Lag and Snap Forehand

Hey all,

One of the techniques I have been focusing on doing this year was making my forehand ground stroke more effective by using lag and Snap with the wrist.
Lately I've felt like I have been forcing the lag and that causes me to strain my wrist. I've been doing this because it seems as if I cannot do it naturally, I never feel it lag or anything. How can I start making this motion a more natural motion so that I don't have to force it? Or could the strain be from not having a lose enough wrist?
 

Lance L

Semi-Pro
Maybe the word snap is misleading. This motion doesn't need to be harsh or forceful, it can be quite smooth. The mental imagery I use is my legs hips and shoulders to push my hand through the ball. If I do that, the racquet has to lag behind. The lag is a result of the bodies motion, not something I do on purpose.
 

West Coast Ace

G.O.A.T.
I just think about pointing the butt end of the racquet toward my opponent after you 'drop' the racquet after the initial takeaway - if you get a good wrist snap the ball is going to get shanked into the court to your right (for right handers). OP, good luck.
 

Fintft

G.O.A.T.
. I've been doing this because it seems as if I cannot do it naturally, I never feel it lag or anything. How can I start making this motion a more natural motion so that I don't have to force it?

Can you do the arm lag without a racket?
It's a test many members at my club fail, but it is useful, imho.
 

NuBas

Legend
One of the techniques I have been focusing on doing this year was making my forehand ground stroke more effective by using lag and Snap with the wrist.

Even snap sounds like a harsh word. Lag occurs as a result of other things, like take a whip for example. You pull the handle and the tip of the whip lags behind and the snap actually is a result of the whipping or the swing.

Contrary to what others have suggested, I wouldn't suggest pointing the butt cap, that also happens naturally as a part of the swing. Honestly keep it simple and focus on your swing and brushing the ball over the net. I think you're like me and big on mental imagery so I will try to help you out there. Take a fly swatter as an example, the fly swatter will lag naturally as a result of your pulling the swatter and not because you're cocking your wrist backwards.

If you really want to feel lag, next time you practice rallies, just try swinging with your hand or pulling the racquet handle. Of course you're still aiming at the ball but try pulling the handle or either swing your hand only (racquet in hand but just imagine swinging the hand instead of the racquet). That will create relaxation in your mind because you're focusing on something really easy and light to swing and then the racquet face will naturally lag behind as a result of momentum.

Replace lag with pulling racquet handle
Replace snap with brushing up
 

RetroSpin

Hall of Fame
I agree with NuBas that "snap" is not a really great mental image. If you want pace, you need a quick rotation and loose arm.
 

pitsquared

Rookie
If you want to know what you should be feeling, grab your racquet and hold your arm out straight with your forearm/wrist/grip very relaxed and move your straight arm from side to side. As your arm changes directions your wrist should bend and the elasticity of your forearm will want snap your wrist back to its natural position and this creates racquet head speed. So the sudden movement of your arm while your foreatm/wrist is totally relaxed will create the lag and the elasticity of your body will snap the wrist back the other direction. How do you translate this to your swing? Well my backswing takes my arm back until I abruptly start swinging forward and if my body is loose my wrist should naturally lay back. It takes practice to time/space it right but in time you'll notice effortless power.
 

pfrischmann

Professional
This is an obsession of mine (I have those) it's the hardest thing to learn as it forces you to unlearn arming the ball which to me is the opposite. To me, the lag and snap can only happen with a completely relaxed shoulder, arm wirst and hand. The power comes from the legs, hips, and shoulders. The arm etc, is along for the ride. Think of it like a whip. The handle is firm but the rest is very loose. As the energy transfers down the whip, it hits the end and snaps.

My understanding has always been there is little to no active effort with the wrist, it's a result.
 

pfrischmann

Professional
Sorry, to clarify..Power comes from Legs and hips causing shoulder turn etc... I can do this well like 1 out of every 5 forehands maybe 1 out of every 8. It's amazing when it works, it's just not a habit yet. It's not easy but it's startling how much power I can get with very little effort.
 

pitsquared

Rookie
This is an obsession of mine (I have those) it's the hardest thing to learn as it forces you to unlearn arming the ball which to me is the opposite. To me, the lag and snap can only happen with a completely relaxed shoulder, arm wirst and hand. The power comes from the legs, hips, and shoulders. The arm etc, is along for the ride. Think of it like a whip. The handle is firm but the rest is very loose. As the energy transfers down the whip, it hits the end and snaps.

