How do you hook a ball?

Rickson

G.O.A.T.
I'm not talking about calling lines out, I mean the famous Roddick hook forehand that looks like it's about to go out, but somehow lands inside the line. I've also seen Federer and Nadal do the hook forehand with success.

the wise wizard

Rookie
they hit the ball very carefully

AznHylite

Semi-Pro
They dont hit the ball just straight down to up for normal topspin, they hit it with side spin. I'm guessing they hit the ball from 7 to 1 or 8 to 2.

Rickson

G.O.A.T.
They dont hit the ball just straight down to up for normal topspin, they hit it with side spin. I'm guessing they hit the ball from 7 to 1 or 8 to 2.
I guess that's possible, but they sure make it look like they're hitting a topspin forehand.

TTAce

Rookie
I guess that's possible, but they sure make it look like they're hitting a topspin forehand.
topspin + side spin.

fed_the_savior

Banned
basically brush the ball in the opposite direction you want it to curve.

brush top + right = ball will curve left and down.

TTAce

Rookie
becareful on the word 'brush' though.

kimbahpnam

Hall of Fame
it seems easier to hit a hook ball when hitting a running forehand down the line.

Bagumbawalla

Hall of Fame
to get the idea, hold your arm straight down along your side-- then raise it up/out parallel to the ground. Notice that your hand has moved away from your body by about 2 and a half feet or so.

In the same way, if you hit through the ball, starting with the racket low and relatively near to the body and then drive it through the ball (as someone said, above) low to high at about a 7 to 1 o:clock (or greater) angle, you will generate the kind of spin you are talking about.

Thud and blunder

Semi-Pro
It's just topspin on a different axis.

Grizvok

Semi-Pro
Definitely a mixture of topspin and side spin on the ball, the only time I would ever use it is on the run down the line with the opponent covering the net and often you must hook the ball around them because they should be covering DTL.

Forehand_Punisher

Rookie
It's the same principle as bending a soccer ball. You need heavy side spin. It's going to take some practice.

J

Julieta

Guest
The sad thing is that if you hook your forehand, expect to get hooked in the match here and there! People call this shot out all of the time...they think its going out and when it lands inside the line, they either still see it out or they just call it anyway.

TTAce

Rookie
The sad thing is that if you hook your forehand, expect to get hooked in the match here and there! People call this shot out all of the time...they think its going out and when it lands inside the line, they either still see it out or they just call it anyway.
this is a good one!
Tell me what would you do.

EricW

Professional
The best "hook shots" are hit with a ridiculous amount of wrist action, to the point that they are forcing it. I don't recommend hitting this shot often, unless you want to injure yourself.

NiteFly

Rookie
I hit these on accident when I am trying to hit a WW forehand (incorrectly of course). If you meant the right to left movement, that is.

J

Julieta

Guest
this is a good one!
Tell me what would you do.
I suppose in reality it doesn't happen that much...but it does happen. How I react depends upon the situation.

split-step

Professional
I played a guy yesterday with TONS of action on his forehand. The spin was ridiculous. Then he started curving balls in. Very irritating when setting up to hit with my 1HBH.

Rickson

G.O.A.T.
I remember hitting a good backhand that went over the high part of the net. I can't really call it a true hook backhand, but my opponent was about to call it out when it angled in.

Mr. Blond

Professional
that 'hook' comes from huge amounts of topsin. it can sometimes have some side action also, but the motion is the same.

semi-western or full wester grip with a windshield wiper like motion gets it everytime. It is one of my favorite shots.

Forehand_Punisher

Rookie
that 'hook' comes from huge amounts of topsin. it can sometimes have some side action also, but the motion is the same.

semi-western or full wester grip with a windshield wiper like motion gets it everytime. It is one of my favorite shots.
Topspin is only going to make the ball drop at a faster rate. Sidespin is what moves it from right to left. A ball will hook with virtually no topspin.

WildVolley

Legend
Jimmy Connors used to put a lot of sidespin on his forehands(more than he would hit topspin), hooking it or slicing it out wide. For lower level players, I think that the outside-in sidespin is easier to hit; when the ball comes at your body, you can hit it in front of you with the racquet moving sideways a good bit at contact. This is much like when you take a backhand slice aggressively when it is coming at your body and it jumps to the side on contact due to the sidespin.

Hooking the ball when hitting down the line on a forehand isn't too difficult, especially if you are running quickly at contact. As you brush up the back of the ball, the racquet is also moving across the ball at a high rate of speed. You can get more action by deliberately swinging from inside your hip and then out away from your body as you stroke through the ball.

When I used to hit rather flat with an eastern forehand, I'd hit sidespin on the ball all the time to mess with my opponents. Now that I hit with an extreme eastern/semi-w, I mostly just stick with topspin.

CoachingMastery

Professional
To carve a forehand that curves from left to right, as in hooking a ball in on a down the line that starts out wide and comes back, hit around the outside of the ball, coming up hard and fast on the outer portion of the ball. This creates a ball with an axis that is tilted some degree inward, causing the ball to curve down and in.

