How long do you hold the Racket with your off hand?

FailBetter

Semi-Pro
On your forehand, how long do you hold the racket with your off hand?

I feel like i do it to long. Separating earlier seems to help turning more and feeling the racket weight better.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
Full unit turn. For the forehand, my off-hand stays on racket (nearly) all the way to a position in front of the dominant (hitting) shoulder. In other words, the non-dominant hand helps to prepare the racquet all the way to the back shoulder for the Fh.

 
I let it go too soon. Still follow the turn with my off hand (to an lesser extent), but without it actually touching the racquet. I can rectify this when just practice hitting, but once the match starts I can't force myself to think of it. Hopefully I'll fix it for good. There's some umph and free power I'm missing on because of it. So, don't worry, what you're doing is fine.
 

Chas Tennis

G.O.A.T.
The off arm is often used for a purpose in the forehand. The off arm can speed up the turning of the uppermost body for adding to racket head speed. First, the off arm is accelerated/turned to the front while being held out high and near straight. (Maximizes the moment of inertia for the off arm.) This is timed just before the forward swing. (see details in high speed videos). When up to desired speed, the off arm is pulled into the body and this speeds up the turning of the body and or uppermost body.
The arm can be accelerated less, or not pulled all the way in to lessen the angular momentum transferred to the uppermost body.

You can demonstrate this and its feeling by holding a light weight (1 lb dumbbell or can of soup) in your off hand and doing what you see in high speed videos of forehands. High speed is not necessary for the demo.

This will speed up the rotation of the uppermost body or the body depending on how the muscles of the abdomen are used.

The principle applied is conservation of momentum and this is the same principle used by the spinning ice skater. But the ice skater pulls in two arms and a leg to get much more rotational speed.

It is possible that the timing of the off arm being pulled in is used to help time the stroke for impact. ??

Once you see it in high speed videos of the forehand, you always see it from then on...................

Study also separation and uppermost body turn (the line between the two shoulders).

Curiosity has posted on this use of the forehand off arm and on a similar purpose for bringing down the tossing arm for the serve.
 
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EddieBrock

Professional
My whole life I've let off the racket immediately and just turned my shoulder with the left arm pointing towards the ball. Now that I'm holding onto the racket with my left hand longer how do I adjust to the spacing? I feel like I get jammed if I keep my off hand on the racket
 

TheIntrovert

Hall of Fame
C
My whole life I've let off the racket immediately and just turned my shoulder with the left arm pointing towards the ball. Now that I'm holding onto the racket with my left hand longer how do I adjust to the spacing? I feel like I get jammed if I keep my off hand on the racket
Youre probably in that case contacting the ball too far back. Need to do it further in front. Have any videos?
 
C

Chadalina

Guest
On your forehand, how long do you hold the racket with your off hand?

I feel like i do it to long. Separating earlier seems to help turning more and feeling the racket weight better.
To about 230 on the clock, then the left side turns my head. Need a flexable core to make it work.

Im 1h bh so my left hand holds the throat unless im prepping. Hit and relax
 

kramer woodie

Professional
To about 230 on the clock, then the left side turns my head. Need a flexable core to make it work.

Im 1h bh so my left hand holds the throat unless im prepping. Hit and relax
It, the left hand on a right handers forehand, does let go of the racquet throat about 2:30. The front left shoulder is always 12:00 regardless of the amount of coil. Those with great flexibility will sometimes have their left shoulder blade facing the net, but the shoulder is always referenced as pointing to 12:00.

Now, that left hand also when letting go of the racquet throat still has another job to do. It is used as a pointer to maintain ball spacing and a contact reference point out in front of the body, when hitting open stance, or in front of the left foot when hitting neutral stance. More or less the left hand is saying to your brain, hit the ball out there!

Shalom
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru


My whole life I've let off the racket immediately and just turned my shoulder with the left arm pointing towards the ball. Now that I'm holding onto the racket with my left hand longer how do I adjust to the spacing? I feel like I get jammed if I keep my off hand on the racket
Once you perform your unit turn with both hands on the racket, the non-dominant hand comes off the throat of the racket and extends out to the side (more or less parallel to the net) as seen in the image above. The off-arm will stay in this extended position for a little while (half a second to more than a full second) before it moves forward. As long as your feet are in a semi-open or a neutral stance at this time, you can use your extended hand/arm to measure your spacing to the incoming ball. Your extended hand should line up, more or less, to the incoming ball. If the ball appears to be coming in toward your elbow rather than your hand, then you need to increase your spacing by adjusting your feet (one or both feet).

