Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by thefan, May 17, 2007.
What are some good exercises that will increase racquet head speed?
Snapping the wrist will make good racquet speed I think.
Proper form is going to make a big difference, so study video of good players if you have it. Speed really doesn't come from trying to force the racquet to move quickly. It is a matter of setting up the kinetic chain, moving quickly and relaxing through the shot.
On the forehand, a little torso rotation at the right time initiated by the hips will give you about 20mph more racquet head speed without seeming like you are swinging any faster (I use a swing speed radar from golf to measure racquet tip speed). At the end of the backswing and as your start the forward swing, the feeling of initially pulling the racquet into the shot will allow you to generate more headspeed. This holds for both the backhand and forehand.
On the serve, the proper racquet path and pronation of the racquet through contact will give you a lot of speed without any more effort.
If you have a racquet without string, you can use it to practice swinging faster with regular form. For slightly more weight than the normal racquet, something like the speedchain is good for developing explosive power.
relax your wrist totally, I mean completely floppy.
DO NOT SNAP YOUR WRIST, just relaz it and let it choose it's own path.
You never want to waver from a stroke that has good form. Work first on perfecting your stroke before trying to hit harder.
Once you have the technique down and can return "heavy" balls and junk balls with equal ease, then start on adding speed to your stroke.
What you are looking for is the exact same motion you have already perfected, just faster-- more "explosive".
Here are some things you can try.
Start by trying to hit your balls deep, near the baseline- say within 3-4 feet of the baseline. At first hit these balls with your normal stroke and pace. To get them deep, your ball will travel fairly high over the net.
Once you can hit them deep on a regular basis, you want to start hitting them harder. To keep them in the court you will have to arc them lower over the net and use some topspin to bring them down into the court. This you are going to have to practice until you find the right ratio of forward momentum and topspin.
To work on the explosive part of your stroke, get one of those loops of rubber tubing and attach one end to the doorknob. Hold the other end and practice the motion of your stroke- over and over.
Also, try finding and old racket cover and practice your stroke in front of a mirror with the cover on the racket and a tennis ball (or 2) inside the cover for weight.
Then have someone hit you medium paced groundstrokes. WATCH the ball, move your weight forward and through the ball, hit the ball in the center of your strings with a flowing motion THROUGH the ball. Work on your timing. Eventually, when you hit the ball it will sound more like a "pock" than a "thwang" and you are on your way to hitting harder with control.
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