Is there specific technique for dropping the racket in FH, BH STROKES?

user92626

G.O.A.T.
1. I vaguely remember Jolly said we got to drop our fist slightly below the CP.

2. And I discovered that I should maintain the wrist position, not flex it. Right?

3. Racket head must stay above the ball until before the forward swing. Right?

4. The movement that causes the racket head to point at back fence is completely unconscious, unaware, 100% automatic. Right?
 

Chas Tennis

G.O.A.T.
Yes.

On the 1HBH & 2HBH drives the racket shaft in videos shows that it is very often tilted down (sub-motion) to lower the racket head. Check if for all grips. ?

Compare backhands from each compilation. See Djokovic in first clip.
To single frame on Youtube, go full screen, stop video at impact, use the period & comma keys.

The racket may tilt down at times and perhaps the entire circular path diameter might be tilted. ? No strong conclusion, look these forehands over.
 
Last edited:

user92626

G.O.A.T.
If I focus on finishing the stroke over my shoulder, I find that my racket face naturally drops below the level of the ball. Other than that, I don’t think about it.

Oh nice. When you compare your strokes side to side with a pro, are you happy with it? Do yours kinda resemble pro's? Although we're rec players we can see efficiency and effectiveness.

Another question to over think more: how much drop is required?
That's instruction #1 above. Didn't you read? :)
 

user92626

G.O.A.T.
Relaxation, including relaxed grip, is the primary technique I employ — let gravity do most of the work.
I never get the gravity concept despite seeing it suggested alot here.

During hitting I'm all rushing and energetic, I can't feel the subtle force of gravity.

I tend to perform actions through visuals, like, tracking the ball bounce position with sight which guides my leg movements.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Bionic Poster
I never get the gravity concept despite seeing it suggested alot here.

During hitting I'm all rushing and energetic, I can't feel the subtle force of gravity.

I tend to perform actions through visuals, like, tracking the ball bounce position with sight which guides my leg movements.
If your grip is too tight, you won't feel it. Grip force should be about 2 (or 3) where 10 = full grip strength.

With a relaxed grip and a relaxed arm, you should be able to feel the racket head falling (due to gravity). Try it with eyes closed if needed. If your grip is too tight, you won't be able to feel the racket head position (or movement).
 

TennisCJC

Legend
The Tennis Speed Blog says Federer and Nadal only swing upwards about 18 degrees from the lowest point to just past contact. The forehands studied had roughly 2,500 rpm. Eventually, you run out of extension and the racket pulls up but 18 degrees isn't a steep path upwards. If you get the entire racket head just below the contact point that's about all you need. Tennis is dynamic and this may vary. For example, if you are whiping up on a really low ball or pulling up sharply because you are late or on the run.
 

Chas Tennis

G.O.A.T.
Post showing lowering for 1HBHs. See especially video of Justine Henin at 1:07.
 
Last edited:

Fintft

G.O.A.T.
If your grip is too tight, you won't feel it. Grip force should be about 2 (or 3) where 10 = full grip strength.

With a relaxed grip and a relaxed arm, you should be able to feel the racket head falling (due to gravity). Try it with eyes closed if needed. If your grip is too tight, you won't be able to feel the racket head position (or movement).
You and Bollettieri...

OP, two more points:

a) You do, of course, have to be with the racquet in your furthest back position before the ball bounce (ideally before the ball crosses the net).
b) You can't start your swing/drop too late....
 

user92626

G.O.A.T.
The Tennis Speed Blog says Federer and Nadal only swing upwards about 18 degrees from the lowest point to just past contact. The forehands studied had roughly 2,500 rpm. Eventually, you run out of extension and the racket pulls up but 18 degrees isn't a steep path upwards. If you get the entire racket head just below the contact point that's about all you need. Tennis is dynamic and this may vary. For example, if you are whiping up on a really low ball or pulling up sharply because you are late or on the run.
Excellent info.Very specific. Thanks.
 

user92626

G.O.A.T.
You and Bollettieri...

OP, two more points:

a) You do, of course, have to be with the racquet in your furthest back position before the ball bounce (ideally before the ball crosses the net).
b) You can't start your swing/drop too late....
Regarding your a.

Which frame is that "furthest back position "? The "racket head pointing to back fence" frame?
 

user92626

G.O.A.T.
Depends on intended pace, depth, distance from the net while hitting the ball. In a nutshell you need a varying steepness of low to high swing depending on the situation.
Those are internal calculations for me.