My understanding has always been there is little to no active effort with the wrist, it's a result.
The snapping of the wrist, yes, is a natural action that occurs because of the elasticity of the human body. But, there should be some conscious effort in keeping the racquet face at a consistent angle from the point of contact all the way until the finish. This will take a slight manipulation of the wrist, which is still relaxed for the most part.
Also the body should be completely relaxed but allowing the shoulder/arm to lag too far behind your core will cost you leverage and timing. If you watch, Federers shoulders remain in line with his hitting arm through contact until his follow through wraps that arm around his torso. The lag that is exaggerated most is his wrist/forearm which he almost throws linearly towards the path of the incoming ball. That said, you can keep your shoulders in line with your arm and still be relaxed as you mentioned
 

JohnYandell

Hall of Fame
In my opinion these are two terms that have seriously mislead players and coaches for decades. When you pull with the butt of the hand the wrist is going to lay back. In fact you can start it that way. But the idea that this "lag" is loading some amazing force in the wrist that is released with the "sanp" isn't accurate.
I've been videoing elite players and writing about these issues for about 20 years and I am firmly convinced that the idea of wrist snap will continue to delude people for another 20 or 50. When you see video of players who obsess on the wrist it's almost laughable--sorry--because they tend to lack the core fundamentals of turning, loading and extending. But you sure see some strange arm movements.
What Brian Gordon's research shows is that players actively inhibit snap (meaning forward flexion) in order to control the angle of the racket face at contact and therefore shot direction.
The force of the semi-circular swing naturally causes the wrist (assuming your arm isn't made of concrete) to want to flex forward as the swing comes around. No doubt this often or even usually contributes to racket speed because the racket is moving on the hinge of the wrist.
But this is not a conscious or muscular snap.
Almost all forehands are hit with the wrist still laid back--super extreme grips things are a little different on some balls, but generally yes laid back. What good players feel at the subconscious level is the angle between the wrist arm and racket for a certain trajectory. They are holding back the force that is trying to bring the racket tip around. The legs, shoulders, and arm are what are really driving the forehand--not lag and snap.
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
In my opinion these are two terms that have seriously mislead players and coaches for decades. When you pull with the butt of the hand the wrist is going to lay back. In fact you can start it that way. But the idea that this "lag" is loading some amazing force in the wrist that is released with the "sanp" isn't accurate.
I've been videoing elite players and writing about these issues for about 20 years and I am firmly convinced that the idea of wrist snap will continue to delude people for another 20 or 50. When you see video of players who obsess on the wrist it's almost laughable--sorry--because they tend to lack the core fundamentals of turning, loading and extending. But you sure see some strange arm movements.
What Brian Gordon's research shows is that players actively inhibit snap (meaning forward flexion) in order to control the angle of the racket face at contact and therefore shot direction.
The force of the semi-circular swing naturally causes the wrist (assuming your arm isn't made of concrete) to want to flex forward as the swing comes around. No doubt this often or even usually contributes to racket speed because the racket is moving on the hinge of the wrist.
But this is not a conscious or muscular snap.
Almost all forehands are hit with the wrist still laid back--super extreme grips things are a little different on some balls, but generally yes laid back. What good players feel at the subconscious level is the angle between the wrist arm and racket for a certain trajectory. They are holding back the force that is trying to bring the racket tip around. The legs, shoulders, and arm are what are really driving the forehand--not lag and snap.
If I understood this and well it is TT so no need to really try to understand, but I think it makes sense. On the take back before the racket drops if I make a conscious effort to lay my wrist back i usually end up hitting way better especially if i maintain that through the swing
 

JohnYandell

Hall of Fame
Shroud,

Yes definitely. That's easily the best strategy up to 5.0ish. Now elite players may have the ability to let the arm fall into the hitting arm position, be looser, and have more movement in the forward swing.
But most people trying to mechanically lag and snap create problems and end up hitting an occasional forehand that seems great but are inconsistent and lack core fundamentals. It is possible to have a great forehand! And it's fascinating to study the pros and speculate on technique. The tricky part is application: what for whom at what level and when and in what sequence??
 
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Shroud

G.O.A.T.
Shroud,

Yes definitely. That's easily the best strategy up to 5.0ish. Now elite players may have the ability to let the arm fall into the hitting arm position, be looser, and have more movement in the forward swing.
But most people trying to mechanically lag and snap create problems and end up hitting an occasional forehand that seems great but are inconsistent and lack core fundamentals. It is possible to have a great forehand! And it's fascinating to study the pros and speculate on technique. The tricky part is application: what for whom at what level and when and in what sequence??
Hey John,

WHEW I wont be knocking on the 5.0 door any time ever! I think I know what you mean in that some times when I dont lay the wrist back intentionally I will occasionally hit a different FH that has more spin and pace than normal and it usually is not all that repeatable. Its like I get more RHS or something and more power but lot less effort. Its really frustrating to see the potential but not being able to tap it all the time. Some times I think its fear holding me back....

