Taking "some off"

Wesley J

Rookie
What does it mean to take "some off" your serve/ground strokes, how do you do it, and why do you do it?
 

S&V-not_dead_yet

Talk Tennis Guru
What: Hit with less speed and/or spin.

How: use more spin and less drive; or, swing more slowly and get both less spin and less drive.

Why: you're either trying to make your shot easier [ie you're rallying with someone 2 levels below you] or you're in a position where hitting with a lot of speed/spin is not desirable [you're on the defense and just want to get it back into play or, oppositely, you're in complete control and don't need that much to hit a winner.
 

Wesley J

Rookie
What: Hit with less speed and/or spin.

How: use more spin and less drive; or, swing more slowly and get both less spin and less drive.

Why: you're either trying to make your shot easier [ie you're rallying with someone 2 levels below you] or you're in a position where hitting with a lot of speed/spin is not desirable [you're on the defense and just want to get it back into play or, oppositely, you're in complete control and don't need that much to hit a winner.
How does this relate to racket head speed?
 

S&V-not_dead_yet

Talk Tennis Guru
How does this relate to racket head speed?
It depends on which scenario:

- If you're playing someone well below your level, you'll want to slow down your RHS as well as back off the TS. You're not trying to hit a challenging ball; you want your opponent to be able to handle it.

- If you're playing competitively, you ideally want to maintain RHS but adjust your shot to use more TS and less drive to produce a more conservative shot with higher margin.
 
You have a huge looopy loop and i think your RHS speed would be considered slow.

There isn't much to take off, as you already are hitting at a controlled pace.
 

Sam Pras

Banned
How is this confusing?

Go outside. Throw a ball against a wall as hard as you can. Now throw one not that hard. Congratulations! You've done it.

Now move to tennis court and repeat.
Hey Cooper, I asked you in another thread about your credentials and you didn't respond.. Are you a teaching pro? Advanced player? Coach? Have you trained as a player?
 

S&V-not_dead_yet

Talk Tennis Guru
You have a huge looopy loop and i think your RHS speed would be considered slow.

There isn't much to take off, as you already are hitting at a controlled pace.
It's possible that his RHS speed would be considered slow but that doesn't mean he can't take off some %.

Also, it's possible @Wesley J wasn't even referring to himself but was asking a generic question, maybe based on something a commentator said.
 
D

Deleted member 23235

Guest
What does it mean to take "some off" your serve/ground strokes, how do you do it, and why do you do it?
IMO it means to go slow enough where your technique is clean and complete.
then speed up from there, but never so fast that my stroke technique breaks down, and when it does break down, slow down again.

imo, students (myself included) are always overly eager to start hitting hard as soon as possible..
without getting the fundamentals of a stroke down... so they end of skipping fundamental parts of the technique

on the serve for example, i see beginners trying to "hit big" when their toss is like 5ft from where it's supposed to be...
let's take my lefty serve for example (i'm a righty)... when i try to "serve big":
* my toss is often off
* coordination with legs is off
* don't have a full shoulder tilt
* don't have a full coil
basically i'm try to arm the ball as hard as i can, and pray i make good contact

so i slow things down... focus on the just my toss first, then add shoulder tilt, etc... (i'm still at this "phase" of my lefty-serve development)

for the fh, it could be as simple as eliminating a loop, if you're having timing issues (i end up doing this against big hitters automatically), and not necessarily about controlling your rhs (though eliminating your loop will likely slow down your rhs naturally)

gl
 

FiReFTW

Legend
I agree with the above description when talking about training and practice and improving strokes, but taking some off can also refer to match situations as @S&V-not_dead_yet described, like if your in a very defensive position and just want to get the ball in, or you are in total control, attacking the short ball and opponent is completely off the court, you can take off pace and simply aim it to the other side very controlled, since you don't need to hit hard to win the point.
 

J011yroger

Talk Tennis Guru
How is this confusing?

Go outside. Throw a ball against a wall as hard as you can. Now throw one not that hard. Congratulations! You've done it.