For external, visual cue / pt of ref, what do u use? Or, u just drop your racket randomly willy nilly?
 

SystemicAnomaly

Bionic Poster
You and Bollettieri...

OP, two more points:

a) You do, of course, have to be with the racquet in your furthest back position before the ball bounce (ideally before the ball crosses the net).
b) You can't start your swing/drop too late....
Furthest back position? Not sure exactly what you meant by this. The "set" position at the end of the unit turn?

The unit turn should typically start as the ball is going to cross the net. Since some balls will bounce short (inside the service boxes) and other balls will bounce deep (in NML), I prefer to use the service line as a reference. If you are in the vicinity of the BL, then your unit turn should be completed about the time the ball is crossing the service line (whether it has bounced yet or not).

It should be a full unit turn at that point, with both hands and the racket even with the back shoulder (esp for the Fh) or a little bit further back. From that "set" position, the racket head will naturally move thru a slight arc as it falls.

forehand-unit-turn.jpg


 

user92626

G.O.A.T.
Furthest back position? Not sure exactly what you meant by this. The "set" position at the end of the unit turn?

The unit turn should typically start as the ball is going to cross the net. Since some balls will bounce short (inside the service boxes) and other balls will bounce deep (in NML), I prefer to use the service line as a reference. If you are in the vicinity of the BL, then your unit turn should be completed about the time the ball is crossing the service line (whether it has bounced yet or not).

It should be a full unit turn at that point, with both hands and the racket even with the back shoulder (esp for the Fh) or a little bit further back. From that "set" position, the racket head will naturally move thru a slight arc as it falls.




Let me ask you:

When your unit turn is completed (non-dom hand letting go of the racket?), is there any more technical mechanics that I should be aware of to implement? For example, in my OP, I point out there's the specific racket drop level that I need to be aware of. Do you understand my question?
 

Curious

G.O.A.T.
Where's the argumentative Curious that I knew? Hehehe or, does he only show up to "greet" Ballmachineguy?

But ok.
Ok then. My brain ‘feels’ it by using some external, visual stimuli of course. Don’t know what they are. I can find out though if you let me think about it a couple of years!
 

user92626

G.O.A.T.

Good clip but imo NOT details enough! I think this is why many guys aren't consistent, ie sometimes they bat the ball well, sometimes into the net or sail very high, from simply drop the racket and swing!!

I'd like more details. Like, how much distance to drop, point of reference for dropping, etc. cuz you won't get balls with same height. There has to be physics to this. Once it's nailed down, you can produce 10 out 10 good shots reasonably.
 

user92626

G.O.A.T.
Ok then. My brain ‘feels’ it by using some external, visual stimuli of course. Don’t know what they are. I can find out though if you let me think about it a couple of years!

Yeah..you do that, after you figure out your 1hbh --- that earns ballmachineguy's praises, like "you got it!" :)
 

Dragy

Legend
1. I vaguely remember Jolly said we got to drop our fist slightly below the CP.

2. And I discovered that I should maintain the wrist position, not flex it. Right?

3. Racket head must stay above the ball until before the forward swing. Right?

4. The movement that causes the racket head to point at back fence is completely unconscious, unaware, 100% automatic. Right?
1 - yes, your hand and how it approaches contact point is the “steering wheel”. It’s how slightly below, slightly from the inside, or for some balls from back behind the ball it goes… And how “slightly” is feel, experience and intention of course.

2. You should let your wrist extend in relaxed manner, and allow it to somewhat recover from fully extended position as racquet head goes into the ball, but not much, not into flexion.

3 - depends, definitely on high balls unless you want to lob, not so much on really low balls you need to lift and shape.

4 - I would say yes, it’s mostly pulling the handle, but;
- Only if your takeback is proper, not cramped.
- You may naturally achieve proper arm-shoulder configuration, then yes, unconscious; or you may have improper arm orientation when you try to pull, and then you need to fix it before it works unconsciously well.
 

user92626

G.O.A.T.
1 - yes, your hand and how it approaches contact point is the “steering wheel”. It’s how slightly below, slightly from the inside, or for some balls from back behind the ball it goes… And how “slightly” is feel, experience and intention of course.

2. You should let your wrist extend in relaxed manner, and allow it to somewhat recover from fully extended position as racquet head goes into the ball, but not much, not into flexion.

3 - depends, definitely on high balls unless you want to lob, not so much on really low balls you need to lift and shape.

