Stop talking nonsense about being relaxed when hitting the ball !!!

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
@travlerajm
Tennis is not baseball. Tennis is not about power. It is more about control. I understand that you recommend to throw a racket at the ball. Post here video so that we could see how it works.
Are you confusing power with strength? Strength is about applying maximal force against the load. Power is about exerting a force in as short a time as possible. Explosiveness. This applies to sprinting, jumping, swinging implements, throwing implements, etc.

While not quite as high as Olympic weightlifting, world-class sprinting, boxing and American football, the power requirements for elite level tennis is still quite high. Pretty close to the power requirements needed for baseball. The strength requirement for tennis is moderate. Perhaps a bit lower then required for baseball.

Both baseball (batting) and tennis require a very high level of hand-eye coordination. The endurance requirements for tennis are much higher than it is for baseball.

Like tennis, baseball fielding, throwing and pitching requires a very high level of control. Control is not unique to tennis.
 

grzewas

Semi-Pro
@travlerajm

Are you confusing power with strength? Strength is about applying maximal force against the load. Power is about exerting a force in as short a time as possible. Explosiveness. This applies to sprinting, jumping, swinging implements, throwing implements, etc.

While not quite as high as Olympic weightlifting, world-class sprinting, boxing and American football, the power requirements for elite level tennis is still quite high. Pretty close to the power requirements needed for baseball. The strength requirement for tennis is moderate. Perhaps a bit lower then required for baseball.

Both baseball (batting) and tennis require a very high level of hand-eye coordination. The endurance requirements for tennis are much higher than it is for baseball.

Like tennis, baseball fielding, throwing and pitching requires a very high level of control. Control is not unique to tennis.
Maybe you dont know but I graduated in theoretical physics and it would be impossible if I didnt know the difference between power and force. I use physics in tennis and it is one of the reasons why I won so many tournaments. 25 won tournaments on national and international level and 10 finals during last 4 years. It is not bad for a weak person with injured right wrist.
 

1HBHfanatic

Legend
-a good example of this phenomenon is watching a natural 1Hander try to hit a 2HBH!! (n)o_O
-it not only looks forced, tight, and choppy, but the ball goes nowhere/short/weak
-a good 2hbh is smooth and relaxed
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
Ask this guy from first video. He is a decent player. You can see here.
Decent player. But, seriously, he really needs to relax. He appears to be trying way too hard. Seems to think hitting in this manner is what intensity is all about. Federer appears to be much more relaxed when he's hitting.

Top players often find themselves in a state of "flow". They know how to compete with a relaxed intensity. Zen masters and top martial artists know this is well. Nikola doesn't seem to get this. Perhaps he could have played at the pro level if he did.

 

grzewas

Semi-Pro
-a good example of this phenomenon is watching a natural 1Hander try to hit a 2HBH!! (n)o_O
-it not only looks forced, tight, and choppy, but the ball goes nowhere/short/weak
-a good 2hbh is smooth and relaxed
Is it a good two handed backhand ? Is it relaxed ?
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
Maybe you dont know but I graduated in theoretical physics and it would be impossible if I didnt know the difference between power and force. I use physics in tennis and it is one of the reasons why I won so many tournaments. 25 won tournaments on national and international level and 10 finals during last 4 years. It is not bad for a weak person with injured right wrist.
@Gregory Diamond ???

Not quite sure that physicists define power quite same way that exercise physiologist or human performance experts do.
 

Curiosity

Professional
It's difficult to talk/write about tennis form without causing some confusion simply because terms and phrases are not commonly defined/trained. Here goes:

To stay "relaxed" when hitting a forehand really does just mean "use the appropriate muscles at the appropriate time without unnecessary tension elsewhere in your body. Train well enough that this becomes automatic." JMO.