Here was a vid that helped with the wrist thing:

 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
Shroud,
I would be interested to see some video of your forehand. Whatever door you're knocking on would love to help.
THANKS!! Thats an amazing offer and it gives me great sadness to put you through watching these vids! Though I promise to implement any advice you have.

Here I was learning and focusing on a real unit turn, laying back the wrist, and planting:


Here is a few month later and I am trying to hit 100 balls in a row. Honestly I never thought I would do it, as slowing down and being consistent is not a forte. If I slow down the stroke they seem to fly and I need to swing out to get spin. But this night I managed to hit bunches of 3/4 paced FHs:


Thanks again!
 

bitcoinoperated

Professional
You shouldn't have to deliberately do it do it. As long as the racquet is above the hand once you drive with teh legs and hips it flips and starts to lag behind.
 

pitsquared

Rookie
In my opinion these are two terms that have seriously mislead players and coaches for decades. When you pull with the butt of the hand the wrist is going to lay back. In fact you can start it that way. But the idea that this "lag" is loading some amazing force in the wrist that is released with the "sanp" isn't accurate.
I've been videoing elite players and writing about these issues for about 20 years and I am firmly convinced that the idea of wrist snap will continue to delude people for another 20 or 50. When you see video of players who obsess on the wrist it's almost laughable--sorry--because they tend to lack the core fundamentals of turning, loading and extending. But you sure see some strange arm movements.
What Brian Gordon's research shows is that players actively inhibit snap (meaning forward flexion) in order to control the angle of the racket face at contact and therefore shot direction.
The force of the semi-circular swing naturally causes the wrist (assuming your arm isn't made of concrete) to want to flex forward as the swing comes around. No doubt this often or even usually contributes to racket speed because the racket is moving on the hinge of the wrist.
But this is not a conscious or muscular snap.
Almost all forehands are hit with the wrist still laid back--super extreme grips things are a little different on some balls, but generally yes laid back. What good players feel at the subconscious level is the angle between the wrist arm and racket for a certain trajectory. They are holding back the force that is trying to bring the racket tip around. The legs, shoulders, and arm are what are really driving the forehand--not lag and snap.
First off I'd like to thank you for your contribution to the tennis community overall regarding biomechanics. Secondly, I'm a bit confused as to the clarification you are trying to make regarding to concept of "lag and snap" so please forgive me if I misunderstand what you are saying. I think you are saying that many ppl apply the term snap wrongly and instead of maintaining a constant racquet face angle, which the pros do and which requires an active restraint of letting the wrist fully snap, they allow the wrist to snap without restraint at the point of contact which might give their shot power at the cost of control.
What I've noticed, both in watching countless slow motion vids as well as my own strokes, is that even though the wrist is still laid back , as you say, at the point of contact, the wrist is in the process of "snapping" back towards its natural position and creating leverage/rhs even while I'm actively maintaining a constant angle in my wrist/racquet face. Its plain to see when watching Fed and Rafa who use that stretching of the wrist (lag) and then the releasing of that built up energy (snap) to create rhs. So there is a balance of releasing that energy while actively restraining yourself a bit to maintain a certain wrist angle. From my experience of course.
 

phanker

Semi-Pro
It's all in the grip.....and stringbed dwell time....I think....

I've always been using eastern grip and I do lag it pretty good. But it requires effort as the whip needs to pull the racquet up and out of the swing path a bit if I want to generate spin. It's a very timing sensitive forehand which lead to inconsistencies when I'm tired or just off.
Recently force myself to try the western grip for a while to see if it helps. Huge revelation for me really. The lag and whip is just kinda automatic now as it's more in line with the racquet swing path. I know this as my FH grip is fairly loose now. FH now puts much less stress on my forearm and it's more consistent also. Easy pace and much more spin also so I'm happy 2 days in. Hope the honeymoon lasts. It's settling closer to 3/4 western now as it feels best for me.

