What's up with Fed's shoulder tilt in his 1hbh prep?

ByeByePoly

G.O.A.T.
Well, if that were the case, couldn't an opponent just read where Fed's passing shot was going to go?

I think Fed's 1HBH is very disguised up until the very last moment...
You mean reading the point of shoulder rotation end right before contact? Good luck with that ... it happens a frame or two before contact.
 

IowaGuy

Hall of Fame
@IowaGuyI have no idea how you would measure "accuracy potential".
It seems to me that some swingpaths could lead to more power, while others could lead to better accuracy?

For example, the loopier the shot (Thiem/Wawrinka), the more power potential but the more critical the timing. Whereas McEnroe had very compact strokes but extreme control.

It seems to me that Fed's swingpath is more linear towards his target than Wawrinka, this might allow a larger "contact window" to hit his intended target? (kind of like how the slice BH is more forgiving since the racket face points towards the target longer than a topspin BH).

I don't have any stats or analysis to back this up, other than just watching slo-mo video and studying still photos...

Food for thought...
 
Chas - when you say prefer, are you saying that for your personal BH you prefer this technique? Or are you saying that you think it is technically superior from a biomechanical perspective?

I think one advantage of Fed's technique might be more precision, as he says more sideways through the shot and doesn't over-rotate as much as Gasquet/Wawrinka. This may allow him to hit targets more accurately? (He can really paint the lines with that 1HBH, especially when he was playing a smaller frame!)



The reasons that I prefer the technique of Gasquet, Justine Henin and Wawrinka are in my long thread on the one hand backhand:
1) Several years ago, prior to 2013, I hit my first rare strong backhand under unusual circumstances. I was running towards a shorter ball on the backhand side of the court. I somehow believed/knew while running that I could hit a very heavy paced backhand. I did. It had some kind of a distinct feeling from the shoulder chest area. ? I tried other times and - total backhands - hit only up to 10 similar backhands over a period of time. From that experience I was certain that there was a much better backhand technique and started asking what was happening. No video, no understanding of the technique. I speculate that running gave me the feeling of the chest pressing on the upper arm because my uppermost body was going side-to-side from running. ???
2) Watched four courts in a row and noticed that one player turned his shoulders distinctly back and forward and was also the best player. = shoulder turn
3) Gasquet and Wawrinka had the most famous men's backhands. I remembered Justine Henin's outstanding one hand backhand from watching her on TV. They were models to study.
4) I was making some progress on my backhand here and there. Mostly more shoulder turn. No complete backhand was practiced or stuck. I know now the racket take back was very low and the elbow was bent but I did have more shoulder turn.
5) By then in 2013, I was seriously into high speed video analysis of tennis strokes. In May 2013, I posted a thread asking where the initial forward forces for the one hand backhand came from.
https://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/index.php?threads/one-hand-backhand-waht-force-to-start-forward-swing.462997/
6) At a tournament, I went to watch F. Lopez because he has a one hand backhand. I was disappointed because he hardly hit any drives, maybe 80%+ backhands were slices. ? I searched 'one hand backhand F. Lopez' and a blog had listed him as one of the 'worst 10 backhands'. He is an outstanding athlete with a strong serve. What's going on? I studied his backhand technique in high speed videos. His upper arm separates from his chest early in the forward swing of his backhand. I decided that part of Lopez's backhand technique was probably not good.
7) In Nov 2015, based on viewing high speed videos that showed the chest pressed to the upper arm or not, I decided that the chest appearing to press on the upper arm was associated with the better backhands of Wawrinka, Justine Henin and Gasquet, but not with Lopez's weaker backhand, and probably not with Federer's better backhand. I'd like to see a more thorough study of pro backhands, better stats, etc. . In Nov 2015, I understood the backhand technique used by Wawrinka, Gasquet and Justine Henin regarding the forces to start the initial forward motion. See post #51. https://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/index.php?threads/one-hand-backhand-waht-force-to-start-forward-swing.462997/
8) Note - I recently realized that the arm is round and the chest is curved so that where these two come into direct contact in a crevasse will never be clear in high speed videos. Draggy had made some arguments for alternate forces. We disagreed. Because high speed videos are the only creditable source of information for now, I started looking at the line between the shoulders and the upper arm - they appear to move together as if the chest is pressing on the upper arm. On my own backhands - not a pro backhand - I feel the chest on upper arm press especially on my better backhands. When I last looked at my videos this hardly lasts any distance -only 2-3" for me - unlike the pro backhands - and I was not sure which practice backhands of mine had had heavy pace. If chest press occurs over a longer distance it becomes easier to observe as in the pros.
9 Recently, I tried to copy Gasquet's high racket take back, bring down with the off arm, straight hitting arm, angle down from the shoulder, etc. Difficult to get all together. Don't have a grooved stroke. I hit some heavier paced backhands, turning back far, turning my uppermost body, leaving the shoulder muscles relaxed at first and accelerating with a straight arm.
10) Feelings. I can feel the chest press sometimes. To simulate the feeling, take a very small weight, 1 lb - in your hand with straight arm and turn your upper most body as if starting a forward backhand swing. I can also feel a stretch (back, shoulder blade area ??? ) when I take the racket back fully and that 'fully' is necessary for the best pace that I can hit. I would like to know if the pros feel or felt this when they first started hitting their backhands. ??