Take a look at the Federer video in post #5. After 0:46 to nearly 0:48, we see that Roger is extending his left arm to the side before his racket starts to drop (right after his unit turn). We see Kevin Garlington doing this about 1:18 and 1:30 in post #3. Andy M does this in the 2nd image below (after his unit turn). However his stance is nearly fully open, with his upper torso is fully coiled, so the ball might not be coming exactly toward his outstretched hand. Try measuring first with neutral and semi-open stances before doing so with more fully open stances like this.

 

EddieBrock

Professional




Once you perform your unit turn with both hands on the racket, the non-dominant hand comes off the throat of the racket and extends out to the side (more or less parallel to the net) as seen in the image above. The off-arm will stay in this extended position for a little while (half a second to more than a full second) before it moves forward. As long as your feet are in a semi-open or a neutral stance at this time, you can use your extended hand/arm to measure your spacing to the incoming ball. Your extended hand should line up, more or less, to the incoming ball. If the ball appears to be coming in toward your elbow rather than your hand, then you need to increase your spacing by adjusting your feet (one or both feet).

Take a look at the Federer video in post #5. After 0:46 to nearly 0:48, we see that Roger is extending his left arm to the side before his racket starts to drop (right after his unit turn). We see Kevin Garlington doing this about 1:18 and 1:30 in post #3. Andy M does this in the 2nd image below (after his unit turn). However his stance is nearly fully open, with his upper torso is fully coiled, so the ball might not be coming exactly toward his outstretched hand. Try measuring first with neutral and semi-open stances before doing so with more fully open stances like this.

I think the issue may be when I keep my left hand on the racket my left arm is bent like you see in the Feel Tennis thumbnail on the 2nd post here. What I'm used to doing is to extend my left arm out and point towards the ball. Having that arm out helps to to know where to position myself before the ball bounces. So if I keep my left hand bent on the racket until the ball bounces and then extend out towards the side fence and parallel to the baseline it's too late to position my body and I get jammed.

When you look a the video with Federer that you referenced or with the Tennis Domination video is looks like they keep their non-dominant hand on the racket with their straight. I like what he does in video below where he turns with the non-dominant hand but then takes it off the racket and for spacing and so he has the racket back already. I think maybe when I'm trying to keep my left hand on the racket I'm not taking the racket back and also holding it too long and too close.

 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
I think the issue may be when I keep my left hand on the racket my left arm is bent like you see in the Feel Tennis thumbnail on the 2nd post here. What I'm used to doing is to extend my left arm out and point towards the ball. Having that arm out helps to to know where to position myself before the ball bounces. So if I keep my left hand bent on the racket until the ball bounces and then extend out towards the side fence and parallel to the baseline it's too late to position my body and I get jammed.

When you look a the video with Federer that you referenced or with the Tennis Domination video is looks like they keep their non-dominant hand on the racket with their straight. I like what he does in video below where he turns with the non-dominant hand but then takes it off the racket and for spacing and so he has the racket back already. I think maybe when I'm trying to keep my left hand on the racket I'm not taking the racket back and also holding it too long and too close.

Pointing at the incoming ball is a very old school approach. Intially bringing the non-dominant arm back further (on the racket), like Agassi and more modern players, promotes a better unit turn -- the racket is not yanked back with just the racket arm. And pointing at the incoming ball doesn't help with spacing as much as extension to the side.

Many elite players will keep the off hand on the racket throat until it is front if the midline of the body or until it is in front of the back shoulder. In either case, it should be relatively easy to straighten the arm and extend it to the side. Players who let go before the off hand reaches the front shoulder will usually not get a good spatial reference to the incoming ball.
 
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Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
I personally see improper use of the off hand as one of the major flaws in lower level rec players. They all come off too early or fail to even use the off hand at all. I'm not sure I've seen a lot of coaches reinforcing this fundamental as much as they should.
 