Stringbed dwell time allows you to lag and whip. Can't do it on a stiff stringbed...period...ball just goes straight to the ground for me. My eastern FH really likes dwell time while my new western FH prefers less. Achieving dwell time without making the stringbed more too powerful is a bit of a voodoo endeavour. Took me years but I think I'm almost there. Use the stiffest main you can play strung at a lower tension with a softer cross to your liking for feel and comfort. Easier said than done.
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
It's all in the grip.....and stringbed dwell time....I think....

I've always been using eastern grip and I do lag it pretty good. But it requires effort as the whip needs to pull the racquet up and out of the swing path a bit if I want to generate spin. It's a very timing sensitive forehand which lead to inconsistencies when I'm tired or just off.
Recently force myself to try the western grip for a while to see if it helps. Huge revelation for me really. The lag and whip is just kinda automatic now as it's more in line with the racquet swing path. I know this as my FH grip is fairly loose now. FH now puts much less stress on my forearm and it's more consistent also. Easy pace and much more spin also so I'm happy 2 days in. Hope the honeymoon lasts. It's settling closer to 3/4 western now as it feels best for me.

Stringbed dwell time allows you to lag and whip. Can't do it on a stiff stringbed...period...ball just goes straight to the ground for me. My eastern FH really likes dwell time while my new western FH prefers less. Achieving dwell time without making the stringbed more too powerful is a bit of a voodoo endeavour. Took me years but I think I'm almost there. Use the stiffest main you can play strung at a lower tension with a softer cross to your liking for feel and comfort. Easier said than done.
If thats true, I am screwed because I do everything I can to minimize dwell time....
 

pitsquared

Rookie
If thats true, I am screwed because I do everything I can to minimize dwell time....
Utilizing lag and snap isn't Dependant on dwell time. Dwell may give the impreasion that you have more control over your shots for some but using the body's natural elasticity ie lag and snap, to generate rhs is a tool for power and spin. Knowing how to control your racquet face angle is what determines control and consistency.
 

Fintft

G.O.A.T.
It's all in the grip.....and stringbed dwell time....I think....

I've always been using eastern grip and I do lag it pretty good. But it requires effort as the whip needs to pull the racquet up and out of the swing path a bit if I want to generate spin. It's a very timing sensitive forehand which lead to inconsistencies when I'm tired or just off.
Recently force myself to try the western grip for a while to see if it helps. Huge revelation for me really. The lag and whip is just kinda automatic now as it's more in line with the racquet swing path. I know this as my FH grip is fairly loose now. FH now puts much less stress on my forearm and it's more consistent also. Easy pace and much more spin also so I'm happy 2 days in. Hope the honeymoon lasts. It's settling closer to 3/4 western now as it feels best for me.

Stringbed dwell time allows you to lag and whip. Can't do it on a stiff stringbed...period...ball just goes straight to the ground for me. My eastern FH really likes dwell time while my new western FH prefers less. Achieving dwell time without making the stringbed more too powerful is a bit of a voodoo endeavour. Took me years but I think I'm almost there. Use the stiffest main you can play strung at a lower tension with a softer cross to your liking for feel and comfort. Easier said than done.

Full bed natural gut gives your pocketing and I tame it's power a bit by the extra spin generated from an open string bed.
And no disrespect intended Shroud (plus I can be blind), but I'm not sure that you are pulling the racket through, in other words I don't see the racket lag...It's not too difficult to achieve and I, for one, practice the arm lag even without a racket.
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
Full bed natural gut gives your pocketing and I tame it's power a bit by the extra spin generated from an open string bed.
And no disrespect intended Shroud (plus I can be blind), but I'm not sure that you are pulling the racket through, in other words I don't see the racket lag...It's not too difficult to achieve and I, for one, practice the arm lag even without a racket.
NO worries. I may not be though I think I can see it. Maybe John Yandell will chime in and get me in the right direction.

On the ball pocketing I think there are major advantages against it. Stiff sting bed is better at counteracting the incoming spin, etc.
 

Fintft

G.O.A.T.
NO worries. I may not be though I think I can see it. Maybe John Yandell will chime in and get me in the right direction.

On the ball pocketing I think there are major advantages against it. Stiff sting bed is better at counteracting the incoming spin, etc.

About the former, he'll probably help you more, but imho, he already gave you at least one good tip (that I don't see in your vid):

When you pull with the butt of the hand the wrist is going to lay back. In fact you can start it that way.

On your later point, you are probably right but nothing beats natural gut for power and comfort, plus the pocketing helps as well. It also maintains tension better than poly and actually plays best towards the end of it's life, when it's frayed and that generates extra spin. That's when Sampras liked it most.
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
About the former, he'll probably help you more, but imho, he already gave you at least one good tip (that I don't see in your vid):



On your later point, you are probably right but nothing beats natural gut for power and comfort, plus the pocketing helps as well. It also maintains tension better than poly and actually plays best towards the end of it's life, when it's frayed and that generates extra spin. That's when Sampras liked it most.