Remember the simple physics of any moving, spinning object: the ball will curve in the direction it is spinning, relative to it's forward motion. Thus, a ball that is spinning to the left will curve to the left.

The key, of course, is to learn to hit from left to right to make the ball spin from right to left. We see it more clearly on serves but it is not that difficult to create the action on other shots once a player understands the effect of spin.

Good luck!

2nd_Serve

Professional
The best "hook shots" are hit with a ridiculous amount of wrist action, to the point that they are forcing it. I don't recommend hitting this shot often, unless you want to injure yourself.
Also, whenever the pros hook their shots, they are always running. That momentum, wrist action, and everything else is probably forcing the ball to spin incredibly. Plus the weight and stuff make the racket are spinnier than they already are.

Rickson

G.O.A.T.
To carve a forehand that curves from left to right, as in hooking a ball in on a down the line that starts out wide and comes back, hit around the outside of the ball, coming up hard and fast on the outer portion of the ball. This creates a ball with an axis that is tilted some degree inward, causing the ball to curve down and in.

Remember the simple physics of any moving, spinning object: the ball will curve in the direction it is spinning, relative to it's forward motion. Thus, a ball that is spinning to the left will curve to the left.

The key, of course, is to learn to hit from left to right to make the ball spin from right to left. We see it more clearly on serves but it is not that difficult to create the action on other shots once a player understands the effect of spin.

Good luck!
Thanks for the tips, Dave. Now how do you create a left to right spin without the racquet being in a vertical position?

Nellie

Hall of Fame
IF you hit the forehand in front of you (for example, hitting the ball inside out from the ad court), you will tend to get the strong side spin from the natural racquet path.

Rickson

G.O.A.T.
IF you hit the forehand in front of you (for example, hitting the ball inside out from the ad court), you will tend to get the strong side spin from the natural racquet path.
Yes, but we're not going inside out, we're going outside in.

CoachingMastery

Professional
The big problem for most players is they turn and face the target too early in the swing. To hit the outside of the ball on a forehand, the racquet head has to get out in front of the hand and forearm. Typically, players bring the hitting hand in too early, which in fact lays the racquet head back, when they over rotate or rotate too early into the shot.

Regardless of what grip is being used, the racquet head MUST be moving up and out, cutting up the ball so that the axix is essentially pointed to the right net post and the stroke is up the equator of this horizontal--but angled--spin axis.

A good drill to try is to keep the body and hips pointed towards the right hand fence while the player tries to hit the ball to the far left netpost. (For right handed players.) This drill and position forces the player to get the racquet head out in front of the hand and hips. Once the player starts to feel the brush and angle of spin, (as well as recognizing the flight path of the ball hit this way), they can wait on the ball and do the same thing down the line.

One of my favorite shots in college was to bring opponents to the net and hit this wicked hook down the line; everytime they thought the ball was going out yet it would hook back into the court.

Ironically, it is this same swing path that a player would use to hit a significant dipping crosscourt angle shot too.

EricW

Professional
Also, whenever the pros hook their shots, they are always running. That momentum, wrist action, and everything else is probably forcing the ball to spin incredibly. Plus the weight and stuff make the racket are spinnier than they already are.
Exactly! Just as the lift (the player's body moving upward, steepening the racquet path) in the sit and lift forehand is used to create extra topspin, the movement from right to left in the hook forehand is used to create extra left to right side-spin.

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Forehand_Punisher

Rookie
Yes, but we're not going inside out, we're going outside in.
Your response was to this:

"IF you hit the forehand in front of you (for example, hitting the ball inside out from the ad court), you will tend to get the strong side spin from the natural racquet path."

He was talking about being in the ad court. A strong inside out shot will curve perfectly from left to right, and is a much more natural shot than hooking one from right to left from the deuce side of the court. The point was to show an easier way to get the ball to hook.

tennisdad65

Hall of Fame
I have seen nadal do this twice with on the run passing shots down the line. Once against murray and again today against shuttler. That is some awesome skill level..

But the ball has to be knee height or lower to be able to put the curving side spin.

Rui

Semi-Pro
Hook 'Em

The hook is very useful. Not only can you hook your forehand down the line, but with a little adjustment, you can yank it cross court. It is also very useful for any low forehand that you normally couldn't topspin.

Dupree

Banned
Ok, so this "hooking" thing that you're all talking about, does it work on a regular forehand like at chest/belly height? Cause I can't picture all this at that height, now, if it were like at shoulder height or slightly above, then you could hit it from right to left and impart that spin.

So are you all reffering to a low forehand like at knee height or slightly below, which you hit with the racket head down almost vertically upside-down? because then it would be easy to hit that shot

ProfoundBasic

Rookie
you can hit hook shot from any height.

