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

Curious

Legend
His theories aside @grzewas seems to hit the ball very well on both wings.
I hope there’s no cherry picking in his videos though. Can you post a video of a whole set you play with all the points, errors included?
 

RajS

Semi-Pro
@Curious I think @grzewas may have a discrepancy between what he thinks he is doing and what he is actually doing. Remember, as GD, he was very much against the split step, but when I examined his movement, it seemed to me that he was split stepping more often than not, and his movement is just excellent. He has great touch for volleys. His serve is very good and very accurate, especially for his age category. As I posted a few days ago, his backhand has all the right elements and is absolutely solid, although people may have their differences regarding his execution style. He has a mean two handed forehand, too! So, I think if we were to measure the pressure of his grip, it might be the case that it is not too tight, but he may feel he is gripping tight because, by his own admission, he has been playing many years with an injured hand.

@grzewas, I apologize for talking about you in the third person, but I didn't know how to get my point across in any other way. I do enjoy your videos a lot, and look forward to more!
 

Dragy

Legend
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.
You proposed to tighten so that the ball feels the mass of the body. Become a human wall with as rigid arm-racquet structure for contact as possible.
If you’ve been actually thinking of simply getting some control over RF orientation and not letting it fly away, what are we arguing about? That’s trivial.
 

ubercat

Professional
Loose rotational shot s r harder to time. That's y we say hit with power to big targets. If your opponent is completely off the court and u just have to hit it softly over the net you re going to use an old skool linear stroke because the racquet keeps facing the ball through the whole arc. So timing doesn't matter aka it's hard to screw up.
 

mxmx

Hall of Fame
How I see it, is that every shot in tennis should be as relaxed as one can be within reason, just BEFORE and ON CONTACT, which should have a stronger wrist. This includes volleys and the serve.
 

grzewas

Semi-Pro
You proposed to tighten so that the ball feels the mass of the body. Become a human wall with as rigid arm-racquet structure for contact as possible.
If you’ve been actually thinking of simply getting some control over RF orientation and not letting it fly away, what are we arguing about? That’s trivial.
Nothing has changed. Tigtening the grip helps to sabilize the racket during the impact and we can recover more kinetic energy from the approaching ball. We should seek compomise between the speed of the racket and tightness of the grip because tightening the grip we may slow down the head of the racket. The slower approaching ball is the more we use inertia of the racket so the speed of the racket is then more important but it doesnt mean that the grip is loose. This looseness can be applyed only to possibility of the racket movement upward.
 

Dragy

Legend
Nothing has changed. Tigtening the grip helps to sabilize the racket during the impact and we can recover more kinetic energy from the approaching ball. We should seek compomise between the speed of the racket and tightness of the grip because tightening the grip we may slow down the head of the racket. The slower approaching ball is the more we use inertia of the racket so the speed of the racket is then more important but it doesnt mean that the grip is loose. This looseness can be applyed only to possibility of the racket movement upward.
What swingweight are your racquets?
 

grzewas

Semi-Pro
His theories aside @grzewas seems to hit the ball very well on both wings.
I hope there’s no cherry picking in his videos though. Can you post a video of a whole set you play with all the points, errors included?
Proces of uploading videos on YouTube is the longer the longer uploaded video is. That is why usually my videos last below 5 minutes. I can show you longer video but from 2017 when I used my old two handed forehand. My left hand was over the right hand. I play here with International Champion of Poland in +35 category. I taught him play tennis. Now he is favourite in National Championships in +40 category. I used my old camera so the quality is not good.

Here even earlier game with the same player.
 
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a12345

Professional
Why do you think that when we use muscles we are tense ? Are you tense when you walk or run ?
Were not tense, or at least we shouldnt be to get maximum power. You fire your muscle to contract it but continuing to fire the muscle doesnt add power.

Indeed in this chart it suggest maximum power comes at roughly 1/3 of the velocity and 1/4 of the force applied from the muscle contraction. So force is the contraction of the muscle and velocity is the speed at which you contract the muscle.



Force-Velocity Relationship

The force-velocity relationship in muscle relates the speed at which a muscle changes length with the force of this contraction and the resultant power output (force x velocity = power). As velocity increases force and therefore power produced is reduced. Although force increases due to stretching with no velocity, zero power is produced. Maximum power is generated at one-third of maximum shortening velocity.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
What does swingweight mean ? Both my rackets weigh 315 g without strings but additionally they are weighted onto the racket head by a lead strap. About 2 g.
Swingweight is a measure of MOI with the hand at 10cm from the butt end of the racket. It tell us something about the mass distribution of a racket. It tells us quite a bit more than providing just the mass and the balance point. As a physicist, you should be well acquainted with MOI.
 