I probably dont understand but isnt this pulling the racket through:

2u6z38z.png


I shred NG and the LAST thing I need is power. But yeah gut is great if you can use it and put it with a poly or better yet, zx.

Now if I can do full kevlar with string savers I will never have to string again....
 

pfrischmann

Professional
The snapping of the wrist, yes, is a natural action that occurs because of the elasticity of the human body. But, there should be some conscious effort in keeping the racquet face at a consistent angle from the point of contact all the way until the finish. This will take a slight manipulation of the wrist, which is still relaxed for the most part.
Also the body should be completely relaxed but allowing the shoulder/arm to lag too far behind your core will cost you leverage and timing. If you watch, Federers shoulders remain in line with his hitting arm through contact until his follow through wraps that arm around his torso. The lag that is exaggerated most is his wrist/forearm which he almost throws linearly towards the path of the incoming ball. That said, you can keep your shoulders in line with your arm and still be relaxed as you mentioned


Good point. I never really noticed the alignment of the arm/shoulder. That is a good physical cue. I just watched videos of Rafa, Fed and Vedrasco (thanks tennisplayer.net) all aligned as you mention. I'm i'm loose and natural, this happens, When I try to focus on the stretch shortening cycle, I tend to overdo it and loose that alignment. Video is a wonderful teaching tool.
 

Fintft

G.O.A.T.
I probably dont understand but isnt this pulling the racket through:

2u6z38z.png


I shred NG and the LAST thing I need is power. But yeah gut is great if you can use it and put it with a poly or better yet, zx.

Now if I can do full kevlar with string savers I will never have to string again....

Ok, you pull, but, in my humble opinion, you don't achieve the racquet lag (the delayed arm), probably b.c:

a) You don't do what Jon Yandell recommends, to have a laid back wrist:

JohnYandell said:
When you pull with the butt of the hand the wrist is going to lay back. In fact you can start it that way.

b) You grip the racquet too tight: Boletierri said not to have any tension whatsoever neither in your grip nor in your arm.

c) You probably don't practice enough shadow swings. I even recommend trying to see if you can achieve the delayed arm, without a racquet.

It's easy to check by just looking at your hand and arm(without a racquet), that should be moved/pulled by the core(leg push followed by moving the hip). Hand and arm will lag behind , in a relaxed manner...

Exactly like LockandRoll tennis is explaining:

http://lockandrolltennis.com/forehand/

"In the monkey drum illustration, note that the strings on the drum swing only after the drum is rotated. In the same way, your hitting arm and hand should swing only after you rotate your core (a split second delay). This will help you achieve the whip-like effect that the best forehand hitters in the world have."

I do ask people at my club to try the delayed arm without a racquet first and many can't do it for the reasons mentioned above.

You'll get effortless power and your balls will stay more in court.
 
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tennis_balla

Hall of Fame
I haven't read any of the other posts in this thread besides from the OP.

The lag occurs as a result of opening up the hips first. The racket lags behind as a result. No other way to do it naturally without forcing it.
Another way I like to describe it is playing from the ground up.
 

Fintft

G.O.A.T.
I haven't read any of the other posts in this thread besides from the OP.

The lag occurs as a result of opening up the hips first. The racket lags behind as a result. No other way to do it naturally without forcing it.
Another way I like to describe it is playing from the ground up.

I totally agree tennis master Sir and in my humble opinion the OP's racquet never moves back/lags behind once he starts moving the hip forward unlike the demo at http://lockandrolltennis.com/forehand/ (if one listens to the explanation in the video)...
 

kiteboard

Banned
No real power can be acheived without the relaxed whip, a, fast U turn. On any shot. Top fh and bh players invert the frame towards the net, and the frame stays towards the net as it goes back, and then inverts towards the back fence, using the wrist in the circular path. The bigger the load back, the faster the unload forwards, the faster and more relaxed and intentionally driven, the faster the U turn will be towards the contact point. Key is intention to be assertive, fast, powerful all at once. The hip opens up first, as the frame lags behind, creating whip lash towards target/contact. Whip lash is the key to/of powerful shots. Same on the serve, hence, sampras/raonic bowing their left hips out over the base line, and cart wheeling out first, and then, lagging the frame behind, and stopping the motion on top, all to create whip. Same for the sideways ground strokes, the leading hip is key to whip.