EricW

Professional
Ok, so this "hooking" thing that you're all talking about, does it work on a regular forehand like at chest/belly height? Cause I can't picture all this at that height, now, if it were like at shoulder height or slightly above, then you could hit it from right to left and impart that spin.

So are you all reffering to a low forehand like at knee height or slightly below, which you hit with the racket head down almost vertically upside-down? because then it would be easy to hit that shot
Hitting the ball from right to left will impart left to right spin. The hook forehand is hit left to right in order to impart right to left spin. (Confusing, I know.)

Rickson

G.O.A.T.
Dave is the man! I need more input from others too, damn it!

Forehand_Punisher

Rookie
Video of the "hook"

In this compilation of passing shots there are a few examples of the "hook" shot. Rafael Nadal is second after Roddick and there is a slo mo of exactly how to hit this shot.

Around 2:40, Federer hits a nice "baby curve" on the backhand side for a winner.

At about 3:40 in the video Andy Roddick hits a sweet forehand pass on Djokovic. Hawkeye even shows the curve of the ball. Great shot.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BDGgZUNn2_c

wetmartini

New User
swing inside to out (actually not as difficult as it sounds as the natural forehand swing rotation is a bit inside to out - but must be exaggerated to impart lots of sidespin). start with the racket very close to your body and make contact with the ball as you swing the racket out, away from your body. it is still going to be mostly topspin as it is probably impossible to swing straight inside out and it is much easier to generate upward racket head speed than sideways head speed. still, there should be enough sidespin to make the ball "hook." i'll try to find an example on youtube and post it.

wetmartini

New User
well, you can't see the result of this shot but i'd be willing to bet large sums of money this was a down the line hook. the inside out swing path is very pronounced in this clip of Nadal, which leads to another point - this type of swing usually, if not always, ends up with a reverse follow through.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sQMH1J_mlc4

wetmartini

New User
I have seen nadal do this twice with on the run passing shots down the line. Once against murray and again today against shuttler. That is some awesome skill level..

But the ball has to be knee height or lower to be able to put the curving side spin.

i forgot to mention that the racket facealso has to remain "closed" (facing down the line, possibly a little to the left of it) otherwise you will just end up pushing the ball out to the right (or left, for lefties). tennis dad is absolutely right as well (though you could probably go a little higher than knee level). just think of the arm like a clock's pendulum - at the bottom of the arc it is swinging more sideways. higher up, it can only swing vertically (until it reaches near the top).

Forehand_Punisher

Rookie
well, you can't see the result of this shot but i'd be willing to bet large sums of money this was a down the line hook. the inside out swing path is very pronounced in this clip of Nadal, which leads to another point - this type of swing usually, if not always, ends up with a reverse follow through.
Much better video posted before yours.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BDGgZUNn2_c

Now that's how you hook a ball.

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Forehand_Punisher

Rookie
I wanted to post a video where we could clearly see the inside out swing motion irrespective of what we could see of the ball.
It's apparent you just didn't read the post above yours first. No problem.

wetmartini

New User
It's apparent you just didn't read the post above yours first. No problem.
I read it and clicked the video and watched the entire thing before posting. No need to be rude pal. No one here is trying to trivialize your posts or contributions.

Caladbolg

Banned
In this compilation of passing shots there are a few examples of the "hook" shot. Rafael Nadal is second after Roddick and there is a slo mo of exactly how to hit this shot.

Around 2:40, Federer hits a nice "baby curve" on the backhand side for a winner.

At about 3:40 in the video Andy Roddick hits a sweet forehand pass on Djokovic. Hawkeye even shows the curve of the ball. Great shot.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BDGgZUNn2_c
Federer's backhand winner there wasn't a hook, he was wide, it was actually a straight shot.

Rickson

G.O.A.T.
Roddick's hook on Djokovic was awesome.

Bungalo Bill

G.O.A.T.
The sad thing is that if you hook your forehand, expect to get hooked in the match here and there! People call this shot out all of the time...they think its going out and when it lands inside the line, they either still see it out or they just call it anyway.

Interesting perspective. I am in full agreement.

On some of the serves I hit, some players call the ball out before it even lands! Especially those that curve out and then curve back in.

Some of them actually turn away as if they got the call right knowing full well they spoke too soon. Nine times out of ten, when challenged, they reverse the call.

albino smurf

Professional
I had one of those today. After about ten seconds the guy looks up and says, no it was in. I was getting ready to take my second serve and just figured it was real close but out.

OP: snap it right on impact. windshield wipe the tar out of it.

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Rickson

G.O.A.T.
OK, I'll wipe the **** out of the ball.

dropaced333

New User
one main way to do this is what is called a buggy whip shot, which basically works like this... when you strike the ball, you really don't swing forward much at all... watch andy roddick in this rally, and watch when the opponent hits the short volley, roddick runs up and hits the buggy whip, although you don't see the full effects of this shot, that's basically how it's hit, but you need to hit the ball when it's fairly low in order for it to work

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iym4Dj1K-as