fh wrist technique "fix": popsicle stick?

backhand9

New User
My 18-yr old son's wrist has been sore on his forehand this week. An excellent tennis pro, after hearing that my son has been trying to create more topspin on his fh, doubted that it was a string/racquet issue, and suggested my son put a popsicle stick under a wrist brace so that the stick protrudes about an inch (toward the knuckles) to stop him from over-pronating. This makes sense to me, but I'm curious...has anyone recommended or used this fix? Thanks.
 

drakulie

Talk Tennis Guru
Pronating has nothing to do with the wrist, rather, with the forearm turning over, so am confused by your post.

Perhaps your son is "purposely" trying to snap his wrist, which is leading to the pain.
 

jrod

Hall of Fame
I think I understand what you mean. Drak is correct in that 'pronate' is probably not the word you wanted here, even though pronation likely happens on his follow through (but also isn't the source of his wrist pain).

It sounds like the Pro has placed the popsicle stick in a position to try and prevent your son from laying his wrist back too far. Players who do this can often mis-time the ball and it puts additional stress on the wrist and can lead to inflammation or even tendonitis developing.

The pro's fix is probably effective in that the popsicle stick would jab the back of his hand. My sense is until your son gets his timing tuned on his contact point, he probably should try and avoid doing this. The head pro at my club had developed issues with his wrist from doing exactly this and was out on rest for 6 weeks. Since then, I've been taping mine and he tapes and wears a wrist strap now when we hit.
 
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snr

Semi-Pro
I think what it is is that a lot of people are mistaking (as drak said) about pronating the forearm instead of the wrist.

Generally the wrist will rotate a little bit WITH the forearm if its loose (example Fed's forehand), but some people mistake it as acutally "wristing" to get the extra topspin.

I guess the popsticle stick would prevent the wrist from "over rotating" but I think the problem more is that your son might be using the wrist to generate the topspin instead of a forearm rotation.
 

5263

G.O.A.T.
My 18-yr old son's wrist has been sore on his forehand this week. An excellent tennis pro, after hearing that my son has been trying to create more topspin on his fh, doubted that it was a string/racquet issue, and suggested my son put a popsicle stick under a wrist brace so that the stick protrudes about an inch (toward the knuckles) to stop him from over-pronating. This makes sense to me, but I'm curious...has anyone recommended or used this fix? Thanks.
I think the pro meant to refer to wrist "extension", which can be called wrist lay back.
Maybe he feels your son is laying his wrist back too far?

Some extension is very good, but too much of anything can be bad I expect.
 

backhand9

New User
Thanks to all for the thoughtful replies.

Terminology aside, jrod's explanation was what I was thinking:

It sounds like the Pro has placed the popsicle stick in a position to try and prevent your son from laying his wrist back too far... The pro's fix is probably effective in that the popsicle stick would jab the back of his hand...
We'll see if it works. If so, it's a simple, smart (and cheap) solution.
 

jmnk

Hall of Fame
I was actually thinking that the stick would go on the other side of the wrist such that the wrist is bent at all times. kind of what Brad Gilbert's 'wrist assist' does. No?
 

GetBetterer

Hall of Fame
jmnk:
I was actually thinking that the stick would go on the other side of the wrist such that the wrist is bent at all times. kind of what Brad Gilbert's 'wrist assist' does. No?
I think that's for serves. Since in a serve, you're supposed to "push" the ball, while the wrist is what causes it to go backwards, or into different places.

Also, when he "snaps" his wrist, he may be going too far. I snap my wrist too, but by the time my wrist is straight. Maybe that's what's causing the problem. Not entirely sure though, pictures or video would help more.
 

peoplespeace

Professional
I agree with jmnk. I make more sense to have the stick protrude from the palm side of the wrist, actually a very good advice to exactly avoid "wristing" too much while ur wrist is still laid back a u can concentrate on pronating through the ball.

Getbetterer¨s reply on the other hand was totally incomprehensible (but in a funny way :)
 

Baloo

Rookie
I agree with jmnk. I make more sense to have the stick protrude from the palm side of the wrist, actually a very good advice to exactly avoid "wristing" too much while ur wrist is still laid back a u can concentrate on pronating through the ball.
Wouldn't it be easier to choke up on the handle so the the protruding part at the end catches the wrist if you release into the shot?
 

jmnk

Hall of Fame
Wouldn't it be easier to choke up on the handle so the the protruding part at the end catches the wrist if you release into the shot?
yes, exactly, at least I think so. Essentially the same concept. Which is also the reason why some actually do suggest that when hitting forehand it helps to --not-- leave the pinky off the handle (which you would do when serving for example). Not necessarily choke up, just make sure no part of your palm is outside the handle.
 
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