I know that the technique above can be done with force through impact or forces can be ended just before impact and racket head speed used, or reduced forces???? I don't know how to get reliable information on that issue. Maybe the word 'release' applies? Using my experiences or practice is the last choice. For decades, I believed in books on tennis. Learning about ISR on the serve shocked me into being very skeptical. I read poster's thoughts and experiences, consider them, but don't accept them without evidence and video. Their strokes are unknown.
 
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ByeByePoly

G.O.A.T.
Hard to follow your video analysis. Can you give time of the Fed video or post frame pictures? I'm not following your points.

Federer has a high level backhand. It uses a different technique than Gasquet, Justine Henin and Wawrinka and several others. I prefer the Gasquet, Justine Henin and Wawrinka technique. They use a two phase forward acceleration where the first phase is that the uppermost body turn causes the upper arm to turn in the forward direction. The uppermost body and upper arm can be seen to turn in sync and I believe that the chest is pressed to the upper arm during acceleration and forces there are important. Later, the shoulder muscles may then move the upper arm off the chest.
"I'm not following your points."

I can't either. :eek:

Two BBP points/theories in this thread:

1) more power from more horizontal arm in a 1hbh than a arm angled down
2) don't rotate core/shoulders through contact ... only arm and racquet moving at contact

"The uppermost body and upper arm can be seen to turn in sync"

All strokes ... upper arm has to come with shoulder, it's attached.
 

ByeByePoly

G.O.A.T.
It seems to me that some swingpaths could lead to more power, while others could lead to better accuracy?

For example, the loopier the shot (Thiem/Wawrinka), the more power potential but the more critical the timing. Whereas McEnroe had very compact strokes but extreme control.

It seems to me that Fed's swingpath is more linear towards his target than Wawrinka, this might allow a larger "contact window" to hit his intended target? (kind of like how the slice BH is more forgiving since the racket face points towards the target longer than a topspin BH).

I don't have any stats or analysis to back this up, other than just watching slo-mo video and studying still photos...

Food for thought...
Yep ... I have had similar thoughts. Throw this in the mix ... there is both "line" and "depth" involved in a target. My logic is a horizontal swing would be most accurate hitting to depth (say anywhere on baseline within 3 feet). It would seem low to high (linear) would be most accurate hitting to line/direction without regard to depth.

So Connors better for depth, Nadal better for line. Then throw in Kyrgios that hits one of the best dtl 2hbh dead flat horizontal short swing. :eek:
 