All top players learn this. They also learn how to whip under great duress, and how to speed up the shot under duress, without losing accuracy. The voice in the body takes over, and they don't hear any thing in the mind. So that the whip is the thing that creates both power and accuracy under pressure, without thought, just instinct.
 
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Hmnnn

New User
At one time this was a source of major frustration for me. I'd watch video of myself in matches and see that my buttcap was pointed more at the post than at the ball. So I was arming it.

I'm not a huge fan of the the lag and snap terminology, but I will say when I first saw a video from topspeedtennis about that concept it did get me thinking.

But ultimately I think it is probably the last thing to consider when building a FH. If everything else--correct footwork to setup and load and correct use of the off arm is good--then if you initiate your stroke by pulling in your off arm and moving into the line of the shot you naturally create that sensation of the arm just coming along for the ride. It should be barely perceptible, and the result of good preparation more so than a deliberate action.
 

Tennisanity

Legend
Wouldn't initiating the stroke with your off arm mean you are swing top down instead of ground up? Stroke initiation should begin with leg push off/hip rotation.
 

pitsquared

Rookie
Ok, you pull, but, in my humble opinion, you don't achieve the racquet lag (the delayed arm), probably b.c:

a) You don't do what Jon Yandell recommends, to have a laid back wrist:

JohnYandell said:
When you pull with the butt of the hand the wrist is going to lay back. In fact you can start it that way.

b) You grip the racquet too tight: Boletierri said not to have any tension whatsoever neither in your grip nor in your arm.

c) You probably don't practice enough shadow swings. I even recommend trying to see if you can achieve the delayed arm, without a racquet.

It's easy to check by just looking at your hand and arm(without a racquet), that should be moved/pulled by the core(leg push followed by moving the hip). Hand and arm will lag behind , in a relaxed manner...

Exactly like LockandRoll tennis is explaining:

http://lockandrolltennis.com/forehand/

"In the monkey drum illustration, note that the strings on the drum swing only after the drum is rotated. In the same way, your hitting arm and hand should swing only after you rotate your core (a split second delay). This will help you achieve the whip-like effect that the best forehand hitters in the world have."

I do ask people at my club to try the delayed arm without a racquet first and many can't do it for the reasons mentioned above.

You'll get effortless power and your balls will stay more in court.
The only issue I have with the drum comparison is that the arms don't really lag behind the core in a tennis swing and even when you watch the lock and roll video the instructor syncs his arms with his torso and its the racquet that lags behind. So in essence its actually the wrist and racquet that acts as the strings of the drum. That is also apparent when you watch pro strokes in slow mo. The core and hitting arm move in sync and its the wrist that lags .
 

Hmnnn

New User
@Tennisanity Yes, definitely, everything starts from the feet up. I probably should have said initiate the swing or something. Pulling in the off arm is just a helpful visual for me. It helps me get good shoulder rotation and keep from arming the ball. I personally don't think about hip rotation or pushing off the ground, even though it happens. If I setup with an open hip and move into the shot everything else happens naturally.
 

JohnYandell

Hall of Fame
Shroud,

Now problem to take a look. I've seen much more painful. I took a close look at a bunch of forehands in the first clip.

There is quite a bit of extraneous backswing. But the element that most caught my eye was the lack of extension in the forward swing. Extension is the point at which the racket has traveled the furthest forward and toward the other side, although it is simultaneously coming around or across.

The question is the relative shape of the curve and the balance of the movement in 3 dimensions. For a basic power topspin drive there are some magic checkpoints.
Wrist at about eye level. Right racket hand at about the left edge of the torso. About a foot and a half of spacing between the hand and the torso or left shoulder.

Your swings finish low and short in comparison to this. The result is that the efficiency of the shot is reduced because the alignment of swing diverges too much from the path the shot.

This extension point, I should point out for clarity can be combined with various amounts of wiper rotation.
If you work on this position without the ball and develop a mental image and feel for it, it can guide you when you hit through imagery.

As for the backswing, a lot is made of the necessity of the so-called ATP swing and I would agree it's something close to ideal. But the biggest problem in your preparation is that the turn and the left arm stretch are not complete and the stance is too open. Your left arm should stretch hard across your body parallel to the baseline and perpendicular to the sideline. A line across your feet at the completion of this turn should be at a 45 degree or at least 30 degree angle to the baseline.

