP FH w/flip just happens automatically with relaxed wrist and properly positioned and timed body parts". Sorry ... call me a skeptic ... but I would like to see a video of those "automatic" FHs. The problem is almost nobody knows for sure ... very hard to watch live and know.

Just for the record, this is definitely academic for me at this point ... also closure after spending months on adding the flip to my FH. I didn't video the last ball machine sessions, but by adding the initial reverse WW ... and resulting RH WW arc ... I finally felt the flip. I get it ... I could make it work from shorter backswing... just not for me. I like the fuller WTA swing. FYI ... this is all more matters of degree rather than bright lines. JY pointed out on another thread Agassi hit some "slight flip" FHs.
 
#26
I like the following two explanations:



Maybe this last guy is wrong (maybe he's not), but it seems to me that the practical application of what he is saying makes sense and is useful in learning to hit a better forehand.
both videos are bad. the first guy shown a few fh and that over the shoulder finish is an indication that he does NOT have the ATP fh that should finish around the left arm... the 2nd guy just went blah blah lol.
 
#27
The reason for the questions is all the claims ... "that the ATP FH w/flip just happens automatically with relaxed wrist and properly positioned and timed body parts". Sorry ... call me a skeptic ... but I would like to see a video of those "automatic" FHs. The problem is almost nobody knows for sure ... very hard to watch live and know.
99% of the time, this does NOT happen automatically for the amateur player until properly trained

turning the door knob and attack the ball with the leading edge of the racket is not intuitive. amateurs naturally want to attack the ball with the strings, which causes all the common problems.

the wrist is also not 'relaxed' all the time... in that Clay's video, in order to hold the initial 45 degree angle with the tip pointing at 3 oclock, the forearm has to work to put the wrist in that initial laid back position, which is critical to achieve the 'flip' without opening up the racket face.
 
#28
99% of the time, this is not the case for the amateur player...

attacking the ball with a turning-the-door-knob action is not natural. most people want to attack the ball with the strings... that is a flip, then all hell breaks loose on the fh.
I've come to really dislike the turn-the-doorknob advice if that's what you're advocating (I'm not clear). Most of the movement on the wrist and forearm on an ATP-like fh is passive. The turn-the-doorknob advice tells the player to actively pronate their forearm, like when you turn an actual doorknob, to get the wiper-like motion. That's wrong. You won't get good spin and it will lead to sore forearms and possibly injury.
 
#30
Note new edits in original post. I picked a bad term when I picked SNAP. I actually knew it at the time, but stumped on a good choice of terms. Changed to STRAIGHTEN ... not in love with that either.

This thread was an attempt to:
1) identify all hand/wrist movements involved in the flip (forward butt cap move to contact) of the ATP FH.
2) varieties of flips if they exist ... i.e. straighten only, WW only, mix, yada yada yada.

This thread was not for:
1) defining the proper preparation for the flip and those hand/movements, or defining what a ATP FH is for that matter
2) stating whether those hand/wrist movements happen automatically as a result of #1, or even what the best method to teach the flip would be
3) making the case the flip is the best use of an amateur's practice time, or best skill for game advancement, or whether any USTA player should consider the flip
4) making the case for any form of active wrist snap, particularly past neutral from laid back wrist (just don't do that ... good way to get hurt)
5) making a case all ATP FHs are the same
6) making a case there is a hard line between a ATP FH and WTA FH, this could be a spectrum or matters of degree ... just defining hand/wrist movements we find across pro player flips.

The idea was/is that with the flip, it is actually a rare time where the player/student really does need to know what the possible hand/wrist movements are in the flip (at least some of us, we all learn differently). What prep, is it a result, how did the shoulder movements facilitate ... all secondary (but important) from this thread. No need for religious war over simple question ... what is the hand/wrist doing during that flip, regardless of how it happened. In this thread, not advocating much beyond 1) flip exists 2) let's define what we are seeing.

Cheers... Happy Thanksgiving to all ... even xFullCourt. :) I had my Turkey ... hope you all have also.
 

mntlblok

Professional
#31
nobody is advocating 'actively' turning the door knob. it is passive.
Wow. Can't imagine how that could be so. Is this one of those things related to the full Western grip?

Seems to me that with the spin coming from the racket going as fast as possible in a plane parallel to the string bed that some serious force needs to cause that movement to happen, which doesn't sound passive. And, it ain't too hard to find folks attempting to hit forehands that aren't having it happen automatically. Maybe I'm missing something here.

kb
 
#32
Wow. Can't imagine how that could be so. Is this one of those things related to the full Western grip?