ByeByePoly

G.O.A.T.
The reasons that I prefer the technique of Gasquet, Justine Henin and Wawrinka are in my long thread on the one hand backhand:
1) Several years ago, prior to 2013, I hit my first rare strong backhand under unusual circumstances. I was running towards a shorter ball on the backhand side of the court. I somehow believed/knew while running that I could hit a very heavy paced backhand. I did. It had some kind of a distinct feeling from the shoulder chest area. ? I tried other times and - total backhands - hit only up to 10 similar backhands over a period of time. From that experience I was certain that there was a much better backhand technique and started asking what was happening. No video, no understanding of the technique. I speculate that running gave me the feeling of the chest pressing on the upper arm because my uppermost body was going side-to-side from running. ???
2) Watched four courts in a row and noticed that one player turned his shoulders distinctly back and forward and was also the best player. = shoulder turn
3) Gasquet and Wawrinka had the most famous men's backhands. I remembered Justine Henin's outstanding one hand backhand from watching her on TV. They were models to study.
4) I was making some progress on my backhand here and there. Mostly more shoulder turn. No complete backhand was practiced or stuck.
5) By then in 2013, I was seriously into high speed video analysis of tennis strokes. In May 2013, I posted a thread on the issue of where the initial forces for the one hand backhand came from.
https://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/index.php?threads/one-hand-backhand-waht-force-to-start-forward-swing.462997/
6) At a tournament, I went to watch F. Lopez because he has a one hand backhand. I was disappointed because he hardly hit any drives, maybe 80%+ backhands were slices. ? I searched 'one hand backhand F. Lopez' and a blog had listed him as one of the 'worst 10 backhands'. He is an outstanding athlete with a strong serve. What's going on? I studied his backhand technique in high speed videos. His upper arm separates from his chest early in the forward swing of his backhand. I decided that part of Lopez's backhand technique was probably not good.
7) In Nov 2015, based on viewing high speed videos that showed the chest pressed to the upper arm or not, I decided that the chest appearing to press on the upper arm was associated with the better backhands of Wawrinka, Justine Henin and Gasquet, but not with Lopez's weaker backhand, and probably not with Federer's better backhand. I'd like to see a more thorough study of pro backhands, better stats, etc. . In Nov 2015 I understood the backhand technique used by Wawrinka, Gasquet and Justine Henin regarding the forces to start the initial forward motion. See post #51. https://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/index.php?threads/one-hand-backhand-waht-force-to-start-forward-swing.462997/
8) Note - I recently realized that the arm is round and the chest is curved so that where these two come into direct contact in a crevasse will never be clear in high speed videos. Draggy had some arguments for alternate forces. We disagreed. Because high speed videos are the only creditable source of information for now, I started looking at the line between the shoulders and the upper arm - they appear to move together as if the chest is pressing on the upper arm. On my own backhands, not a pro backhand, I feel the chest on upper arm press especially on my better backhands. When I last looked at my videos this hardly lasts any distance -only 2-3" for me - unlike the pro backhands - and I was not sure which backhands of mine had had heavy pace. If chest press occurs over a longer distance it becomes easier to observe as in the pros.
8) Recently, I tried to copy Gasquet's high racket take back, bring down with the off arm, straight hitting arm, angle down from the shoulder, etc. Difficult to get all together. Don't have a grooved stroke. I hit some heavier paced backhands, turning back far, turning my uppermost body, leaving the shoulder muscles relaxed at first and accelerating with a straight arm.
9) Feelings. I can feel the chest press sometimes. To simulate the feeling, take a very small weight, 1 lb - in your hand with straight arm and turn your upper most body as if starting a forward backhand swing. I can also feel a stretch (back, shoulder blade area ??? ) when I take the racket back fully and that 'fully' is necessary for the best pace that I can hit. I would like to know if the pros feel or felt this when they first started hitting their backhands. ??

I know that the technique above can be done with force through impact or forces can be ended before impact and racket head speed used, or reduced forces???? I don't know how to get reliable information on that issue. Using my experiences or practice is the last choice. For decades, I believed in books on tennis. Learning about ISR on the serve shocked me into being very skeptical. I read poster's thoughts and experiences, consider them, but don't accept them without evidence and video. Their strokes are unknown.

Question for you based on following two pics:



Are you interested in the "arm-to-chest" press in pic #1, or starting at pic #2? To me, the swing starts at pic #2, everything else before was just unit turn and drop.
 

Hmgraphite1

Hall of Fame
One thing I'm focusing on is "pinning" my off arm to my side during the beginning of the uncoiling. This allows the torso to move easily at first. At the drop, slot we can see pros with their off hands nearly pressed to their hip, just before contact to slow the rotation, the off arm swings "out" away from body to slow the rotation and accelerate the hitting arm. It can swing back fed, dimi, or just out away from torso wawa.
 