ChaelAZ

G.O.A.T.
All I know is, I need to utilize holding longer than I do to ensure a better unit turn and to get set on the tackback better. I release pertty early.
 

EddieBrock

Professional
Pointing at the incoming ball is a very old school approach. Intially bringing the non-dominant arm back further (on the racket), like Agassi and more modern players, promotes a better unit turn -- the racket is not ysnked back with just the dominant arm. And pointing at the incoming ball doesn't help with spacing as much as extension to the side.

Many elite players will keep the off hand on the racket throat until it is front if the midline of the body or until it is in front of the back shoulder. In either case, it should be relatively easy to straighten the arm and extend it to the side. Players who let go before the off hand reaches the front shoulder will usually not get a good spatial reference to the incoming ball.
What do you think about Jeff Salzensetin's advice to avoid getting jammed? I'm sure keeping your off hand on the racket longer works, but since I grew up pointing at the ball and am having trouble with spacing would simply turning and pointing my off arm parallel to the baseline get me the same spatial reference and enable me to have a proper unit turn?

 

FailBetter

Semi-Pro
What do you think about Jeff Salzensetin's advice to avoid getting jammed? I'm sure keeping your off hand on the racket longer works, but since I grew up pointing at the ball and am having trouble with spacing would simply turning and pointing my off arm parallel to the baseline get me the same spatial reference and enable me to have a proper unit turn?

Yea i think if u have good shoulder turn without holding it, u will be ok to. there are pros holding it longer and some dont... tsitsipas comes to my mind.

I think my problem is that im stuck to long in that 2:30 position and then dont have time to go further back with my arm and everything gets short and quick
 

Chas Tennis

G.O.A.T.
All I know is, I need to utilize holding longer than I do to ensure a better unit turn and to get set on the tackback better. I release pertty early.
The slow motion at the beginning seems to show the off arm accelerated forward, to the side and back but not brought in quickly with timing. ?

At 1:09 the off arm is brought in (maybe not enough) and maybe the pull in added to the uppermost body rotation speed. ? This looks more like the purposeful use of the off arm. But this is a fast shot, maybe there's pressure or aggression, maybe form can't be ideal. ?

Good one at 1:53. Does forearm point forward for high level players or pull more in towards the uppermost body's rotation axis? Study that detail. Compare to high level players. Maybe a camera view from in front and on a line 45 d to the trajectory (to right of player or left? ) would be useful in showing the off arm orientation. ? Risk to camera.................telephoto?


Believe that I had pointed out your off arm use earlier. ? I forget that you also have some arm or shoulder limitations that might affect this motion?
 
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ChaelAZ

G.O.A.T.
The slow motion at the beginning seems to show the off arm accelerated forward, to the side and back but not brought in quickly with timing. ? At 1:09 the off arm is brought in (maybe not enough) and maybe the pull in added to the uppermost body rotation. This looks more like the purposeful use of the off arm. But this is a fast shot and maybe pressure or maybe aggressive, maybe form can't be ideal. Better to compare to high level players.


Believe that I have pointed out the off arm use earlier. ? I forget that you also have some arm or shoulder limitations that might affect this motion?

Thanks as always Chas. I have improved my range of motion, so the off arm stuff is just leftover baggage I need to work on. For me I don't feel it is limiting my forehand as much as other things. So honestly I haven't done much about it. I've tried to exaggerate the take back with the off arm in a few practices - keeping the raquet head up instead of flatter like I do, holding the throat to help rotate the upper body more, releasing and poking the hand out and then pulling back in the elbow and rotating the hand...pointing at the ball and all sorts of things I see pro's do. Overall it just doesn't feel natural so I need to find a better way to improve it within my swing. I have been doing better with is making sure I pull the elbow back more to keep my off arm from stopping rotation. That was a big issue for me when starting this forehand journey and it kept me from make better forward contact. So I do think it is purposeful, and certianly I won't acheive ideal form. Just trying to create my authentic swing (insert my usual Bagger Vance clips here). Cheers!
 

TennisCJC

Legend
Not long enough is my answer. I've been playing 40+ years and still struggle with pulling the off arm out too soon. I do tend to take the racket back to prep with off hand on the throat but I sometimes drop and pull it in to the off side of my body too soon.
 