You can also experiment with the Brian Gordon backswing position, by starting in the above turn before the hit. Your hand should go back on a slight diagonal to the outside or your right. Wrist no higher than shoulder height and you could try tilting the racket tip slightly forward. Get in this position before the ball comes out then pull the hand forward to the extension image.

Notice I didn't say a word about lag and snap. This is what I was referring to in the first post. There are so many problems with the fundamentals in the preparation and forward swing that it's ludicrous to focus on that allegedly fabulous wrist action...

The good news is that it is quite doable to master these two positions. I have seen it literally thousands of times across the levels.
 
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JohnYandell

Hall of Fame
Pit,

Thanks for the good words! What I replied to Shroud really is far more important than the lag and snap red herring. I also think you have it wrong about the loading of the wrist and forearm. According to Brian that really doesn't happen. I know there are some coaches that see this as the key, but I think they are wrong and I know one famous guy who corrected his view after talking to Brian...

The real loading is in the shoulder muscles. Yes the loose wrist of the super elite players in the world can release. But the huge majority of all pro forehands are hit with the wrist laid back. I believe all the internal motion there is a consequence of the large forces and the positions I talked about above. And that this is inhibited to a greater or lesser amount to create the critical racket face angle at contact--again this from Brian. The problem is so many players are out there thinking they have to "do" something--usually flex the wrist forward when that destroys the natural uncoiling of the motion.

Meanwhile they have serious fundamental problems with the core parts of the swing.
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
Shroud,

Now problem to take a look. I've seen much more painful. I took a close look at a bunch of forehands in the first clip.

There is quite a bit of extraneous backswing. But the element that most caught my eye was the lack of extension in the forward swing. Extension is the point at which the racket has traveled the furthest forward and toward the other side, although it is simultaneously coming around or across.

The question is the relative shape of the curve and the balance of the movement in 3 dimensions. For a basic power topspin drive there are some magic checkpoints.
Wrist at about eye level. Right racket hand at about the left edge of the torso. About a foot and a half of spacing between the hand and the torso or left shoulder.

Your swings finish low and short in comparison to this. The result is that the efficiency of the shot is reduced because the alignment of swing diverges too much from the path the shot.

This extension point, I should point out for clarity can be combined with various amounts of wiper rotation.
If you work on this position without the ball and develop a mental image and feel for it, it can guide you when you hit through imagery.

As for the backswing, a lot is made of the necessity of the so-called ATP swing and I would agree it's something close to ideal. But the biggest problem in your preparation is that the turn and the left arm stretch are not complete and the stance is too open. Your left arm should stretch hard across your body parallel to the baseline and perpendicular to the sideline. A line across your feet at the completion of this turn should be at a 45 degree or at least 30 degree angle to the baseline.

You can also experiment with the Brian Gordon backswing position, by starting in the above turn before the hit. Your hand should go back on a slight diagonal to the outside or your right. Wrist no higher than shoulder height and you could try tilting the racket tip slightly forward. Get in this position before the ball comes out then pull the hand forward to the extension image.

Notice I didn't say a word about lag and snap. This is what I was referring to in the first post. There are so many problems with the fundamentals in the preparation and forward swing that it's ludicrous to focus on that allegedly fabulous wrist action...

The good news is that it is quite doable to master these two positions. I have seen it literally thousands of times across the levels.
Thanks a bunch John.

Sadly I am a bit lost. This confused me a ton:
The question is the relative shape of the curve and the balance of the movement in 3 dimensions. For a basic power topspin drive there are some magic checkpoints. Wrist at about eye level. Right racket hand at about the left edge of the torso. About a foot and a half of spacing between the hand and the torso or left shoulder.
Are you talking about the follow through here? Sorry but its not clear.

What I think I heard in all this is "shorten the back swing" and "hit more out in front". Ill re-read and see if it sinks in more but right now I am a bit lost as to what to do.

I saw Brian Gordon on the site but cant view any of the links.
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
Ok, you pull, but, in my humble opinion, you don't achieve the racquet lag (the delayed arm), probably b.c:

a) You don't do what Jon Yandell recommends, to have a laid back wrist:

JohnYandell said:
When you pull with the butt of the hand the wrist is going to lay back. In fact you can start it that way.

b) You grip the racquet too tight: Boletierri said not to have any tension whatsoever neither in your grip nor in your arm.

c) You probably don't practice enough shadow swings. I even recommend trying to see if you can achieve the delayed arm, without a racquet.

It's easy to check by just looking at your hand and arm(without a racquet), that should be moved/pulled by the core(leg push followed by moving the hip). Hand and arm will lag behind , in a relaxed manner...