It seems to me that some swingpaths could lead to more power, while others could lead to better accuracy?

For example, the loopier the shot (Thiem/Wawrinka), the more power potential but the more critical the timing. Whereas McEnroe had very compact strokes but extreme control.

It seems to me that Fed's swingpath is more linear towards his target than Wawrinka, this might allow a larger "contact window" to hit his intended target? (kind of like how the slice BH is more forgiving since the racket face points towards the target longer than a topspin BH).

I don't have any stats or analysis to back this up, other than just watching slo-mo video and studying still photos...

Food for thought...
"loopier"? I see Wawrinka's basic stroke as more of a Lazy L. Racket rotated down and then forward. Seems similar for Gasquet and Justine Henin. Thiem and Federer I don't remember.

See especially side views 45- 2:50 sec.

The racket's motion to impact counts but after impact tennis players can slow down in various ways, using more or less muscle. What do we know about the end of the follow through as seen in the pictures and its relation to accuracy?
 

ByeByePoly

G.O.A.T.
One thing I'm focusing on is "pinning" my off arm to my side during the beginning of the uncoiling. This allows the torso to move easily at first. At the drop, slot we can see pros with their off hands nearly pressed to their hip, just before contact to slow the rotation, the off arm swings "out" away from body to slow the rotation and accelerate the hitting arm. It can swing back fed, dimi, or just out away from torso wawa.
I had never heard anything about off arm until ttw. I was curious to see what my off arm did in my 1hbh. It went straight down near side of body and stiffened ... never goes out wide or back.

So you hit a 1hbh. Do you hit 1hbh slice also?
 

IowaGuy

Hall of Fame
What do we know about the end of the follow through as seen in the pictures and its relation to accuracy?
Well, the follow-through does give information as to the swingpath, and the amount of time the stringbed is facing the target...

I would argue Fed's swingpath faces the target for a longer period compared to Wawrinka, therefore giving more margin for error and/or accuracy. Thoughts?
 
Question for you based on following two pics:



Are you interested in the "arm-to-chest" press in pic #1, or starting at pic #2? To me, the swing starts at pic #2, everything else before was just unit turn and drop.
Interested in both forces from the chest pressing on upper arm and the forces that swing of the upper arm at the shoulder joint. And their timing and variations among players. Whether the upper arm separates in frame #2 or later is not shown. Need the video.

"just shoulder turn" - that might be the largest contribution leading to rakket head speed at impact. That is the interesting question. I believe that the better backhands have more shoulder turn with chest to arm pressing as indicated by the shoulder turn and upper arm moving together.

Note - Fxanimator1 pointed out that the chest does not have to press on the upper arm before forward shoulder turn - the turn of the shoulder girdle, soon after it begins, will cause the chest pressing on upper arm forces.

In those Thiem pictures, the shoulder girdle has turned considerably if these are from the same camera. Put red line on frame #1 and compare to frame #2. Look at the front shoulder and chin.

In another thread, I discussed that if a player is running to the side he can plant a foot and convert his body speed to body rotation. That is, the planted foot/leg pushes the hip and the pelvis rotates. His shoulder and knee have moved to the right as viewed.
 
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Well, the follow-through does give information as to the swingpath, and the amount of time the stringbed is facing the target...

I would argue Fed's swingpath faces the target for a longer period compared to Wawrinka, therefore giving more margin for error and/or accuracy. Thoughts?
Seeing videos from above would show us how the rackets face. From the times that I have seen rare videos from above, I have not seen the special 'longer period on target'. I would like to see some video evidence of "swingpath faces the target for a longer period".

On the other hand, the Tennisspeed lines showing that the racket is closed approaching impact from the side view and the racket seems to have a controlled closed angle as seen by the tilted lines approaching impact.
 
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ByeByePoly

G.O.A.T.
Interested in both forces from the chest pressing on upper arm and the forces that swing of the upper arm at the shoulder joint. And their timing and variations among players. Whether the upper arm separates in frame #2 or later is not shown. Need the video.