34n

Semi-Pro
Not long enough is my answer. I've been playing 40+ years and still struggle with pulling the off arm out too soon. I do tend to take the racket back to prep with off hand on the throat but I sometimes drop and pull it in to the off side of my body too soon.
Don't worry. Rod Laver won 2 slams and never bothered with holding his racket in two hands. ))

 

Dan Huben

Semi-Pro
The Garlinton video makes sense to me. I have an incomplete prep on the forehand and now that I’ve seen the turn then the prep on the video I see my hitch in his demo.

So I hold the racquet quite long with two hands ideal per the video. But the length is poor.

So now that I’ve tried some shadow swings and feel the complete turn how do you employ against faster balls without abbreviating the turn.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
 

EddieBrock

Professional
To me it seems like as long as you get your shoulders turned, your core engaged, and have good spacing what's the point of holding your off hand on the racket? I don't feel like I have any more control or power when I do that. Pointing my left hand at the ball was not turning enough, but now I'm getting it pointed parallel to the baseline so I think I'm doing the right thing.
 

TheTennisNoob

New User
I don't see a lot of people doing this in my area but I hold my racket with my offhand with my dominant hand hovering just slightly in a forehand position the reason I do this is for a faster switch to a backhand the moment I see movement on my right is when my left hand is no longer touching my racket. It also helps when theres unexpected spin on a ball and I need a quick turn to either side
 

Curious

Legend
I don't see a lot of people doing this in my area but I hold my racket with my offhand with my dominant hand hovering just slightly in a forehand position the reason
Interesting. How much of the holding does your nondominant hand do in the ready position, and even during the take back?
My guess for rec players is 10%! Would it be better to increase this to 70%? What do you guys reckon?
 

TheTennisNoob

New User
Interesting. How much of the holding does your nondominant hand do in the ready position, and even during the take back?
My guess for rec players is 10%! Would it be better to increase this to 70%? What do you guys reckon?
In ready position it's 100% my non-dominant on the take back it's 98% my dominant because I do a quick passover while already moving my dominant back
 

Curious

Legend
In ready position it's 100% my non-dominant on the take back it's 98% my dominant because I do a quick passover while already moving my dominant back
Why not still hold mostly with nondominant hand during the take back? It ensures your dominant hand , arm stay relaxed longer before forward swing.
 

Chas Tennis

G.O.A.T.
Why not still hold mostly with nondominant hand during the take back? It ensures your dominant hand , arm stay relaxed longer before forward swing.
How do you prioritize what to study first for tennis strokes?

1 - Poster's thoughts about what should be done and why.

2 - Observations of what pro players are doing, as in high speed videos, and why that might be.

3 - Observations of what lower level players are doing.

4 - ______??______ should come first.
 

TheTennisNoob

New User
Why not still hold mostly with nondominant hand during the take back? It ensures your dominant hand , arm stay relaxed longer before forward swing.
I guess some people can do that but I like to do what feels good especially in flow like movement it's helped improve my reactions when used with a spilt step and it helps my volley game as well
 

Curious

Legend
How do you prioritize what to study first for tennis strokes?

1 - Poster's thoughts about what should be done and why.

2 - Observations of what pro players are doing, as in high speed videos, and why that might be.

3 - Observations of what lower level players are doing.

4 - ______??______ should come first.
I don’t know, just brainstorming like Djoker’s letter to Craig Tiley!:p
 

Chas Tennis

G.O.A.T.
Why not still hold mostly with nondominant hand during the take back? It ensures your dominant hand , arm stay relaxed longer before forward swing.
A good standard to always be aware of - is what the pro's are doing and to say what the pros are doing. For example, say all/many/most/some/few/no pro players "still hold mostly with nondominant hand during the take back". Looking at 10 videos of the pro forehand take back - not much time - should at least get whether 'many' or 'few' hold mostly or don't.
 
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J011yroger

Talk Tennis Guru
How do you prioritize what to study first for tennis strokes?

1 - Poster's thoughts about what should be done and why.

2 - Observations of what pro players are doing, as in high speed videos, and why that might be.

3 - Observations of what lower level players are doing.

4 - ______??______ should come first.
For me the first thing on the list is the 2 feet surrounding contact on a world class stroke and the last thing on the list is poster's thoughts about what should be done and why.

J
 
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