Topspin One handed backhand forward swing

Curious

Legend
Is it an active pendulum swing of hand forward from the top of take back? Do you actively swing the hand in a wide U shape and that is also how you drop the racket?
Doing it in any other way sounds like a slap or push rather than a proper stroke.
 
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Dragy

Legend
I’d say, it should be there as a start of the motion, but it’s more complex than just U-swing:
- Dual objective - getting the racquet below the ball and inside the ball-body spacing might be more significant, than acceleration from the drop (although the latter is still required);
- As torso starts uncoiling/rotating, the second part of “U” is converted into different shape (out, up and across), with ESR (racquet surpassing the hand upward) completing the picture.

PS Using both hands on racquet during drop part of U and transitioning to torso rotation seems efficient.
 

Curious

Legend
I’d say, it should be there as a start of the motion, but it’s more complex than just U-swing:
- Dual objective - getting the racquet below the ball and inside the ball-body spacing might be more significant, than acceleration from the drop (although the latter is still required);
- As torso starts uncoiling/rotating, the second part of “U” is converted into different shape (out, up and across), with ESR (racquet surpassing the hand upward) completing the picture.

PS Using both hands on racquet during drop part of U and transitioning to torso rotation seems efficient.
Tsitsipas so clearly starts his forward swing from the top of take back, from then on it looks like a single swinging motion.

 

Dragy

Legend
Tsitsipas almost has a pause at the top of the take back before the forward swing starts.
Yes! Absolutely! Just like on FH, where after initial unit turn he splits hands and gets racquet back high, where he “almost” (or actually?) pauses, then drops to initiate forward swing. Here are configurations you may pause at waiting for ball to bounce:


 

Curious

Legend
Yes! Absolutely! Just like on FH, where after initial unit turn he splits hands and gets racquet back high, where he “almost” (or actually?) pauses, then drops to initiate forward swing. Here are configurations you may pause at waiting for ball to bounce:


Yes, drop and swing is a myth or a misconception, I mean it was for me at least. I hit much better drive backhands tonight after implementation of starting the forward swing from the top of the take back like Tsitsipas.
 

Dragy

Legend
Yes, drop and swing is a myth or a misconception, I mean it was for me at least. I hit much better drive backhands tonight after implementation of starting the forward swing from the top of the take back like Tsitsipas.
It’s all words trying to explain this or that… I come to a conclusion, whatever clicks is good for a person. Coaches talking about drop’n’swing might imply something correct, but if you don’t gel with it - better leave it and find different point of view.
 

Fintft

Legend
It’s all words trying to explain this or that… I come to a conclusion, whatever clicks is good for a person. Coaches talking about drop’n’swing might imply something correct, but if you don’t gel with it - better leave it and find different point of view.
Or say the same things, using different wording, until the student gets it(according to one of my coaches)?
 

Chas Tennis

G.O.A.T.
Is it an active pendulum swing of hand forward from the top of take back? Do you actively swing the hand in a wide U shape and that is also how you drop the racket?
Doing it in any other way sounds like a slap or push rather than a proper stroke.
To determine the forward & downward motion of the racket head, always look at clear high speed videos.

Does the racket move from the high point mostly forward or down?

How does the racket head move, what joints are involved?

How does the angle of the racket shaft to the horizontal change?

Do these frames look typical as a before and after for the racket orientation?



"See racket high point in take back and drop before the forward swing. Backhand starts around second 56, racket drop 1:07."

This is the same 1HBH technique used by Gasquet, Wawrinka and most other top one hand backhands.
 
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LeeD

Bionic Poster
Gerulitis and Gotfried had linear, almost mechanical 1hbh topspin forehands, yet long fluid slice backhands
 

Morch Us

Professional
Drop is drop and forward swing is forward swing :) ... they are separate, but part of "same swing". But this is one thing which is hard to follow via words, and depends on student to student. Most rec players have issue with racket drop, and creating an artificial pause in the swing (at dropped position), to get the drop tuned in is OK. If you already have a good racket drop, and have an unnecessary pause at drop, you can consider it to be a single swing, to avoid the lost power and smoothness of swing.