Exactly like LockandRoll tennis is explaining:

http://lockandrolltennis.com/forehand/

"In the monkey drum illustration, note that the strings on the drum swing only after the drum is rotated. In the same way, your hitting arm and hand should swing only after you rotate your core (a split second delay). This will help you achieve the whip-like effect that the best forehand hitters in the world have."

I do ask people at my club to try the delayed arm without a racquet first and many can't do it for the reasons mentioned above.

You'll get effortless power and your balls will stay more in court.

If I do that what happens is I get the flipper action and the wrist breaks. If I lock the wrist in the take back that doesnt happen.

I dont think I can hold much looser.

I'll try today and see. Maybe turning the flipper movement into a wiper will work?
 

JohnYandell

Hall of Fame
Shroud,
I am talking about the shape of the forward swing and the magic checkpoints for the forward swing before the start of the deceleration phase or wrap. What I am suggesting is that you learn to model them without the ball and then create an image to guide your swing.
Normally if your preparation and extension are good everything in between falls in place. It's impossible to make earlier contact if the swing is truncated. As for "shorten the backswing." Generic and vague. Again what I am suggesting is a highly specific model position with checkpoint.
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
Shroud,
I am talking about the shape of the forward swing and the magic checkpoints for the forward swing before the start of the deceleration phase or wrap. What I am suggesting is that you learn to model them without the ball and then create an image to guide your swing.
Normally if your preparation and extension are good everything in between falls in place. It's impossible to make earlier contact if the swing is truncated. As for "shorten the backswing." Generic and vague. Again what I am suggesting is a highly specific model position with checkpoint.
Ok! I am trying my damnedest to understand.

Wrist at about eye level- So when I do the unit turn the wrist should be at eye level?? The arm raises on takeback?

Right racket hand at about the left edge of the torso. The left edge of the torso? If I am turning to the right the left edge of the torso is now the left shoulder and is pointing to the net. The racket doesnt go back further than that?

About a foot and a half of spacing between the hand and the torso or left shoulder. That I think I understand.

Are there pictures of what the magic points look like?? That would help more than the text for me I think.

Thanks John!
 

JohnYandell

Hall of Fame
No wonder you are confused! Those aren't for the backswing--but the end of the forward swing. There are pictures and videos galore on Tennisplayer that under the new rules I can't post. But you could take the free month sign up and see a way more comprehensive explanation.
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
No wonder you are confused! Those aren't for the backswing--but the end of the forward swing. There are pictures and videos galore on Tennisplayer that under the new rules I can't post. But you could take the free month sign up and see a way more comprehensive explanation.
LOL! Ill take a look. Thanks!
 

JohnYandell

Hall of Fame
Shroud,
If you can get somewhat close to the backswing position and learn the extension position your forehand is going to be simple reliable and fun.
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
Shroud,
If you can get somewhat close to the backswing position and learn the extension position your forehand is going to be simple reliable and fun.
Thanks John!

I will do my best but it seems like a million miles away at this point. Thanks for the optimism.
 

Curious

G.O.A.T.
THANKS!! Thats an amazing offer and it gives me great sadness to put you through watching these vids! Though I promise to implement any advice you have.

Here I was learning and focusing on a real unit turn, laying back the wrist, and planting:


Here is a few month later and I am trying to hit 100 balls in a row. Honestly I never thought I would do it, as slowing down and being consistent is not a forte. If I slow down the stroke they seem to fly and I need to swing out to get spin. But this night I managed to hit bunches of 3/4 paced FHs:


Thanks again!
You might already be aware of it but especially in the second video your forehand takeback starts so late, almost after the ball already bounced off the court. This is also exactly what I noticed with my forehand on video yesterday. That's why it looks rushed and cramped up. Just saying.
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
You might already be aware of it but especially in the second video your forehand takeback starts so late, almost after the ball already bounced off the court. This is also exactly what I noticed with my forehand on video yesterday. That's why it looks rushed and cramped up. Just saying.
Yep. I cant fix that. Its either slow reaction time or i want to hit well. If its not rushed then i think too much and its a mess.

Super demoralizing to set up wait and choke half way through....
 

Curious

G.O.A.T.
Yep. I cant fix that. Its either slow reaction time or i want to hit well. If its not rushed then i think too much and its a mess.

Super demoralizing to set up wait and choke half way through....
I know it's not easy. Probably one of the most crucial aspects of advanced tennis. It requires perfect timing, anticipation of ball speed and trajectory and appropriate footwork.
 
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