Seems to me that with the spin coming from the racket going as fast as possible in a plane parallel to the string bed that some serious force needs to cause that movement to happen, which doesn't sound passive. And, it ain't too hard to find folks attempting to hit forehands that aren't having it happen automatically. Maybe I'm missing something here.

kb
it's really just simple physics... objects in motion want to stay in motion... when the hand finishes the take-back and starts the forward movement, the racket head wants to keep going back, therefore this 'flip' happens passively.

has little to do with the grip... E or SW or W, all the same.
 

mntlblok

Professional
#33
it's really just simple physics... objects in motion want to stay in motion... when the hand finishes the take-back and starts the forward movement, the racket head wants to keep going back, therefore this 'flip' happens passively.

has little to do with the grip... E or SW or W, all the same.
Ahhh. We're on the same page. I thought you were talking about the "wiping" part. Sorry about that.

kb
 
#34
Ahhh. We're on the same page. I thought you were talking about the "wiping" part. Sorry about that.

kb
actually, even for the wiping part, the wrist is mostly passive too... from the flip, to about a foot before the impact, the wrist will feel this 'lag' because the leg/core/arm etc everything is pulling the racket.. then the pull eases off, the momentum keeps the racket going into the impact then the follow thru.

the grip pressure also should be fairly light during the entire process... this also prevents injury as the arm won't take the shock. in my own experience the forearm and the wrist gets active only if I need a last second adjustment because of a bad bounce, a gust, or I am out of position.... but in any case any 'activeness' needs to stop about a foot prior to impact so you allow space for the release.
 

mntlblok

Professional
#35
actually, even for the wiping part, the wrist is mostly passive too... from the flip, to about a foot before the impact, the wrist will feel this 'lag' because the leg/core/arm etc everything is pulling the racket.. then the pull eases off, the momentum keeps the racket going into the impact then the follow thru.

the grip pressure also should be fairly light during the entire process... this also prevents injury as the arm won't take the shock. in my own experience the forearm and the wrist gets active only if I need a last second adjustment because of a bad bounce, a gust, or I am out of position.... but in any case any 'activeness' needs to stop about a foot prior to impact so you allow space for the release.
OK, then I'm lost, again. First, I don't see how one could accelerate through contact without some activeness, and second, I don't see how one could keep the racket face "on plane" (as one sees in toly's cool composites) through impact and the first part of the follow through.

AAMOF, it seems to me that there's almost an "L" shape to the swing as one goes from the "pat the dog" position to getting it on the plane that has the string bed perpendicular (more or less) to the target line. If something "active" didn't change what was happening with the rotation of the racket face from "pat the dog", then it seems that the racket face would end up facing the sky and the shot would end up hitting the fence (as I often see with mis-timed forehands).

I guess this transition from the racket face facing the ground to getting "on plane" has worried me for some time. I don't know how to describe that transition - other than that maybe contact with the ball maybe triggers "something". Possibly something to do with the uncoiling of the unit turn??

https://www.flickr.com/photos/mentalblock/30856847520/in/datetaken-public/

The WW has the racket face "on plane" and facing the target for a very long period of time. I can't imagine that this isn't an "active" move - keeping the racket face on that plane.

kb
 
#36
OK, then I'm lost, again.

The WW has the racket face "on plane" and facing the target for a very long period of time. I can't imagine that this isn't an "active" move - keeping the racket face on that plane.

kb
I think I understand your question... let me try to explain.

the short answer is - ISR, ESR, ISR.

the longer version is this:

the fh can be boiled down to an ESR flip, and a ISR forward swing.. actually I think if you do mini-tennis warm up with only this ESR/ISR action, it will help you understand the fh.

however in normal play, in order to perform a strong ESR to load the shoulder, most players actually have an ISR before the ESR.... so the whole thing becomes: ISR, ESR, ISR.... most players do the first ISR moderately, so they end up with this pad the dog position with the face looking at the ground, before the ESR happens... but in order to illustrate this point, you can see an extreme case in Jack Sock.... he has such a violent initial ISR, his racket face goes way past looking at the ground and face the back fence! the racket leading edge would even hurt the dog lol!

but, as long as this extreme racket face position is a result of the initial ISR, there is no problem, because that will only result in a big ESR move to load the shoulder, for the final ISR that hits the ball.

notice - the pad the dog racket face is NOT done by simply turning the forearm down with a pronation move... if you do that, then the 'flip' will result in a supination move that opens up the racket face.... that's why you hit the back fence when you mis-time the fh.... this is a very common mistake among amateurs.