Dragy

Legend
What does swingweight mean ? Both my rackets weigh 315 g without strings but additionally they are weighted onto the racket head by a lead strap. About 2 g.
As @SystemicAnomaly posted. In tennis practice it covers how well racquet reflects the ball power/plows through the ball, given everything else is equal.
Would be better to get some exact figure for your SW to understand why you feel the need to squeeze the handle. I use a 352 static, 340 SW racquet, and all I need is to put racquet head behind the ball with mild forward push to reflect a hard first serve back deep. No squeeze, no tension.
 

grzewas

Semi-Pro
Swingweight is a measure of MOI with the hand at 10cm from the butt end of the racket. It tell us something about the mass distribution of a racket. It tells us quite a bit more than providing just the mass and the balance point. As a physicist, you should be well acquainted with MOI.
Of course I know what moment of inertia is. To increase moment of inertia I added lead tape to the head of my rackets.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
Of course I know what moment of inertia is. To increase moment of inertia I added lead tape to the head of my rackets.
Ok, but that still doesn't tell us the swingweight of your rackets. TW measures & publishes the strung swingweight of rackets that are sold on this website. But, since you're adding lead to the head of your rackets, you are altering its swingweight. TWU provides a way of measuring and calculating the SW of your rackets:

 
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EddieBrock

Professional
Normally I like intuit tennis videos, but I disagree with him and the idea of intentionally being tense when hitting your ground strokes. For me when I get nervous I get tense and my feet don't work as well and I lose a ton of power on both sides. When I'm relaxed and just let the arm flow through I can hit my forehand extremely hard and a ok backhand.

Of course your arm, wrist, fingers, etc are involved and if you have an injury there you're going to feel it. My power comes from the legs, core, hips, shoulders and I do almost feel like I could almost just let me arms go along for the ride. It just requires a tiny bit of effort from the arms, but it's almost automatic. It seems like trying to tense your arms and swing them at the ball apart from the rest of your motion is a recipe for disaster.

Just my 2 cents.
 

J D

Rookie
Tension is the enemy of movement. Totally tensed muscles can’t move. Relaxation is the enemy of movement. A totally relaxed muscle can do no work. There is a balance.

The art of athletics is efficient movement by contracting (tensioning) certain muscles the right amount to initiate the desired movement and then relaxing those muscles enough to allow it to continue while also keeping the opposing muscle(s) relaxed enough the whole time to not interfere. Some muscles have to stay tensed to a certain degree throughout a movement, for example, the grip in tennis. There is always a balance between tension and relaxation for explosive movement with control. More relaxation is generally better because it leads to more efficient movement, less injury, and increased stamina.

Done in the proper amount and sequence, players can initiate and then transfer energy from one body part to another to allow the smaller muscles to be used more for control than movement. Obviously, we call this process the kinetic chain. The body works best this way, with smaller muscle groups having less strength but better developed fine motor skills.

There are as many different strokes as there are players. Every pro’s strokes look slightly, or sometimes hugely, different than every other pro's. There are many different ways to accomplish the same task in tennis. What works for one person may not work for another because of physical or even mental differences. Rather than use the terms right and wrong, I tell my students there are often just easier and more efficient ways of doing something.

All that being said, Grzewas, you play with the most tension I have ever seen at a high level. Rather than utilize the full kinetic chain, you take the frame directly back in an abbreviated backswing, violently twist your shoulders at the last instant, and then arm the ball. It works for you because you value control over power and because you are a good athlete. Most people could not begin to be successful with your technique. I'm not the first to say this, but you could get more power with less work and have the same amount of control by relaxing, using the kinetic chain more, and lengthening your swing path (although it may take some practice and patience since changing technique is often not easy).

Not to pile on, but it seems odd that you would be encouraging others to use your style when we don’t see any pros or other high level rec players that play like you. You make it work for you and you’re happy with it. Great. Others have chosen to work a lot less to get the same or better results. That's even better, because too much tension also can lead to injuries.

Just because I can get from point A to point B by walking on my hands doesn’t mean it’s the easiest way to do it or that I need to tell others it's what they should be doing.
 
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travlerajm

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.

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 want 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 forarm 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 stringbed (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.
I am not convinced that the current prevailing method of teaching the forehand (emphasing wrist layback then release) leads to best results. I think this is the downfall of the NextGen at the pro level, as well as the fatal flaw of many a 3.5 player. I think keeping a stable wrist angle through the hitting zone leads to more accuracy.
 
