It's all about the finish!

dman72

Hall of Fame
Eyes on contact point and consistent full finish: good recipe for solid strokes. For me the head steady through contact is more critical, as the finish seems to be grooved. But, there were times in the past when a short choppy finish was an issue.
 

ontologist

New User
Fact: what happens after contact is determined by what happens before contact.

J
This is true, however you couldn't reverse it right? "What happens before contact is determined by what happens after contact" is an obvious contradiction. So anything that happens after the strings make contact is irrelevant to what the ball will do.

I understand that for some people focusing on what the racquet does after contact helps them with something like their swing path. This seems more like a heuristic than a logical argument though. Sure it works mentally, but you could do whatever you wanted with the racquet after contact and still hit the ball fine. It wouldn't be natural or helpful, but you could make a goofy looking followthrough and still hit the ball well...presumably.
 

J011yroger

Talk Tennis Guru
I think you need a good start and middle in order to have a good finish. For example, if you have a huge take back on your FH, you are probably going to have timing issues no matter how consistently you finish. I've think a good prep and start is as important as a good finish. I've seen lower intermediate players that open the face on the take back and that pretty much kills any chance of hitting a good topspin FH.
How are you going to have a good finish with timing issues?

J
 

J011yroger

Talk Tennis Guru
This is true, however you couldn't reverse it right? "What happens before contact is determined by what happens after contact" is an obvious contradiction. So anything that happens after the strings make contact is irrelevant to what the ball will do.

I understand that for some people focusing on what the racquet does after contact helps them with something like their swing path. This seems more like a heuristic than a logical argument though. Sure it works mentally, but you could do whatever you wanted with the racquet after contact and still hit the ball fine. It wouldn't be natural or helpful, but you could make a goofy looking followthrough and still hit the ball well...presumably.
You can't make any adjustments mid swing, so you control where you start and look at where you finish.

J
 

tex123

Semi-Pro
So the reality is that if the turn is correct, and the timing of the turn is correct, and the finish is correct--meaning the extension of the forward swing, then everything else almost always takes care of itself.
This ^

It is not possible to finish like that every shot if the technique is totally incorrect. If some one is not rotating his/her core, it is not possible to get to that finish every shot no matter where you are like the pros (e.g. Djokovic). It just feels weird and unnatural. There is over emphasis on pat-the-dog, drop on edge, bent arm, straight arm etc etc. They are important but not so much as using your body to hit and swing with a full finish.
 

tex123

Semi-Pro
Congratz you have reached your next milestone of Tennis understanding, I was in your shoes months ago and also believed in the same thing.

however to save you time I recommend you focus more on before and after contact instead only on finish.
That's all I have done over the years @pencilcheck but I reached a frustrating plateau. I kept thinking why do I suck despite watching the ball, pat-the dog, head still etc. etc? That's when I started focussing on the finish. I realised I was stopping the racket (rotation) or something was not in sync. When you focus on the finish no matter where you are - baseline, midway, stretched ... you take a full swing at the ball with the finish, the ball stays in with power and consistency.
 

5263

G.O.A.T.
Yes but tell someone to swing freely. He/she won't get it. But tell someone to always think about finishing your racket wrapping around. That will make them think - how do i get to that? You can't get that position without rotating your core and swinging loosely. That's the idea.
Let me give you some support here and show you that you are likely more correct than you realize.

There are quite a few quality ways to finish and the phrase, "The finish shapes the shot", comes into play in knowing what type of finish you should use. You are focused on one type finish and getting good results on that at this point. With time you will likely add a couple more quality finishes to your tool box.

People who claim the finish can't shape the shot, claim it can't because the ball is already gone. I used to make this same mistake. What this POV misses is that there are Two ways to understand the finish. I generally phrase this as the noun version, which is the ending position contrasted with the "Verb" version of the finish, meaning the 'process' of the finish.....the last phase of the swing spectrum. In a tennis swing we have the 'general' swing phases......1. backswing, 2. the slot (lag), 3. the alignment (drag), and the 4. finish motion. Since in the modern swing, the contact occurs during the early part of the finish motion, the finish CAN and does shape the shot for modern strokes.