But to be correct in explanation, a drop is not part of "forward swing". It is hard to explain, but none of the musles used for "active" forward motion is being activated during the drop, you get the drop and feel the weight of the racket, and a stretch action "before" activating the muscles for forward swing. This is same in forehand and serve as well.

But again if thiking "drop is part of forward swing" works for you, continue think that way. Just that it is not what exactly happening (but that may not be important). What you feel maybe different than what is happening.

The crucial thing is that the drop is part of the forward swing, nothing separate.
Yes, drop and swing is a myth or a misconception, I mean it was for me at least. I hit much better drive backhands tonight after implementation of starting the forward swing from the top of the take back like Tsitsipas.
 

ballmachineguy

Professional
Morch Us is correct.
The backswing, if you want to call it that, builds the tension in the muscles on the backhand. Relaxing that position let’s the racquet drop and start forward a bit. The real forward swing then starts. If you just drive forward from the backswing, racquet tip still pointed up, with muscle power, the racquet would not get below the ball enough, would not fishtail-behind-you/lag at all and your resulting swing would be painful to watch.

Whatever happened to those shots vs the ball machine on the clay court 6 or so months ago? Those were great! It is like you have gone backwards looking for something you had already found.
 

Curious

Legend
Morch Us is correct.
The backswing, if you want to call it that, builds the tension in the muscles on the backhand. Relaxing that position let’s the racquet drop and start forward a bit. The real forward swing then starts. If you just drive forward from the backswing, racquet tip still pointed up, with muscle power, the racquet would not get below the ball enough, would not fishtail-behind-you/lag at all and your resulting swing would be painful to watch.

Whatever happened to those shots vs the ball machine on the clay court 6 or so months ago? Those were great! It is like you have gone backwards looking for something you had already found.
Wrong again and misleading for people trying to learn something here. You’re actually one of those ‘dangerous’ guys here who present their views as absolute facts, who never use words like “ to me, in my opinion, I believe, I think” etc.
 

zill

Hall of Fame
Is it an active pendulum swing of hand forward from the top of take back? Do you actively swing the hand in a wide U shape and that is also how you drop the racket?
Doing it in any other way sounds like a slap or push rather than a proper stroke.
Very loose arm and swing forward after maximum torso rotation backward aka coil. Some like Thiem will make sure their right arm is fully stretched backward as well. Some like Fed and Dimitrov don't care about their right arm. That's it! The drop should only come from gravity basically.

Although when swinging forward the intention should be to brush upward on the ball which should then communicate to the arm to drop below the ball. The extent of the drop will depend on the intended shot (factoring in speed, topspin, depth, angle etc).
 

Curious

Legend
The drop should only come from gravity basically.
That’s very iffy!
Tsitsipas pendulum forward swing is so explosive starting from the top of take back that I doubt gravity has any role. It’s like an active pendulum motion. If it was a true passive pendulum motion the drop would be from gravity. That swing though would have no power!
 

zill

Hall of Fame
That’s very iffy!
Tsitsipas pendulum forward swing is so explosive starting from the top of take back that I doubt gravity has any role. It’s like an active pendulum motion. If it was a true passive pendulum motion the drop would be from gravity. That swing though would have no power!
All drop whether forehand or serve come from gravity. In other words it's not done consciously. Momentarily the body is 'letting go of the racquet' at that instant. But you are still holding the racquet so biomechanics still exists hence different players have different drops.
 
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zill

Hall of Fame
Some say all strokes is reduced down to coil, uncoil. But something happens during the transition - the drop!
 

Curious

Legend
All drop whether forehand or serve come from gravity. In other words it's not done consciously. Momentarily the body is 'letting go of the racquet' at that instant. But you are still holding the racquet so biomechanics still exists hence different players have different drops.
I reckon you should give it some more thought.