I am not convinced that the current prevailing method of teaching the forehand (emphasing wrist layback then release) leads to best results. I think this is the downfall of the NextGen at the pro level, as well as the fatal flaw of many a 3.5 player. I think keeping a stable wrist angle through the hitting zone leads to more accuracy.
Leads to best results at advanced levels. Maybe not the appropriate technique for every level.
 

travlerajm

G.O.A.T.
Leads to best results at advanced levels. Maybe not the appropriate technique for every level.
I disagree that it leads to best results at advanced levels. It works for the Big3, but the generations after them have tried to copy their techniques and failed.

I think this is a superior foolproof technique for forehand. The wrist stays in same angle through most of the forward stroke:
 

travlerajm

G.O.A.T.
Ah yes, Hewitt and his famous forehand...
When I visited Ecuador last year, the former ATP player that I played against a few times had a forehand technique almost identical to Hewitt. It was the most accurate forehand I’ve ever played against. This guy was only 5’9”, not much of a serve, not especially athletic or fast, but he’d beaten Delpo in an ATP tour match.
 
When I visited Ecuador last year, the former ATP player that I played against a few times had a forehand technique almost identical to Hewitt. It was the most accurate forehand I’ve ever played against. This guy was only 5’9”, not much of a serve, not especially athletic or fast, but he’d beaten Delpo in an ATP tour match.
He was accurate playing at your level, doesn't mean it was a good forehand at ATP level.
 

grzewas

Semi-Pro
To be honest I wasnt sure whether Seles was having a laugh but then your unique communication style gave it away!

Sent from my SM-A705FN using Tapatalk
Today when I was playing tennis I tried not to clench my jaws and tried to hit backhand with loose grip. No power and no control. I dont like to lose so I tightened the grip and won 6:3 6:1
 

3loudboys

Legend
Today when I was playing tennis I tried not to clench my jaws and tried to hit backhand with loose grip. No power and no control. I dont like to lose so I tightened the grip and won 6:3 6:1
Who were you playing? The win is only relevant to the standard of opposition - and trying to stay relaxed after years of stiff jerky pushing may take months to get out of the system. Also, winning using poor technique does nothing but provide a false sense of security and offers no incentive to improve. You have repeatedly drilled home how your style has got you so far but never quite to where you want to be - champion of Poland in the whatever age category you now compete in. I know you'll disagree or repeat some of your dogma, but try some of these recommendations seriously and you will get some benefits. Its not your muscles that are tight and unbending, its your mindset.
 
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grzewas

Semi-Pro
Who were you playing? The win is only relevant to the standard of opposition - and trying to stay relaxed after years of stiff jerky pushing may take months to get out of the system. Also, winning using poor technique does nothing but provide a false sense of security and offers no incentive to improve. You have repeatedly drilled home how your style has got you so far but never quite to where you want to be - champion of Poland in the whatever age category you now compete in. I know you'll disagree or repeat some of your dogma, but try some of these recommendations seriously and you will get some benefits. Its not your muscles that are tight and unbending, its your mindset.
I practiced long rallies before my first match in Polish Championships. I will play against one of two major favourites. He was Polish Champion in doubles when he was a professional.

The tighter my grip was the better I played.
 

3loudboys

Legend
I practiced long rallies before my first match in Polish Championships. I will play against one of two major favourites. He was Polish Champion in doubles when he was a professional.

The tighter my grip was the better I played.
You have to do more on that return of serve against the low pace in the video. I get going down the middle deep of a good fast first but those are two very slow seconds.

Edit: did you relax your jaw or tuck it in behind your elbow?
 

grzewas

Semi-Pro
You have to do more on that return of serve against the low pace in the video. I get going down the middle deep of a good fast first but those are two very slow seconds.

Edit: did you relax your jaw or tuck it in behind your elbow?
I didnt want to attack his serve because I wanted to practice long rallies. That is my tactics for the first match in Polish Championships. I play against former professional. Polish Champion in doubles(as a professional) and runner-up in last year Polish Championships in +50 category. The only chance for me is to tire him so that he began to hate tennis. Usually his matches are short. He's not used to playing too long matches.
 
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3loudboys

Legend
I didnt want to attack his serve because I wanted to practice long rallies. That is my tactics for the first match in Polish Championships. I play against former professional. Polish Champion in doubles(as a professional) and runner-up in last year Polish Championships in +50 category. The only chance for me is to tire him so that he began to hate tennis. Usually his matches are short. He's not used to playing too long matches.
I join the 50+ next year so will be looking at playing a few tournaments work permitting - thats a big caveat. The UK is very strong in this category so will be looking to play more singles tournaments to beef up that mental sharpness.
 
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