 
#37
This was never a wrist snap thread. I had to declare some terms and definitions in the initial post in order to have the discussion. I definitely should not have selected the word "snap" for laid back wrist release. But if you read the initial post again, including the edit ... you will see this was not to be a discussion of "active" vs "not thinking about it". It was an attempt to identify the hand/wrist movements happening in the flip. The flip is the first time in 40 years of competitive tennis I ever felt I needed to understand the hand/wrist/hinge action. The flip is not the WW swing, it is an addition to it. I currently hit a decent WTA type WW FH ... relaxed wrist and grip ... never thought about shoulders, arms, wrist. Edit: did think about shoulder turn, prep, timing loop. Then I started trying to add the flip ... nothing automatic about it.
Well I started out the way I did (which I now realise sounds incredibly hostile, for which I apologise), because your post sounded like every other post on the topic I've read so far, ie 'I want to add the wrist snap to my FH, give me info'.

But now that you've clarified that this appears to be more of a 'let's really decide what the wrist is or isn't doing in the FH'-type of thread, I'll reiterate the points I made earlier (I mean the part where I spoke of wrist technique):

You cannot talk about the wrist without at some point discussing whether its involvement is 'active' or 'passive'
. I recognise that you're trying to ID what their roles are, but you can't describe what is happening without talking about whether those movements are natural (caused by the nature of the swing) or artificial (deliberately manipulated to create the look). I say with some conviction (and for several reasons, both logical and anectodal) that in most ordinary cases, it cannot and must not be the latter, as some in this thread (and Clay from TopSpeedTennis) are advocating.

The involvement of the wrist differs greatly depending on the take-back style, grip, racquet head acceleration (RHA), and even racquet mass
. This is why I say that it is not necessary to think too much about the wrist, unless you have your wrist locked with a tight grip / flexed arm. If you have either of those last two, your technique is wrong at a fundamental level, and should not be looking at wrist technique in the first place (this is what I mean by 'there are bigger fish to fry' in my earlier posts). Anyway, to provide examples of the bolded point:
  1. Take-back style: Simply put, the ATP style take-back produces more racquet flip and makes the lag more obvious. Many if not most ATP players have a vertical or diagonal positioning of the racquet at the end of the take-back (but before forward swing starts, click here for an eg of forward + diagonal positioning of the racquet when fully coiled). This results in an obvious racquet flip and lag, whereas many WTA players have a more horizontal orientation of the racquet at the end of the take-back when the player is fully coiled (click here for an eg), which results in little to no flip and / or lag. There is minimal flip in Sharapova's forehand because the racquet is for all intents and purposes, already flipped for the forward swing. Similarly, racquet lag is also minimal because as you can see, she has already turned her wrist such that the racquet is already pointing backwards and towards her left. If she swings forward, the racquet cannot 'lag' because Sharapova's arm can't stretch much further than it already has. In contrast, with Federer's take-back, the racquet's hitting face points to Federer's RHS, and the top of his racquet is pointing upwards, and towards Federer's opponent. So if he begins his forward swing, there is a whole lot more room for the racquet to dwell due to its mass before it catches up with the rest of his body, creating the 'flip' and 'lag' that we are all familiar with now. is is because there is a significantly shorter distance the racquet head needs to travel in the same short space of time between the end of the take-back and the beginning of the forward swing (which to be precise is not so much a 'pause' as it is your take-back speed decelerating at maximum coil, and your forward swing accelerating, resulting in a net velocity of 0 somewhere in-between)
  2. Grip: The more extreme your grip, the less your wrist will move no matter how loose / relaxed and 'elastic' your wrist is (@mntlblok). Basically, if you watch any pro, any racquet lag / 'snap' is almost exactly parallel to the swing-path of the forward swing, ie perpendicular to the racquet face. This makes sense, because the racquet lag and perceived 'snap' are supposed to add a fair bit of racquet head acceleration (RHA) + racquet head speed (RHS), which in turn would produce a little extra spin and power. In other words, you are releasing the elastic energy stored in your wrist to produce that extra RHA + RHS--because of this, what you don't want is your wrist to move in such a way that it goes against the path of the forward swing. With a western (W) grip, because your wrist is virtually parallel to the racquet face (aka 'under the handle'), your wrist physically cannot bend to produce that same lag that you can with an eastern (E) or semi-western (SW) grip. The movement of the wrist on the E and SW FHs should be mostly extension > neutral > flexion, rather than radial > neutral > ulnar. On an E FH grip, the movement on the forward swing is almost entirely extension > neutral > flexion, assuming you correctly have your hitting face perpendicular to the floor at all times, whereas on a SW grip, the same forward swing will require a little more radial and ulnar deviation to achieve the same perceived movement produced by an E grip. With a W grip however, extension > neutral > flexion is almost impossible because the combo of W grip and swing path will mean that direction of movement of extension > neutral > flexion is almost perpendicular to the direction in which the forward swing is going. The only way you can 'create' that sort of racquet movement with a W grip is to pronate and supinate your forearm + wrist, and that would be asking for injury, not to mention wholly unnatural and pointless. So no, wrist movement is not essential to the windshield wiper (WW) FH at all, especially if you have a W or more extreme grip. I do think though that Jack Sock and Nick Kyrgios' more elaborate, winding take-backs in a way compensate for this inability of W grips to make use of a loose elastic wrist, by essentially lengthening the swing-path and using the natural supination of the forearm with such a coiled take-back to compensate for the lost RHA that you normally get with a loose wrist on E and SW grips. On a side note, this is why I consider the claims that Nadal used to use a W grip in the first half of his career to be wrong. You just can't get that range of wrist movement at the beginning of the forward swing with a W grip.
  3. Racquet Head Acceleration (RHA): This one is obvious. Even with a relaxed wrist, you won't get much racquet lag if your RHA is anaemic. This applies at all levels--if you watch Federer's FH warm-up videos, where he's hitting at like 20% effort, with minimal footwork, and just trying to get his timing right, you'll find that his wrist doesn't 'lag' that much compared to when he's hitting harder. Similarly, if your RHA is pathetic, you won't get the racquet lag. Why? Because as some other posters on this thread may have mentioned, the lag is caused by the mass of the racquet lagging behind the arm and body. Because the power of the forehand starts with the legs + core + shoulder, and not from the arm, the arm and racquet will always lag behind your torso at the beginning of the forward swing (example here). The elasticity of your shoulder and wrist joint is partially what causes the racquet to fling forward (hence why some people draw analogies between the FH and skipping rocks on the beach). Rock & Roll tennis has a fantastic video of this concept. Of course, there is still a fair bit of work done by the arm itself, but IMO it's more about guiding your racquet to the ball than a full-on swing using the arm. Using the arm to swing the racquet for most people causes the hitting arm to tense up, which in turn locks the wrist--this would also prevent racquet lag from taking place.
  4. Racquet mass: Another obvious one. Even with a fully relaxed swing, if your racquet weighs 250 g strung, the racquet lag won't be as obvious. This is basic physics, of course. Mass is for our purposes a measurement of inertia, ie an object's resistance to a change in velocity. So the heavier the racquet, the more inertia it will have, and the more obvious the racquet lag is going to be. However, once it is in motion, a heavier racquet is going to be more difficult to stop an a light one, so once a heavy racquet reaches max speed (ie shortly before contact), it will continue going and its rate of deceleration will be lower than the rest of your body, creating the 'whippy' look of the WW FH. You can achieve a similar effect with high swing-weights or highly-polarised setups as well, even if the static weight of the racquet is not particularly high.
 