So while the 1st three phases are very key to setting up the 4th,...... (the finishing motion)... a good finish will be a Great indication of shot and swing quality.
 
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JohnYandell

Hall of Fame
Tex,
The body position and the rotation and the contact point and the motion of the arm are all contained in the movement from a good turn to a good finish. It's worrying about the dependent stuff that causes problems. And don't confuse the extension (or finish) of the forward swing with the wrap either over the shoulder or around the torso.
 

ontologist

New User
You can't make any adjustments mid swing, so you control where you start and look at where you finish.

J
You can't or you don't? I honestly think trying to fix a follow through is trying to put a band aid on any problems that are occurring pre-contact. Like the reason you miss a shot is not because the racquet didn't finish in the right place, although that might be indicative of a problem occurring earlier. Why wouldn't you just go to the source of the problem?
 

J011yroger

Talk Tennis Guru
You can't or you don't? I honestly think trying to fix a follow through is trying to put a band aid on any problems that are occurring pre-contact. Like the reason you miss a shot is not because the racquet didn't finish in the right place, although that might be indicative of a problem occurring earlier. Why wouldn't you just go to the source of the problem?
Because the problem won't be there if you finish correctly.

J
 

Raul_SJ

Legend
The torture of the dependent intermediary factors. Without them this section of the board would collapse.
John, do you agree with this video? It speaks speaks of 4 key phases:
(1) Slot position. See first dot in Pic 1 below.
(2) Contact point. See second dot.
(3) Lift up several inches after contact point. See third dot. Racquet tip should still be facing rightwards after contact.
(4) After lift up, "release" into finish. Racquet tip should still be facing skywards.

According to video, many rec players will skip phase #3 and fail to sufficiently lift up after contact. In other words, they will actively "swing into the finish" (incorrect) instead of properly "releasing" into the finish.




 
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JohnYandell

Hall of Fame
Uh, not really. Another example of creating complexity. I don't see what happens first. Left arm stretch? He is bent over at the waist. Never ideal. The wiper in the finish is a variable. The hand can turn over a little or a lot. But you can pay hundreds to "learn" this.
 

J011yroger

Talk Tennis Guru
John, do you agree with this video? It speaks speaks of 4 key phases:
(1) Slot position. See first dot in Pic 1 below.
(2) Contact point. See second dot.
(3) Lift up several inches after contact point. See third dot. Racquet tip should still be facing rightwards after contact.
(4) After lift up, "release" into finish. Racquet tip should still be facing skywards.

According to video, many rec players will skip phase #3 and fail to sufficiently lift up after contact. In other words, they will actively "swing into the finish" (incorrect) instead of properly "releasing" into the finish.




First of all he is leaning.

Secondly he is lifting his hand.

Additionally he has no separation.

If he ever hit like this in real life his shot would be slow and he would perpetually be shanking the ball off the bottom of his frame.

J
 

Raul_SJ

Legend
First of all he is leaning.

Secondly he is lifting his hand.

Additionally he has no separation.

If he ever hit like this in real life his shot would be slow and he would perpetually be shanking the ball off the bottom of his frame.
Not sure why he chooses to demo like that. He held a world ranking so he knows how to hit.
:(
When you say "lifting his hand", you mean he is lifting after contact instead of lifting and extending forward?
 

SVP

Rookie
After all these years of learning tennis, I've come to the conclusion that if you focus on your finish, your shots automatically become consistent.

People go on and on about 'pat the dog', 'drop on edge, 'watch the ball' blah blah. They are important but not the most important things to get a consistent shot.

Just watch Djokovic here. Look at his racket on every shot no matter where he is - all shots finish with his racket literally behind his back.

When I just focus on this, my shots become super consistent. I hit all sorts - cross, dtl with power and consistency. The trouble is maintaining it throughout the match. As soon as you tense up, the finish is affected. You should let go on every shot I've realised. The right shoulder should point at the direction of the ball at the finish.


I wonder if the same principle could be applied to the serve?
It works for me. Whenever my coach reminds me to point my elbow forward on the forehand, it automatically becomes more consistent and deep. If I could only do that more often on the 2HBH.
 

bostontennis

New User
I think is Tex123 misled seriously. There are many free lessons online and there are many coaches teach you piece by piece, their interest is to get more business. They definitely don't want you learn tennis in one chunk.