 

zill

Hall of Fame
I reckon you should give it some more thought.

All I can say is this can only be proved or disproved in a zero gravity environment! See if we can play tennis in that environment - at all !!!!! Or even a proper shadow swing lol
 
To determine the forward & downward motion of the racket head, always look at clear high speed videos.

Does the racket move from the high point mostly forward or down?

How does the racket head move, what joints are involved?

How does the angle of the racket shaft to the horizontal change?

Do these frames look typical as a before and after for the racket orientation?



"See racket high point in take back and drop before the forward swing. Backhand starts around second 56, racket drop 1:07."

This is the same 1HBH technique used by Gasquet, Wawrinka and most other top one hand backhands.
Henin has one of the most aesthetically pleasing backhands in history, IMO. I love watching her hit backhands.
 
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Curious

Legend
Sorry but I mentioned gravity in a few prior posts and you made a video on it.
Yes, I made the video to show that the drop is a part of the active swing, that it doesn’t happen passively by gravity and this was your reply, which is derailing the discussion/ avoiding the topic to me.

All I can say is this can only be proved or disproved in a zero gravity environment! See if we can play tennis in that environment - at all !!!!! Or even a proper shadow swing lol
 

tonylg

Legend
I'm not sure if I actively push the racquet down or not. I probably do, without even thinking. I have always told kids to think of it as a drop, as in "relax and let it fall, don't hold it up".

At the end of the day, it is best to think of it as the latter. The swing should be as relaxed and possible and that will come from relaxing and dropping rather than actively pushing the racquet down.

That's how every great one handed backhand I know of was developed.
 

zill

Hall of Fame
Yes, I made the video to show that the drop is a part of the active swing, that it doesn’t happen passively by gravity and this was your reply, which is derailing the discussion/ avoiding the topic to me.
I want to see you do a proper tennis shadow swing in a zero gravity environment just like you would in a normal environment. I am claiming gravity is needed for the drop. You are extending my claim by saying drop happens passively by gravity. I never said the word 'passively'.
 

tonylg

Legend
Important distinction is that your swing path is actually upwards before the bottom of the drop. That's how you create racquet head speed, but having the head catch up with the handle.

You won't learn that unless you are thinking relax and drop (with gravity).
 

Curious

Legend
Important distinction is that your swing path is actually upwards before the bottom of the drop. That's how you create racquet head speed, but having the head catch up with the handle.

You won't learn that unless you are thinking relax and drop (with gravity).
I disagree. It’s an active parabola shape swing, nothing else. Gravity has near zero contribution.
 

zill

Hall of Fame
I disagree. It’s an active parabola shape swing, nothing else. Gravity has near zero contribution.
Ok let's try a shadow swing in a zero gravity environment and see how we go. Hence I posted that link of what's it like in a zero gravity environment.
 

tonylg

Legend
I disagree. It’s an active parabola shape swing, nothing else. Gravity has near zero contribution.
Why do you think you've struggled for so long to progess to the stage of having reliable, basic swings?

I don't think you're physically uncorodinated, quite the opposite. You definitely don't lack application or effort.

Must be something else?
 

Curious

Legend
Why do you think you've struggled for so long to progess to the stage of having reliable, basic swings?

I don't think you're physically uncorodinated, quite the opposite. You definitely don't lack application or effort.

Must be something else?
Could it be that I started this at age 47 unlike you at 8??
 

zill

Hall of Fame
Could it be that I started this at age 47 unlike you at 8??
You should be able to pick up the game faster at 47 as I assume a 47 year old is in general smarter and more knowledgeable than an 8 year old. Although an 8 year old would have more potential in the long run.
 