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#38
Let me ask you some questions. Do you currently hit the flip? If yes, how do you know? Have you videoed your FH? Is the video good enough to show if you get the reverse WW at the start of the butt cap pull forward? Did you take the video from behind ... that's the best angle I think.
Yes, yes, and yes. I have a coach who I've been hitting with for the last 2.5 years, and have videoed myself on a handful of occasions before. I changed my takeback to be more compact than before, but even with my old larger takeback, my wrist lag was quite extreme--the angle in which my wrist bends at the beginning of the racquet swing was about 100 degrees from neutral. The trick is that the one thing all my takebacks had in common was that the top of the racquet was always pointing upwards and slightly forwards (see the arrows), and not horizontal and pointing backwards. I am also currently consciously supinating a little less at the beginning of the forward swing to lower my launch angle and actually reduce my wrist lag.
The reason for the questions is all the claims ... "that the ATP FH w/flip just happens automatically with relaxed wrist and properly positioned and timed body parts". Sorry ... call me a skeptic ... but I would like to see a video of those "automatic" FHs. The problem is almost nobody knows for sure ... very hard to watch live and know.
I think you just don't quite understand the point I've been trying to make all along. The wrist does not make the WW FH. The WW FH is what makes the wrist do what it looks like it's doing. You've got the cause and effect relationship reversed.

If you have the correct stance, correct driver of your forehand (ie starting the forehand swing with you legs and torso, and not your arm), with the correct takeback (the ATP one in this case, not the WTA one), you will get both the racquet flip and racquet lag automatically and naturally with a loose wrist. Not because you are morally deserving of it, but because it's literally the only path in which the racquet can move if you have set yourself up correctly. Go back to the rattle drum as demonstrated in the Lock & Roll tennis video earlier. The balls attached to the strings (your arms and racquet) will lag correctly and naturally if you rotate the drum (your legs and torso) with enough acceleration.

