What produces a "heavy ball"

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

  1. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

    Jul 13, 2004
    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.
  2. gameboy

    gameboy Hall of Fame

    Jul 10, 2009
    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+).
  3. Bertie B

    Bertie B Semi-Pro

    Nov 27, 2006
    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.
  4. shindemac

    shindemac Hall of Fame

    Aug 2, 2005
    A heavy ball has more spin and/or pace than you're used to. Once you get used to it, it loses its "heaviness".
  5. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Dec 28, 2008
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    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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