The essence of a contemporary forehand is to generate racquet head speed by getting the hitting hand/racquet back with the body in a fully coiled-back position. One of the points of that posture requires having the hitting upper arm (at first, before forward lauch) well up/out from the body so that there is a degree of locking: left relaxed at the start of forward rotation the hitting upper arm cannot sag farther back if the elbow is high enough. You can relax the arm and shoulder without losing the rotational momentum/speed that the upper body is going to transfer to the hitting upper arm, setting it in motion without any arm flex. The forward swing starts with the flex of muscles, and which ones you take advantage of depends somewhat on your position, preparation. Ideally you extend your legs from the flexed position, which pulls on the leg-to-hip (pelvic arch) pair of muscles and thus pulls your hips into line with your upper legs. This action then pull on the pair (left and right) of hip-to-rib cage muscles (obliques) triggering their contraction, which sets your torso rotating. This sequence is called "uncoiling," and it results from the fact that you flexed your knees and coiled back in the first place stretching the relevant muscles.

Uncoiling launches torso rotation. Your hitting shoulder/upper arm are relaxed and won't sag back, which sag would bleed momentum transfer from the torso to the hitting upper arm. At the instant of first forward motion of the hitting arm you perform ESR, rotating your hitting upper arm in the shoulder socket. This does several things: It gets the racquet back and low, and typically is the moment a player first extends the wrist back, taking advantage of the racquet's momentum backward. (I'm not interested in arguing whether the ESR and wrist extention "just happen" or whether you "do them," though my opinion is that you do them with minor muscle effort until the dual actions become automatic.) The most relevant result of The ESR and wrist extention (usually called, as a pair, "lag") here is this: Once you ESR your hitting upper arm, the new ESR'd orientation of your upper arm takes over the role that getting your hitting upper arm up and away from the side had originally: The ESR'd arm won't yield (sag back) as your torso rotation forces the hitting upper arm (and the forearm and racquet...) around. The arm is still relaxed.

Somewhere around the torso hitting 45º from facing the net, your torso is still driving the hitting arm. (This is also true in the serve, typically.) At that point you'll flex the forearm muscles (and the lats...) to bring the still-lagged wrist, and the racquet, around to contact well in front. You want to perform ISR up into contact, the opposite of ESR. You'll find that if you squeeze your grip just up into contact, it will boost the ISR action. That flex won't slow down the racquet (if your wrist was still fully back, lagged) into contact, but will just help intensify the ISR. The ISR accelerates the racquet forward a good bit (so don't do it too soon), causes the racquet to rise in the plane of the string-bed (for spin...), and causes slight forward tilt of the racquet fact (which also boosts spin, provided your racquet face is generally moving low to high).

So be relaxed, except for flexing the muscles needed, and at the correct instant. There, laugh, I'm done.
 
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1HBHfanatic

Legend
Is it a good two handed backhand ? Is it relaxed ?
-thats a good video explample for this topic, but nooo,, not a good 2hbh IMO, from my 1HBH eyes!! o_Oo_O8-B
-decent and workable, YESSS!!
-looks tight to me, a med/short swing
-but again, what do i know, i tried the 2hbh for a bit and failed miserably, not a shot for me
-i do like how caroline wozniaky hits her 2hbh; that looks good 2 my untrained eyes
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
Power is a measure of the rate at which energy is transferred.
That's a physics definition. Exercise physiology uses a somewhat different definition for power. Related, but not the same. Power is synonymous with "speed strength" for exercise experts. It's primarily about how quickly muscles move.
 
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grzewas

Semi-Pro
-yup, i tought so too
- i know from reading and asking others, that the tighter you grip the handle, the worst it gets
I cant remember even one case that in tournaments my opponent had advantage on the backhand side. Probably they were too relaxed.
 
Why do you think that when we use muscles we are tense ? Are you tense when you walk or run ?
Have you ever heard a player say after a match - "I was too tight" while describing why they lost or had a bad patch of play. Or Djokovic yelling at himself -"Pusti ruku!" (let go of your hand!) during a match? Being relaxed in sports doesn't mean "don't contract your muscles". It means "let the body do what it has learned to do".
 

grzewas

Semi-Pro
-yup, i tought so too
- i know from reading and asking others, that the tighter you grip the handle, the worst it gets
Maybe somebody from the forum members could show us his loose two handed backhand. I am really curious. Probabaly you all talk about something you dont understand.
 

grzewas

Semi-Pro
Have you ever heard a player say after a match - "I was too tight" while describing why they lost or had a bad patch of play. Or Djokovic yelling at himself -"Pusti ruku!" (let go of your hand!) during a match? Being relaxed in sports doesn't mean "don't contract your muscles". It means "let the body do what it has learned to do".
So which muscles should work when you hit forehand ? At least we established that some muscles should work during that stroke.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
So which muscles should work when you hit forehand ? At least we established that some muscles should work during that stroke.
I believe that almost everyone here knows that various muscles contract and relax during the process of hitting a forehand (or any other stroke). However it is employing optimal muscle tension and relaxation for producing a desired result is what relaxed intensity is all about.