Another example: if you swing a long metal ruler (flat side facing forwards) suddenly forwards, the end of the metal ruler furthest from you will bend backwards when you start your swing, before bending forwards by the time you stop your swing. Your wrist is basically an elastic joint that doing the same thing as that metal ruler.

If you manipulate your wrist to create the movement you are seeing in the pros' forehands as both you and Clay in TopSpeedTennis is suggesting, you are in effect trying to move the rattles attached to the rattle drum by hand, and not letting the rattles be dragged forward and flung by rotating the drum itself. Furthermore, you will run into problems because with a high speed swing, or a ball that is coming at you at 60-80 mph, how exactly are you going to deliberately supinate your forearm to force the racquet lag, then snap it forwards fast enough? Not only that, you would be forefeiting the potential / elastic energy stored in your wrist by forcing the matter rather than letting it release on your own. It's like stretching a rubber band, then pushing the projectile forwards yourself rather than letting it go of the stretched rubber band. You lose power that way, and it defeats the purpose of stretching the said rubber band in the first place.

The tl;dr version of the above is basically this: You shouldn't force a racquet flip or racquet lag. It is a byproduct of correct coiling and FH setup. John Yandell in your racquet flip thread has said as much, hasn't he? If you aren't getting either of those naturally, your technique is wrong at a fundamental level, or you are hitting a WTA-style FH. The latter is fine, the former is not.
 
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#39
it's how the action can be taught to students.

nobody is advocating 'actively' turning the door knob. it is passive.
That's good, but still I don't see turn-the-doorknob as a good teaching tool. Turning a doorknob is active. I don't see it as a helpful picture/tool for the way the racquet is suppose to be swung. Throwing the edge of the racquet I see as a lot more helpful. Now if you don't have a natural throwing motion that's not going to help either. A good teacher, not me, will have several ways of explaining the concept. But turn-the-doorknob to me doesn't convey the right actions.
 
#40
That's good, but still I don't see turn-the-doorknob as a good teaching tool. Turning a doorknob is active. I don't see it as a helpful picture/tool for the way the racquet is suppose to be swung. Throwing the edge of the racquet I see as a lot more helpful. Now if you don't have a natural throwing motion that's not going to help either. A good teacher, not me, will have several ways of explaining the concept. But turn-the-doorknob to me doesn't convey the right actions.
no problem... people learn differently.

throwing the leading edge is good... but it only helps on the forward swing.

I think most amateur's fh are screwed up during the back swing... where an incorrect supination-like move already set them up for failure, so even if they want to throw the leading edge, they can't really do it because the face is already open after the back swing.... this is why the door knob analogy is good... it teaches them what the back swing feels like.
 
#41
Yes, yes, and yes. I have a coach who I've been hitting with for the last 2.5 years, and have videoed myself on a handful of occasions before. I changed my takeback to be more compact than before, but even with my old larger takeback, my wrist lag was quite extreme--the angle in which my wrist bends at the beginning of the racquet swing was about 100 degrees from neutral. The trick is that the one thing all my takebacks had in common was that the top of the racquet was always pointing upwards and slightly forwards (see the arrows), and not horizontal and pointing backwards. I am also currently consciously supinating a little less at the beginning of the forward swing to lower my launch angle and actually reduce my wrist lag.

I think you just don't quite understand the point I've been trying to make all along. The wrist does not make the WW FH. The WW FH is what makes the wrist do what it looks like it's doing. You've got the cause and effect relationship reversed.

If you have the correct stance, correct driver of your forehand (ie starting the forehand swing with you legs and torso, and not your arm), with the correct takeback (the ATP one in this case, not the WTA one), you will get both the racquet flip and racquet lag automatically and naturally with a loose wrist. Not because you are morally deserving of it, but because it's literally the only path in which the racquet can move if you have set yourself up correctly. Go back to the rattle drum as demonstrated in the Lock & Roll tennis video earlier. The balls attached to the strings (your arms and racquet) will lag correctly and naturally if you rotate the drum (your legs and torso) with enough acceleration.