Now move to tennis court and repeat.
The ball bounced off the wall and hit me in the nose.

Now my nose hurts.

Bad advice.

Would not try again.

J
 

Sam Pras

Banned
A thread about the meaning of the phrase 'taking some off'? And then there's actually some debate as to what that means? Maybe we're all spending way too much time on these boards. It just doesn't have to be this Complicated.
At some point you have to dip into the ole commonsense and just leave it at that.
 

J011yroger

Talk Tennis Guru
A thread about the meaning of the phrase 'taking some off'? And then there's actually some debate as to what that means? Maybe we're all spending way too much time on these boards. It just doesn't have to be this Complicated.
At some point you have to dip into the ole commonsense and just leave it at that.
Sorry, this is the internet, common sense is more rare than diamonds.

J
 

Wesley J

Rookie
How was this presented to you? Did someone mention taking speed off your swing or such?
The specific context was for second serves. I was hitting topspin first serves that were a bit deep. When I try and "take some off", I slow my swing. The serve goes in but it lands in the middle of/slightly past the middle of the services box. Is it simply because I slowed my swing too much? Should I have kept the swing the same and gone for more brush?

I phrased the question the way I did because I was curious what it meant to other people and how they addressed it; sometimes you get better answers when you don't leave out specifics. Basically the answers from @nytennisaddict and @S&V-not_dead_yet were what I was looking for.
 

Sam Pras

Banned
Pushing wins! Beautiful strokes mean nothing.
Beautiful strokes mean a whole lot! It does not tell you everything but it tells a lot. The fact that there are some players with nice strokes who have trouble winning matches does not discount the many more who will crush you.
 

FiReFTW

Legend
The specific context was for second serves. I was hitting topspin first serves that were a bit deep. When I try and "take some off", I slow my swing. The serve goes in but it lands in the middle of/slightly past the middle of the services box. Is it simply because I slowed my swing too much? Should I have kept the swing the same and gone for more brush?

I phrased the question the way I did because I was curious what it meant to other people and how they addressed it; sometimes you get better answers when you don't leave out specifics. Basically the answers from @nytennisaddict and @S&V-not_dead_yet were what I was looking for.
Assuming your technique is consistent, meaning ur consistently hitting the spot u want and a bit too deep, you don't slow the swing down, you either:

1.Toss the ball slightly more infront
2.Close the racquet face slightly more by changing the grip a bit more towards the eastern grip

And just like magic, your balls will be a bit more aggressive and shorter with the same swing as before.
 

Nellie

Hall of Fame
Obviously you can try to hit the serve softer, but I don't like to change my technique too much because this causes inconsistency. I have a wondering toss, so I have some techniques I used when my top-spin serve is not working. First, I like to swing faster but more vertically and less forward through the ball for more brushing/spin. I would not try to soft hit a top spin serve because you are going to get a meatball waiting to get crushed. Next, I do more knee bend to get lower during the toss and focus on looking up to have more vertical movement. If my serve is still going long, I go to an eastern-backhand grip for even more spin and less pop.
If I am still not hitting serve in, I take more off of my serve by using a very short, abbreviated service motion. I start in a trophy position with my racquet head pointed up and elbow back, before the toss. During the toss, I move my serving arm so my hand is touching the back of my head and I move my hand up, like I am combing the back of my head to swing up and through the ball.
 

S&V-not_dead_yet

Talk Tennis Guru
The specific context was for second serves. I was hitting topspin first serves that were a bit deep. When I try and "take some off", I slow my swing. The serve goes in but it lands in the middle of/slightly past the middle of the services box. Is it simply because I slowed my swing too much? Should I have kept the swing the same and gone for more brush?
I agree with @TimeToPlaySets - don't slow down your RHS. Simply change the angle of attack to get more spin and less drive.
 

nvr2old

Hall of Fame
There's a lot to be said for solid sweet zone contact. That alone will win the war with often less than maximum effort and still with great pace I've found (hard to do it in the heat of the battle though I've found personally).
 
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