Coming back to the original topic, my point is, by logic, when you learn a form, there is a series of actions, the actions leads to the right ball striking and a certain follow through and finish. So you have to understand:
1. you need to learn the correct actions
2. you need to use the correct finishes to check if you did 1 correctly.

Tex123 is confusing between 1 and 2. The logical flaw is: there are other incorrect/inefficient actions, aka another route, to lead to correct finish.

Furthermore, before 1, there is something more basics, that made people to have to correct form. namingly, kinetic chain. That's why many pros are hitting balls in somewhat different forms. You need to understand those elements and find the best form for you.
 

Dansan

Rookie
Relaxed, uninhibited motion, no hesitation or tension into a good finish. I believe in this too.
I find that when my take-back is relaxed without tension into the "dog pat", I can unload the hammer and focus on where I want my finish. Around the (just above) the shoulder and behind my back will put the racquet on the right path. You have to trust the stroke and let the weight of the racquet do work.

Also, my forehand goes to crap if I drop my left hand. I try to keep my left hand up and out on forehand take back. Encourages a full unit turn and stabilization/aim.
 

pencilcheck

Semi-Pro
That's all I have done over the years @pencilcheck but I reached a frustrating plateau. I kept thinking why do I suck despite watching the ball, pat-the dog, head still etc. etc? That's when I started focussing on the finish. I realised I was stopping the racket (rotation) or something was not in sync. When you focus on the finish no matter where you are - baseline, midway, stretched ... you take a full swing at the ball with the finish, the ball stays in with power and consistency.
Yea, you realized the contradiction and decided to try something different that is commendable because a lot of other rec players are usually too afraid to throw away most of what they are told and try something different.

At your level, based on your description, the real change in thinking finish is not really a physical thing but more mental based on my own experience. To be honest, you are still far away from being better as focusing on finish will get you no where in a real match, esp if you want consistent rally, employ strategy, serve +1, or hit side to side, or change of pace, spin or height, approaching shot, half volley, all while hitting as hard as you can

however if might be your perfect mental piece toget you closer to a better mental state that a higher level rec player will think about to win (I am talking 4.5+)
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru

heninfan99

Talk Tennis Guru
After all these years of learning tennis, I've come to the conclusion that if you focus on your finish, your shots automatically become consistent.

People go on and on about 'pat the dog', 'drop on edge, 'watch the ball' blah blah. They are important but not the most important things to get a consistent shot.

Just watch Djokovic here. Look at his racket on every shot no matter where he is - all shots finish with his racket literally behind his back.

When I just focus on this, my shots become super consistent. I hit all sorts - cross, dtl with power and consistency. The trouble is maintaining it throughout the match. As soon as you tense up, the finish is affected. You should let go on every shot I've realised. The right shoulder should point at the direction of the ball at the finish.


I wonder if the same principle could be applied to the serve?
you are correct!
 

pencilcheck

Semi-Pro
First of all he is leaning.

Secondly he is lifting his hand.

Additionally he has no separation.

If he ever hit like this in real life his shot would be slow and he would perpetually be shanking the ball off the bottom of his frame.

J
To be fair, I think he has a good point that most people focuses on finish wasn't finishing the stroke, therefore the shot just go spraying and out of control.

His emphasizes on the hit through on contact is definitely very useful and should be studied and practiced further.

He himself might not be able to hit high level tennis, but I think that small point he makes in my mind makes sense I just can't take it literally (lifting in my mind is not the right word if I were to teach it instead)
 

5263

G.O.A.T.
Lets try not to confuse commonalities (created by cherry picking video and stopping the video to bolster preconceived ideas) with actual Fh fundamentals, especially in a thread to discuss how different type finishes can shape a variety of Fh shot types. At best these "commonalities" are for a particular subset of Fhs.
 

5263

G.O.A.T.
His emphasizes on the hit through on contact is definitely very useful and should be studied and practiced further.
He is clearly on the right track here as he points out where the "finish" of the stroke begins as you put your intended work into the contact.....then he goes on to break out the last part of the finish as the 'release' to the 'finish point'. The shape of that release should be generated by how the racket is "worked" thru the contact.
 
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