If you manipulate your wrist to create the movement you are seeing in the pros' forehands as both you and Clay in TopSpeedTennis is suggesting, you are in effect trying to move the rattles attached to the rattle drum by hand, and not letting the rattles be dragged forward and flung by rotating the drum itself. Furthermore, you will run into problems because with a high speed swing, or a ball that is coming at you at 60-80 mph, how exactly are you going to deliberately supinate your forearm to force the racquet lag, then snap it forwards fast enough? Not only that, you would be forefeiting the potential / elastic energy stored in your wrist by forcing the matter rather than letting it release on your own. It's like stretching a rubber band, then pushing the projectile forwards yourself rather than letting it go of the stretched rubber band. You lose power that way, and it defeats the purpose of stretching the said rubber band in the first place.

The tl;dr version of the above is basically this: You shouldn't force a racquet flip or racquet lag. It is a byproduct of correct coiling and FH setup. John Yandell in your racquet flip thread has said as much, hasn't he? If you aren't getting either of those naturally, your technique is wrong at a fundamental level, or you are hitting a WTA-style FH. The latter is fine, the former is not.
Man ... you gave me quite a reading assignment here. Good writing skills, btw. I will read it all tomorrow and respond. It looks like very good information. Speaking of that ... do you have a link to a good video explaining all the ISR, ESR shoulder stuff. My view has been ... still is :), that I have to understand the hand/wrist movement to understand the flip ... but never felt that way about shoulder. Ironic.

BTW ... I did read enough to see you went back to "don't do active wrist for ...". Again ... trying to define hand/wrist movements in flip ... not advocating for anything else in this thread. Unless I'm missing something, the movement should still be able to be put into words even for the "it happened naturally" FHs.
 
#42
Man ... you gave me quite a reading assignment here. Good writing skills, btw. I will read it all tomorrow and respond. It looks like very good information. Speaking of that ... do you have a link to a good video explaining all the ISR, ESR shoulder stuff. My view has been ... still is :), that I have to understand the hand/wrist movement to understand the flip ... but never felt that way about shoulder. Ironic.

BTW ... I did read enough to see you went back to "don't do active wrist for ...". Again ... trying to define hand/wrist movements in flip ... not advocating for anything else in this thread. Unless I'm missing something, the movement should still be able to be put into words even for the "it happened naturally" FHs.
No worries, I know my posts are very long. Didn't know there was a 10K character limit until today! Thanks for your compliments...I'm trying my best to explain my position, which I know is not as clear to everyone else as it is to me in my head!

About defining the hand / wrist movement in flip, even though my two posts still bang on about not doing it actively, part 1 of my post (ie not the one you quoted, but the right right before it) goes into quite a lot of detail (extensive detail, even) about what I understand the hand / wrist is doing.

Edit: I edited both posts, and the second one has one extra analogy added to it...strongly recommend you view all the links I added, even if you know the point I am trying to get across!
 

mntlblok

Professional
#43
No worries, I know my posts are very long. Didn't know there was a 10K character limit until today! Thanks for your compliments...I'm trying my best to explain my position, which I know is not as clear to everyone else as it is to me in my head!

About defining the hand / wrist movement in flip, even though my two posts still bang on about not doing it actively, part 1 of my post (ie not the one you quoted, but the right right before it) goes into quite a lot of detail (extensive detail, even) about what I understand the hand / wrist is doing.

Edit: I edited both posts, and the second one has one extra analogy added to it...strongly recommend you view all the links I added, even if you know the point I am trying to get across!
Don't see how they could be any shorter and still convey the information. My head is still spinning about having to rethink what I thought was going on with keeping the racket face on plane through contact. It appears that I'm eventually going to be convinced that rotating the humerus is enough to keep it slightly closed through the hitting/contact area, *regardless* of whether the stroke is "double bend" or straight arm - *or* even full Western. A straight arm stroke I can almost make sense of. The other two are really hurting my head. :)

I would note that "RHS" can be both "right hand side" and "racket head speed". :)

Would have to say that, at this point, it appears that both you and geca know what yer talking about. Learning is fun. :)

kb
 
#44
No worries, I know my posts are very long. Didn't know there was a 10K character limit until today! Thanks for your compliments...I'm trying my best to explain my position, which I know is not as clear to everyone else as it is to me in my head!

About defining the hand / wrist movement in flip, even though my two posts still bang on about not doing it actively, part 1 of my post (ie not the one you quoted, but the right right before it) goes into quite a lot of detail (extensive detail, even) about what I understand the hand / wrist is doing.

Edit: I edited both posts, and the second one has one extra analogy added to it...strongly recommend you view all the links I added, even if you know the point I am trying to get across!
Finished reading your posts. It reminds me of that commercial where the husband tells the wife "he has completed the internet". I want 3 Bender college credit hours.

Good posts.