Players who are too tight (or perhaps, too intense) tend to tighten too many muscles. Or they might tighten the proper muscles for too long. Or they might even tighten the proper muscles but, perhaps too much. All of these things can be counterproductive and produce a sub-optimal result.

Too much tension can also result in premature fatigue of the muscles.
 

1HBHfanatic

Legend
Maybe somebody from the forum members could show us his loose two handed backhand. I am really curious. Probabaly you all talk about something you dont understand.
-soo, why you getting defensive??
-you know you have a UGLY backhand!!, why not try to improve it!!,
-instead you are here trying to pick verbal fights with people offering their advise and input from their own experience
-btw, here are some GOOD 2hbhs,,
-none of these players have the "PERFECT technique" (sarcasm), that the "International Champion of Poland in +55 category" has, but their backhands are text-book and not hip-shots like yours
-you see how easy i can throw mud, just like you!! idiot
 

3loudboys

Legend
-soo, why you getting defensive??
-you know you have a UGLY backhand!!, why not try to improve it!!,
-instead you are here trying to pick verbal fights with people offering their advise and input from their own experience
-btw, here are some GOOD 2hbhs,,
-none of these players have the "PERFECT technique" (sarcasm), that the "International Champion of Poland in +55 category" has, but their backhands are text-book and not hip-shots like yours
-you see how easy i can throw mud, just like you!! idiot
Great video - Milan is a great player and coach. Nice pick.

Edit: I agree with everything you said.
 
So which muscles should work when you hit forehand ? At least we established that some muscles should work during that stroke.
All muscles that need to work. But ideally, you don't think about contracting muscles, it simply happens. The more "relaxed" or "loose" you are, the more you let trained muscle memory take over.

This is more discussion about linguistics, I think. It's not relaxed as in relaxing in the pool with a drink, but not being tight, both in the mind and the body.
 

grzewas

Semi-Pro
-soo, why you getting defensive??
-you know you have a UGLY backhand!!, why not try to improve it!!,
-instead you are here trying to pick verbal fights with people offering their advise and input from their own experience
-btw, here are some GOOD 2hbhs,,
-none of these players have the "PERFECT technique" (sarcasm), that the "International Champion of Poland in +55 category" has, but their backhands are text-book and not hip-shots like yours
-you see how easy i can throw mud, just like you!! idiot
This guy in video cant play two handed backhand. If he could he would show us. I have been waiting for hours for any of you to show me video with your loose strokes . It would be the best if it was recording of real match. I begin to suspect that most of you cant play tennis even at average level.
 

grzewas

Semi-Pro
All muscles that need to work. But ideally, you don't think about contracting muscles, it simply happens. The more "relaxed" or "loose" you are, the more you let trained muscle memory take over.

This is more discussion about linguistics, I think. It's not relaxed as in relaxing in the pool with a drink, but not being tight, both in the mind and the body.
So show us video with your relaxed strokes.
 

grzewas

Semi-Pro
There are several videos of me playing in Jolly's thread. Go look for yourself. I'm far from being relaxed enough, I admit. But my game has nothing to do with this discussion whatsoever.

Anyway, why are you so hostile? Relax, man. ;)
Could you post here link to this thread ? I am not hostile. I am just curious. As you see I dont believe in that "looseness" and the best way to convince me is to show how well it works at the amateur level.
 