4 - I would say yes, it’s mostly pulling the handle, but;
- Only if your takeback is proper, not cramped.
- You may naturally achieve proper arm-shoulder configuration, then yes, unconscious; or you may have improper arm orientation when you try to pull, and then you need to fix it before it works unconsciously well.
Good stuff, Dragy

1. Re your bolded part. Of course feel, experience is a must but I am talking about an actual physical distance that one has to figure out for himself. We all need to figure out this physical distance (the drop amount -- it cannot be too low or too high or definitely not random, arbitrary) and try to apply it consistently whenever we can...for consistency. Again, it's a physical distance, and actual tangible technical as opposed to "a feel" producing whatever distance (a recipe for inconsistency, imo). Yes?
 

Dragy

Legend
Good stuff, Dragy

1. Re your bolded part. Of course feel, experience is a must but I am talking about an actual physical distance that one has to figure out for himself. We all need to figure out this physical distance (the drop amount -- it cannot be too low or too high or definitely not random, arbitrary) and try to apply it consistently whenever we can...for consistency. Again, it's a physical distance, and actual tangible technical as opposed to "a feel" producing whatever distance (a recipe for inconsistency, imo). Yes?
When I read this (and the 18 degree rising path mentioned above) I think about how there’s hand path, which mustn’t be very steep for regular drive, and how there’s final racquet head path, from close before impact to just after impact, which is steeper.

And if you master those segments — arm swing transitioning into racquet coming through and over, you really don’t need to be much under the ball with your hand, unless you want to send the ball high with arc and deep, from well behind the baseline, for example.

In the meantime, many balls on rec level are not penetrating a lot, so taking some high bouncer on descend you might have your swing start pretty much lower below the ball… the point is, the instance you gauge the swingpath, the ball is still far from contact. So you kind of expect where you want to end just before the impact to complete the swing, rather than physically measure it like you were swinging at TopspinPro or Coach’s Eye thingy.
 

user92626

G.O.A.T.
Guys,

Is Del Potro's FH an easy, ideal stroke for rec players to emulate? I mean, he doesn't swing the racket too far back. Looks compact and all.

 

Dragy

Legend
Guys,

Is Del Potro's FH an easy, ideal stroke for rec players to emulate? I mean, he doesn't swing the racket too far back. Looks compact and all.

He’s very early in initiating his prep. And also not using much of off-arm to assist, which is usually very helpful. Not ideal to copy, in my opinion.

If you want something of this kind, better try Agassi. If more modern, Sinner or Djokovic or Zverev.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Bionic Poster
Good clip but imo NOT details enough! I think this is why many guys aren't consistent, ie sometimes they bat the ball well, sometimes into the net or sail very high, from simply drop the racket and swing!!

I'd like more details. Like, how much distance to drop, point of reference for dropping, etc. cuz you won't get balls with same height. There has to be physics to this. Once it's nailed down, you can produce 10 out 10 good shots reasonably.
Nothing wrong with that video clip. Not the intent of that clip nor my post to specify how far the racket should be dropped. I don't believe there is one answer for all groundstrokes.

The height of your expected contact point will be a factor on how high you set the racket (prior to the drop) and how far you will drop the racket. Another factor: is your intent to hit topspin, flat or underspin? Different amounts of drop for different situations.

I'll assume you are primarily interested in hitting with topspin. But, for a given shot, are you going for heavy topspin or moderate topspin? This will affect the steepness of your desired swing path and how much you need to drop the racket. Note also that a high contact point will often require a shallower swing path than a lower contact point. Further, the amount of drop needed will be affected how high you've set the racket relative to the height of your contact point.

In general, for adequate topspin, the racket head should be dropped (a) below the hand holding the racket & (b) below the level of your expected contact point. How far below will be dictated by the factors mentioned earlier.

Some coaches will tell you to drop that racket head enough so that the butt of the racket points over the net. Others may say that the butt of the racket should point, more or less, toward the incoming ball or toward the expected contact point. Here are a couple of takes on g'stroke racket drops:


 
Last edited:

user92626

G.O.A.T.
He’s very early in initiating his prep. And also not using much of off-arm to assist, which is usually very helpful. Not ideal to copy, in my opinion.

If you want something of this kind, better try Agassi. If more modern, Sinner or Djokovic or Zverev.
Except Agassi, the other guys that you suggest all have a very large swing path and a flipping racket face (meaning the hitting side goes from facing the back fence to facing forward). When I try that I tend to get a disjoint feel in the swing (too large) and mess up the contact face (the flipping).