I am going to divide my response into two separate posts ... the first responding to things in your post here, and the second more specific to just "the flip". In this thread, I tried to narrow the discussion by not advocating for anything ... just wanting for us to describe the hand/wrist position. Now I am going to offer opinions in areas.... some differing opinions.

These two have to go first... and bolded:

In 40 years of competitive tennis ... and whatever you call what I play now ... I have never even thought about snapping the racquet with my wrist. Dumb ... don't do it ... you will hurt yourself.

In addition ... that "flexion" wrist position in Bender's reference ... never do that with your FH ... also a great way to hurt yourself.

Good ... hopefully some newbie reads that and prevents wrist injury. Probably should be some warning about being careful adding the "flip" in general ... but there is a limit to how many body parts we can protect.

On WW ... already knew what is was. My previous definition ... I think came from an article on Optimum Tennis ... would have been "WW is simply a term describing the follow through on some FHs". Note ... never thought is had to do with active wrist WWing. Now ... after noting reverse WW motion (will talk more about that in next post) ... I have to expand the use of the term WW. (btw ... never really been much of a fan of that term ... but we do need some term for it). Now ... with the flip ... I can't simply say WW is just a description of follow through ... a reverse WW is also a description of "some" FH flips.

OK ... borrowing from the genteel Curiosity ... some "Contrarian Views":

Here is my biggest one ... and probably many will part company over this one:

I think the Rock and Roll swing drum theory ... where arms are primarily a limp noodle (Geca TM) ... is at minimum overstated, and at worse ... leading folks down a false path. That is not how our arms are working. Difference between "limp" and "relaxed" ... HUGE difference. I will come back and elaborate later ... have to run for now.

Start with my comments here:

ATP FH flip ... I'm out
 
#45
  1. Grip: The more extreme your grip, the less your wrist will move no matter how loose / relaxed and 'elastic' your wrist is (@mntlblok). Basically, if you watch any pro, any racquet lag / 'snap' is almost exactly parallel to the swing-path of the forward swing, ie perpendicular to the racquet face. This makes sense, because the racquet lag and perceived 'snap' are supposed to add a fair bit of racquet head acceleration (RHA) + racquet head speed (RHS), which in turn would produce a little extra spin and power. In other words, you are releasing the elastic energy stored in your wrist to produce that extra RHA + RHS--because of this, what you don't want is your wrist to move in such a way that it goes against the path of the forward swing. With a western (W) grip, because your wrist is virtually parallel to the racquet face (aka 'under the handle'), your wrist physically cannot bend to produce that same lag that you can with an eastern (E) or semi-western (SW) grip. The movement of the wrist on the E and SW FHs should be mostly extension > neutral > flexion, rather than radial > neutral > ulnar. On an E FH grip, the movement on the forward swing is almost entirely extension > neutral > flexion, assuming you correctly have your hitting face perpendicular to the floor at all times, whereas on a SW grip, the same forward swing will require a little more radial and ulnar deviation to achieve the same perceived movement produced by an E grip. With a W grip however, extension > neutral > flexion is almost impossible because the combo of W grip and swing path will mean that direction of movement of extension > neutral > flexion is almost perpendicular to the direction in which the forward swing is going. The only way you can 'create' that sort of racquet movement with a W grip is to pronate and supinate your forearm + wrist, and that would be asking for injury, not to mention wholly unnatural and pointless. So no, wrist movement is not essential to the windshield wiper (WW) FH at all, especially if you have a W or more extreme grip. I do think though that Jack Sock and Nick Kyrgios' more elaborate, winding take-backs in a way compensate for this inability of W grips to make use of a loose elastic wrist, by essentially lengthening the swing-path and using the natural supination of the forearm with such a coiled take-back to compensate for the lost RHA that you normally get with a loose wrist on E and SW grips. On a side note, this is why I consider the claims that Nadal used to use a W grip in the first half of his career to be wrong. You just can't get that range of wrist movement at the beginning of the forward swing with a W grip.
This was all good ... my favorite tip in there was "flip on the line of your swing path". That makes total sense ... never heard anyone express that before. I have some questions about the grip stuff. First... it occurred to me with your use of the word "flexion" you probably didn't mean past neutral ... just a direction towards neutral from a laid back wrist (which I now know is extension :) ). My comment above was about flexing wrist past neutral ... seemed like a good way to hurt a wrist. I've heard that referred to as "flipping" I think.

