How fast are your takebacks?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by oldhacker, May 2, 2007.

  1. oldhacker

    oldhacker Semi-Pro

    Feb 8, 2007
    The more I try to figure out this darn game the more I think early preparation and balance are more important than just about anything else and seeing as I can hit pretty nice shots consistantly on both sides if I am fed easy balls but in real play it does not happen and I feel rushed I figured my preparation must be slow even though it does not feel it. So I videoed myself and watched the playback from behind the sofa and what I noticed was that while I am pretty good at moving to the ball (I react well before the incoming ball reaches the net) my takeback on the backhand and forehand is late and looks very slow - especially on the BH side.

    Does anyone have any tips for working on starting takeback earlier (ie while moving to the ball) and how fast should the takeback be? Should you hear your racquet whoosh through the air on takeback or should it be slower?

    Funnily enough I also discovered that my takeback on serve is too fast. Watching the pros they seem to take the racquet back and up very slowly so that they reach their highest (trophy) arm and racquet position as the tossing arm becomes fully extended. But I noticed that my racquet get up there well before my tossing arm is fully extended and has already dropped ready to hit. Is this a big problem and, if so, any tips on slowing down.
  2. Bagumbawalla

    Bagumbawalla Hall of Fame

    Jun 24, 2006
    My guess, from the information given, it you have developed a bad habit and you need to spend some time replacing it with something mor effective.

    The fact that you get to the ball is a positive thing, but it is only part of the chain of events that makes for good stroke mechanics.

    1) You see the ball come off the opponent's racket. You realize which general direction it is going.

    2) You turn and head for the anticipated placement of the ball. At this point you should be ALREADY preparing your racket- moving it forehand or backhand and changing your grip.

    3) Take small steps and position yourself to strike the ball from the best position you can achieve. Begin with the larger muscles of the legs and hips to initiate the stroke.

    4) keeping your eye on the ball stroke cleanly and solidly. Direct your momentum THROUGH the ball.

    My guess is you are waiting till the ball srtikes the ground to take your racket back. How can you break this habit?

    I suggest that you go to a hitting wall and add some weight to the head of your racket. Tape a paperback novel to the throat of the racket (or something about 4.0 oz, or so). Practic your strokes at a mediun pace. Unless you start preparing your racket EARLY you will have no chance of hitting the ball.

    Do this enough so you get the idea of when to start preparing, but not so long that you over-exert your arm. Repeat as necessary when you fall back into bad habits.

    Good luck,

  3. Plisken

    Plisken New User

    Mar 18, 2007
    Chatsworth Californa
    uummm after the person hits the ball i swing back while running at the ball get into whee the balls headed then have a clean swing(my friend told me to do it like this)
  4. fuzz nation

    fuzz nation Legend

    Oct 20, 2006
    My issue in my service motion a while back was that I needed to wait until the racquet was back above my shoulder and ready to fire before I tossed the ball or my motion would get rushed in trying to catch up to an early toss. The toss needs to contribute to a smooth rhythm and smoother should be much more consistent.

    How fast to take the racquet back? Watch a little footage of Venus or Serena hitting strokes; nobody is better at that first move when taking the racquet back.
  5. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

    Dec 20, 2006
    Regarding OP, are you fully extended with your racquet arm and at the furthest point just before your takeback goes into a forward swing; and have you completed your unit turn - you've got your weight on your right leg, with your right foot pointing to the sidelines and - after a full shoulder turn which has been assisted via drawing the racquet back with both hands on the racquet - and your right arm has just seperated and is parallel to net... now... (and I think that just about covers it)... here's the thing - have you done all this BEFORE the ball has bounced?

    According to recent research on so-called 'millenium fh', it's what we're meant to be doing (it's pro technique.) I have to say it's been working for me, I think.

    Interested to know what other reckon to this though.
  6. smoothtennis

    smoothtennis Hall of Fame

    May 8, 2007
    Fort Worth, TX
    I agree. I take mine back early and slow, but not ridiculously early. As soon as I see where the ball in going, and I have taken that first step to setup, I am already *smoothly* turning my shoulders. Then instead of failing around trying to get my racket into position to hit the ball, I am already ready to hit. I only have to concentrate on the ball, contact zone, and a smooth release.

    I have seen what you are talking about from many 3.0 - 3.5 guys. Not all, but many. That late takeback is a timing and balance KILLER. What I have observed is some guys will do the takeback like it is part of the stroke, rather than a preperation to stroke. A big difference! They have no option usually then, but to slap at the ball and mistime it. See...too much is going on at the last minute and various ball bounces guarantee you will be inconsitent with a late takeback.

    Iron your clothes before you put them on right? Don't iron them as you are putting them on.

    You make a good observation on balance! If a person is not balanced, they are immediatly robbed of power and control before they even swing.

    I am not qualified to instruct, but a quick trick to get that takeback going early, is when you see the ball coming over the net, point your opposite shoulder toward the ball (unit turning). Don't think takeback, think turn those shoulders....the racket should automatically rotate back. Just think load and release as the ball approaches. Good luck!

    PS. I assume you have both hands on the racket during your unit turn!
  7. zapvor

    zapvor G.O.A.T.

    Jul 27, 2006
    tennis courts
    i have trouble with takeback too because i use a super loopy swing (you can see my wind up in the Mid-atlantic thread in Odds& Ends) so this thread is pretty helpful. i will try to incoproate the tips mentioned and see! thanks
  8. SFtennisGG

    SFtennisGG Rookie

    Oct 14, 2006
    If you are having trouble with early take back, get your racquet back as soon as your opp. hits it and you know which side its going to. Many people run to the ball first, instead of taking back their swing and thats when it becomes too late, especially if you have a slow take back and your footwork isnt up to par.

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