Dragy

Legend
This guy in video cant play two handed backhand. If he could he would show us. I have been waiting for hours for any of you to show me video with your loose strokes . It would be the best if it was recording of real match. I begin to suspect that most of you cant play tennis even at average level.
There's no tennis played outside of Polish +55 category! Maybe some poor attempts here and there... :cry:
 

grzewas

Semi-Pro
Have you coerced Gregory into playing in your videos? We all know its him but you can still do the right thing and let him loose on these boards again. These are clearly GD's theories that you have plagiarised.
I am his great fan. Somebody even noticed that Gregory Diamond posted his videos from my YouTube account. I cant explain how it is possible. Maybe he is a hacker. I have never met him personally though many times we played in the same tournaments in the same category. We have never played against each other.
 

Dragy

Legend
I only said that it was pathetic not to show two handed backhand in the lesson about two handed backhand.
If you go through the guy's channel you find multiple practice videos with pros he recorded, where he hits ton of BHs. So if anything was pathetic in this thread...
 
Could you post here link to this thread ? I am not hostile. I am just curious. As you see I dont believe in that "looseness" and the best way to convince me is to show how well it works at the amateur level.
Jolly's 'post yourself playing good thread'. It's in this section of the forum. But there are many better examples than my game in that same thread. I'm not loose enough.
 

grzewas

Semi-Pro
If you go through the guy's channel you find multiple practice videos with pros he recorded, where he hits ton of BHs. So if anything was pathetic in this thread...
I have just watched his rally with Jaryd. He is a good player but I dont like his backhand. It is even more stiff than backhand of Djokovic.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
I am his great fan. Somebody even noticed that Gregory Diamond posted his videos from my YouTube account. I cant explain how it is possible. Maybe he is a hacker. I have never met him personally though many times we played in the same tournaments in the same category. We have never played against each other.
I have met Gregory Diamond many times. He consults with me whenever he needs his physics theories reviewed, amended or rectified.

He has spoken of you. He says that your tight, high-intensity physics kung fu is no match for his superior stop-jumping-like-a-goat physics style.
 

grzewas

Semi-Pro
I have met Gregory Diamond many times. He consults with me whenever he needs his physics theories reviewed, amended or rectified.

He has spoken of you. He says that your tight, high-intensity physics kung fu is no match for his superior stop-jumping-like-a-goat physics style.
Gregory Diamond proved that most elements of so called "modern" technique usually didnt work in amateur tennis and in older categories. We all know that.
 

5263

G.O.A.T.
It's difficult to talk/write about tennis form without causing some confusion simply because terms and phrases are not commonly defined/trained. Here goes:

To stay "relaxed" when hitting a forehand really does just mean "use the appropriate muscles at the appropriate time without unnecessary tension elsewhere in your body. Train well enough that this becomes automatic." JMO.


So be relaxed, except for flexing the muscles needed, and at the correct instant. There, laugh, I'm done.
I liked this
 

grzewas

Semi-Pro
If you go through the guy's channel you find multiple practice videos with pros he recorded, where he hits ton of BHs. So if anything was pathetic in this thread...
And here there is his video about "loose wrist". He says the same what the guy in the first video in this thread. At the beginning the grip cant be completely loose and before the contact with the ball it should be tightened to stabilize the racket. Of course you shouldnt block the movement of the head of the racket in the vertical direction. If you tighten the grip before the contact of the ball with the strings your grip will stay tightened at least to the moment when the head of the racket rises to the level of your left shoulder. As you see it is not throwing the racket at the ball. Nobody proposes tightening all muscles during the stroke.
 

RajS

Semi-Pro
@grzewas Well, your grip has to be strong enough so that the racket doesn't fly off, that's for sure! There is a way of holding and positioning the racket through the take back and the swing forward, as @Curiosity has pointed out, that will lock the racket with your torso's forward rotation, even with a grip that is just tight enough to prevent the racket from flying off. This will minimize the recoil from hitting the ball to a large extent, in spite of a loose grip. Also, your hand will instinctively tighten at contact a little more, to present more mass to the ball and prevent recoil, which presumably will be much less than the tightness that happens with deliberately gripping hard. The looseness is necessary for the wrist motion that does a lot of wonderful things such as generating pace and spin, among others.

In your post, it sounds like you are asking people to deliberately grip the racket very tightly, which, even in my own humble experience, has been a recipe for disaster.
 
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