Interesting comment on the difference in grips ... dictating the mix of flexion and WW. (if radial - ulnar is WW ... looked like it). I just created a post where I was explaining that I can't get to the max butt cap pointing position with my Eastern grip without some supination... actually quite a bit. When I hold the racquet in front of me with my eastern grip, and lay my wrist back ... it does pretty much go in line with the racquet face. And when I roll around to Western (no way in hell I could play tennis with that grip) ... you are right again... laying back wrist doesn't go in line with racquet face. To me ... my guess is what matters is the total swing arc of the rh in the flip ... the aggregate of flexion + WW. I don't know about different grips changing the potential for that total swing arc ... will think about that some more. Certainly would be a big consideration in ATP pro grip choices.

I think we are probably just going to have to disagree on the whipping arms thing. Ironically ... my 2hbh conversion last year was a big lesson for me on that front. You tend to be tense in your tennis stroke when you are having to learn to many new things at once ... including why the hell is that left hand on the f***ing racquet. If I was tense in the shoulders and arms ... weak ass shot. If I went totally relaxed ... and tried to whip my arms from the shoulders... not even possible. Try this ... hold your arm out in front of you ... as relaxed as you can get it ... and just flip it around ... let your wrist flop. Totally relaxed right ... but that sucker weighs around 10 lbs. We don't even recognize the effort it is doing to just hold it's extended position. I just read an article that said 25% of the FH RHS is delivered via the shoulder ... and the other 75% is arm and hand. I have no idea if it is accurate... but here was the article.

It's from 2010 ... but I guess ATP FH and the flip was around then.

http://longislandtennismagazine.com/article386/biomechanics-tennis-fundamentals
 
#46
I don't get to hit topspin, anymore, but a couple of thoughts come to mind.

First, maybe I've missed something, but when you were defining the possible hinge-ings of the wrist, I didn't see anything about ulnar and radial deviation. Looks like there could be something going on in that plane.

On the laid back wrist thing and whether it stays that way on the way to the ball, I forget where I read the thing about a double pendulum that showed that if you don't physically stop the wrist from "un-laying back" on the way forward, then the physics of this double pendulum makes the "lagging" arm of these pendula tend to catch up on its own.

It's the sort of thing that Rod Cross probably has something to say about. Struck me as *most* counter-intuitive. I woulda figgered that the second segment of the double pendulum would not have caught up unless the leading one slowed down.

kb
"I didn't see anything about ulnar and radial deviation"

Sorry I didn't respond to this earlier ... I was on a Bender. :) Actually, I wouldn't have had a clue what your terms meant until Bender linked the hand chart. The short answer to your question is yes imo ... at least on some FHs.

Equal terms ... I think:
WW = radial - neutral - ulnar
Laid back wrist = extension - neutral - flexion

Don't think you want to flexion past neutral on FH ... particularly with your gloved hand.

I think this is settling out as both wrist movements ... or both at same time, can get you to that extreme butt cap position in the forward swing. I think Bender is right ... more WW with western grip ... more laid back wrist with Eastern, SW. With my eastern, and my wrist ... it takes max of both of those wrist movements to get the butt cap way past the line.
 
#48
That's good, but still I don't see turn-the-doorknob as a good teaching tool. Turning a doorknob is active. I don't see it as a helpful picture/tool for the way the racquet is suppose to be swung. Throwing the edge of the racquet I see as a lot more helpful. Now if you don't have a natural throwing motion that's not going to help either. A good teacher, not me, will have several ways of explaining the concept. But turn-the-doorknob to me doesn't convey the right actions.
I think Geca answered this below, it's not the forward swing that is the major hurdle learning the flip. It's getting to this position:



That takes some reverse WW (geca's doorknob ... clockwise). It is a way to express that thought to someone learning muscle memory. People learn differently ... pick whatever phrase or drill that works. The important part is just get to that position (or the amateur version of it) ... or all bets are off on the forward swing anyway. I know ... because on my own, it took me forever to get close to that position.

I like your "throw forward edge over the ball" except I picture the racquet too closed. When I watch slow motion FHs ... I am always amazed that the most closed hits really don't look that closed ... maybe 10 degrees ... perhaps 20 max. Maybe that is not correct ... how closed do you think the pros get.
 
#49
long ass quote was here
"the arm and racquet will always lag behind your torso at the beginning of the forward swing"

Let's talk about that. I watched a bunch of FH videos ... Nadal, Federer, Verdasco ... and it looks pretty much that arm stiffens at start of shoulder turn and hand starts moving forward.
 
#50
Learning the ATP FH without understanding what the wrist does, or does not do during the stroke would be like your shaved swimmer trying to swim without water in the pool.
The wrist doesn't do that much. It is in a slightly extended position and pretty much remains that way until just before contact. The bigger movement is forearm rotation and, to a lesser extent, upper arm rotation.
 
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