Curious

Legend
You should be able to pick up the game faster at 47 as I assume a 47 year old is in general smarter and more knowledgeable than an 8 year old. Although an 8 year old would have more potential in the long run.
Is that why we see so many adult rec players picking up the game so well and fast and play great tennis?? :D
 

zill

Hall of Fame
Is that why we see so many adult rec players picking up the game so well and fast and play great tennis?? :D
Faster than kids initially yes. Plateaus afterwards mainly due to lack of dedication. Your very dedicated though so not like the other adults.
 

tonylg

Legend
Could it be that I started this at age 47 unlike you at 8??
That's a fair comment and I've always applauded your application and dedication to learn. Not sure I could do it now, possibly because I'm almost as stubborn as you are.

You should be able to pick up the game faster at 47 as I assume a 47 year old is in general smarter and more knowledgeable than an 8 year old. Although an 8 year old would have more potential in the long run.
I believe the opposite of this is true. Kids just do things. Sure, they can be lazy or difficult .. but never did I have an 8 year old tell me they won't relax and let the racquet drop because they want to make an active parabola shaped swing.

The path to a good swing is a well worn one. I think Curious needs to think less and do more. Get a feel for the game rather than try to analyse. Youtube coaches are partially to blame. Nothing beats quality real time, in person tuition.
 

Curious

Legend
Faster than kids initially yes. Plateaus afterwards mainly due to lack of dedication. Your very dedicated though so not like the other adults.
Faster than kids initially yes. Plateaus afterwards mainly due to lack of dedication. Your very dedicated though so not like the other adults.
I’m not sure if I’ve seen many people that have been in more rabbit holes than I did.
 

tonylg

Legend
Believe me, the time I spend with the coach couldn’t be any higher quality. What we do here is more like a hobby talk, fun and entertainment.
I reckon if you just did that for 6 months and had no youtube or ttw, you'd improve out of sight.
 

Curious

Legend
I reckon if you just did that for 6 months and had no youtube or ttw, you'd improve out of sight.
I really wish I could do that. Will think about it again seriously. I can spend that wasted time on many other things that I’ve been neglecting.
 

zill

Hall of Fame
That's a fair comment and I've always applauded your application and dedication to learn. Not sure I could do it now, possibly because I'm almost as stubborn as you are.



I believe the opposite of this is true. Kids just do things. Sure, they can be lazy or difficult .. but never did I have an 8 year old tell me they won't relax and let the racquet drop because they want to make an active parabola shaped swing.

The path to a good swing is a well worn one. I think Curious needs to think less and do more. Get a feel for the game rather than try to analyse. Youtube coaches are partially to blame. Nothing beats quality real time, in person tuition.
Kids are less biased and less stubborn correct. That is a positive for tennis. A smart enough adult though will be able to drop the bias and stubbornness when learning something new like tennis surely. Although it probably has more to do with the personality of the adult than intelligence.
 

StringSnapper

Hall of Fame
i like it but on your swings when you say "pendulum" and then do shadow swings, i'd be imagining more of a linear swing. i.e. from the takeback imagine going linear straight to contact. In reality the racquet will wrap around your body after - but for the swing part i think its more consistent to imagine a linear swing path and lots of extension out in front to the direction you're trying to hit
 

Curious

Legend
i like it but on your swings when you say "pendulum" and then do shadow swings, i'd be imagining more of a linear swing. i.e. from the takeback imagine going linear straight to contact. In reality the racquet will wrap around your body after - but for the swing part i think its more consistent to imagine a linear swing path and lots of extension out in front to the direction you're trying to hit
Of course. It’s 3 dimensional. Back to front and also left to right and high-low-high.
 

StringSnapper

Hall of Fame
^ to describe the above more cleanly, as its something ive been thinking of lately:

1. early prep with racquet / body etc in ready position
2. torso rotates and initiates the swing
3. arm has slight lag
4. racquet hand drops below contract point
5. racquet hand is propelled up (by torso rotation as much as possible) into contact point, as linearly as possible
6. racquet hand continues extension in direction you've aimed, after contact
7. arm is fully extended and hand has nowhere else to go except wrap around your body (for a forehand at least)
 
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