Del's nonfunctional off-arm is much more relatable to us rec players :) , and the guy just seems to raise the racket head (the torch holding gesture), not confusingly close up the racket face and simply wacks the ball with a compact swing! That's what my mind sees.
 

Dragy

Legend
Except Agassi, the other guys that you suggest all have a very large swing path and a flipping racket face (meaning the hitting side goes from facing the back fence to facing forward). When I try that I tend to get a disjoint feel in the swing (too large) and mess up the contact face (the flipping).

Del's nonfunctional off-arm is much more relatable to us rec players :) , and the guy just seems to raise the racket head (the torch holding gesture), not confusingly close up the racket face and simply wacks the ball with a compact swing! That's what my mind sees.
You asked, I gave my opinion. Feel free to try Del Potro style or anyone else you like.

Modern guys racquet flipping isn’t something impossible. Once you go for full swing, high RHS and topspin, it’s already past all the “logical” locked and straight controlled swings. If you want to stay with more like JMac type of swing, or Lendl (not talking about what he could do with that swing, just form), feel free, but that’s not DelPo neither, who is much closer to Sinner in what he does.
 

TennisCJC

Legend
go to:

to see below and a lot more.

There are other swing paths that show the entire swing. It isn't that steep in most cases. Decades ago, a steeper path with a vertical face at impact was taught as the way to hit topspin. Modern pros use a more shallow path with the face very slightly closed at impact. Note, some of the racket face progressions will show the face closing more after impact but this is not a deliberate action of the arm or wrist. Instead, it is a response to impact as typically the impact is below center causing the racket to "wobble" into the closed position. I would also be cautious that you don't close the face too much. If you have a good grip E/SW or SW grip and close the face at end of backswing when you transition to forward movement; the face will likely be closed a bit at impact.

RF-RN+Racket+Path+Angle+-+Closeup.jpg
 
Last edited:

ppma

Professional
1. I vaguely remember Jolly said we got to drop our fist slightly below the CP.
If possible, yes. It's difficult for low balls.

2. And I discovered that I should maintain the wrist position, not flex it. Right?
Wrist is going to be flexed to some degree even in the preparation phase. I do not think it is a requierement.

3. Racket head must stay above the ball until before the forward swing. Right?
Not neccesarily. I think this contributes to a type-C swing if this is what you want for functional (for example, helps to time te swing better or helps getting better coordination) or aesthetic reasons. Maybe, look at Ferrer or Granollers forehands. They prepare at 5 from, Granollers from hip height, and Ferrer with the racquet heat always below the shoulder and they are OK players that have reached high leves in ATP.

4. The movement that causes the racket head to point at back fence is completely unconscious, unaware, 100% automatic. Right?
For some it will be natural, for others it has to be forced. Not everyone has the same "intuition" on how to swing a tennis racquet towards a tennis ball. Some would somehow do a kind of similar motion like the pros from seeing tennis on TV, while others would do a completely different thing.
If you are talking about the slot where the buttcap is more or less aligned towards the ball, then that is something that happens due to racquet acceleration towards the ball with a not very tense (relaxed) wrist.
 

user92626

G.O.A.T.

wow...this is very different from Ben's technique!

Ben extends his arm and sort of presses the racket face down toward the ground. Only when he swings forward does his arm turns up. But the coach above teaches that you actively turn up the arm ... Interesting.

Ben:
 

user92626

G.O.A.T.
I think the two instructions in SA post are old school? Or maybe WTA style? I dunno. :giggle:

The top ATP guys aren't turning the arm up until they are ready for the forward phase.

Look:
 

Bagumbawalla

G.O.A.T.
One thing about strokes is that they should be smooth ad flowing and not jerky and forced.
People practicing their serve will often tie a ball to the "top" of their racket with a five or six inch length of string-
then practice the service motion over and over so there is no jerkiness imparted to the ball (sometimes they use a sock
instead of the racket).

The same thing can be done with forehand and backhand groundstrokes to find a pattern for ones strokes that avoids
forcing the ball, jerky motions, unnatural motions.

Tie the ball to your racket just as you would to practice the service motion. Instead, practice a sort of sideways figure-eight
pattern- drive up and through the ball, smoothly loop the ball down, then back up and behind, let it loop back down (below the on-coming ball,
then drive up and through- rinse and repeat. Basically what you will be doing is smoothly creating a loopy figure eight over and over.

Nothing should feel tight or forced or jerky and you can vary the "shape" of the loop to impart more or less topspin.
 
Top