What produces a "heavy ball"

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by guedoguedo, Jun 29, 2006.

  1. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    Well, LeeD might be right here but I think its spin. When you play or hit against players who hit with pace & rpm's you feel it after a while.
     
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  2. gameboy

    gameboy Hall of Fame

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    People are making this way more complicated than what it is. The "heavyness" you feel when you hit a ball is the ball's momentum. You are changing the direction of the path that ball is traveling. That means you need to counter-act the momentum that the ball is carrying. That is what you are feeling.

    Momentum is just mass times velocity.

    However, there are two kinds of velocity; vector velocity which is the path that the ball is traveling on and angular velocity which is how fast the ball is spinning. When you combine them together, you get this:

    Momentum "heavyness" = (Weight of the ball X Velocity) + (Weight of the ball X Angular Velocity)

    This simply means that the ball will feel heavier when it is traveling faster and spinning faster.

    I will put a caveat that heavy spinning balls feels "heavier" (more than it really should based on its angular momentum) a lot of the times, because it is more difficult to hit it in the sweetspot, which will cause the racquet to twist in your hand and make the shot feel heavier.

    P.S. The earlier posts about "heaviness" of baseball sinker is actually describing something other than momentum. Baseball people call pitches "heavy" when it drops more than expected - like a sinker. However, sinker has much less spin (usually about 1000 rpm or less and usually slower) than a fastball (3000 rpm+).
     
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  3. Bertie B

    Bertie B Semi-Pro

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    I think heaviness is achieved with an extended contact through the strike zone. This requires you take the ball a little later so you get more weight behind the ball.
     
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  4. shindemac

    shindemac Hall of Fame

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    A heavy ball has more spin and/or pace than you're used to. Once you get used to it, it loses its "heaviness".
     
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  5. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    A "heavy" ball can also be a dead flat ball hit deep into your discomfort zone.
    You mishit it, force it, block it, but to no effectiveness, so you can say it's "heavy" with placement.
     
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  6. Bogdan_TT

    Bogdan_TT Professional

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    Last edited: May 25, 2017 at 1:14 PM
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  7. ChaelAZ

    ChaelAZ Rookie

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    Rain. Those suckers get really heavy.
     
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  8. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    A "heavy" ball to a 5.5 level player is a nothing ball for Federer.
    A "heavy" ball that I feel is a nothing poof ball to a 5.5 level player.
    A "heavy" ball to a 3.0 is a sitter easy ball for me.
    PERCEPTION, not absolute.
     
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  9. Fintft

    Fintft Hall of Fame

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    I felt it right away a couple of days ago against the best player in town (21, tries to go on the challenger circuit). It was a lesson, so although he took it easy on me (plus he couldn't move fast, recovering from an ankle injury) his balls were the heaviest I've seen (a combination of pace and spin). His elder sister and coach (who has a few WTA matches under her belt and is the coach I use in Canada), doesn't hit as heavy.

    It's obviously technique (and yes he tries to hit as deep as possible as well).
     
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  10. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    It's not only spin, it's the combination of spin, ball speed, and placement. Any two without the third is not a "heavy" ball, since it's only 2/3rds to the total components.
    Papa, if it's the same one I played against, are both 4.0's. We don't hit "heavy" balls to each other, but we hit "heavy" balls to 3.5's and lesser player's.
    Every 5.0 level player hit's "heavy" balls to us, when they're trying.
     
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  11. ChaelAZ

    ChaelAZ Rookie

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    Speed and overall "heaviness" is not absolute, but what makes it a heavy ball is, which is the combination of spin and speed. I get what you mean though, such that a 3.0 player who hits a heavy ball in 3.0 may be considered average when they move to 4.0 because their shot weight doesn't transfer up for some reason. So that can be part of perception, but none the less hitting a heavy ball at any level is a heavy ball for that level.
     
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  12. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Rafa can hit his hardest heavy topspin at me, and it wouldn't bother me much if it landed short serve box depth, and I was standing 5' behind my baseline.
    However, if his shot landed within a foot of my baseline, I'd just fall down trying to respond to the PLACEMENT of his shot.
     
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  13. kiteboard

    kiteboard Legend

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    Pace produces the heaviest shots. The kind of pace that hurts your hand, that is.
     
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