"just shoulder turn" - that might be the largest contribution leading to rakket head speed at impact. That is the interesting question. I believe that the better backhands have more shoulder turn with chest to arm pressing as indicated by the shoulder turn and upper arm moving together.

Note - Fxanimator1 pointed out that the chest does not have to press on the upper arm before forward shoulder turn - the turn of the shoulder girdle will cause the chest pressing on upper arm forces soon after it begins.

The shoulder girdle has turned considerably if these are from the same camera. Put red line on frame #1 and compare to frame #2. Look at the front shoulder and chin.

In another thread, I discussed that if a player is running to the side he can plant a foot and convert his body speed to body rotation. That is, the planted foot/leg pushes the hip and the pelvis rotates. His shoulder and knee have moved to the right as viewed.
The grabbed the second pic right at the point the shoulder line (girdle) is just starting to rotate/uncoil. To me, from this point to contact is what matters ... everything before was prep, and everything after is follow through (I do agree with Iowa that follow through can be informative, however).

For me, I have found a good shoulder turn pretty much a requirement for a 1hbh ... even more so with 2hbh. I can pull off a decent fh with a minimum unit turn ... not so much with BHs. I had assumed with two arms on 2hbh that it would be easier when caught without good turn ... has been the opposite. Even on my 2hbh ros my thought is 1) try and flash some back to opponent 2) bare minimum is shoulders pointing at opponent.
 

Hmgraphite1

Hall of Fame
I had never heard anything about off arm until ttw. I was curious to see what my off arm did in my 1hbh. It went straight down near side of body and stiffened ... never goes out wide or back.

So you hit a 1hbh. Do you hit 1hbh slice also?
Yes slice also. I'm a work in progress. I've hit some awesome ohbh topspin shots, and framed or hit long, net a lot more. So now trying to document what works, since I've changed things up and don't know what's worked before, working toward consistency. I just started editing video so i'll post some soon. Guess i'll need a host to upload files to, not sure how this works.
 
.......................Guess i'll need a host to upload files to, not sure how this works.
You cannot upload pictures or videos directly from your computer to the forum. You need links to photo or video hosting websites. First, follow website instructions and upload videos to Youtube or Vimeo. Vimeo is free for many short clips up to 5GB total storage. I don't know what Youtube limits are.
 
Question for you based on following two pics:



Are you interested in the "arm-to-chest" press in pic #1, or starting at pic #2? To me, the swing starts at pic #2, everything else before was just unit turn and drop.
Youtube posted in 2016.

Farthest Shoulder Line Turn Back. This looks about the farthest turn back of the uppermost body. Thiem is moving to the right as viewed. Reference by the background letters. He had just planted his right foot. Line between shoulders points to right of camera.


Possible Separation of Chest and Upper Arm? Hard to judge with this camera angle when the shoulder joint separates the upper arm from the chest. Tryied to see by playing back the high speed video at 25% speed on Youtube and observing upper arm to shoulder line movement. Line between the shoulders has turned forward to point to the left of the camera.


Frame before impact. Shows shoulder line just before impact. Probably the upper arm has separated from chest but not by much. Is this mostly an uppermost body turn backhand without much shoulder joint motion? Or has the shoulder joint added considerable racket head speed?


My shoulder joint alone in a static test with the backhand orientation produced 28 lbs of force at the hand (measured with a luggage scale). With my legs and body I produced 52 lbs. This means that in a static test the muscles of the shoulder were producing less torque than the legs, back and abdominal muscles. Test described in my backhand thread linked in post #53 earlier.
https://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/ind...and-waht-force-to-start-forward-swing.462997/

Little Torque on Big Torque Together. During stroke acceleration of body parts torques would be more complicated than a static experiment as the body has to rotate the mass of the uppermost body with shoulder mass and arm and racket but the shoulder joint only has to accelerate the arm and racket. But since the shoulder is located on the uppermost body it must accelerate the upper arm off the chest while the uppermost body is being accelerated. A lot has been mentioned about how the uppermost body seems to stop or slow down right before the shoulder causes the upper arm to move. It could be that the shoulder does not have enough torque to move the upper arm off the chest during full uppermost body acceleration? This might explain the logic of the stopping or reducing the acceleration of uppermost body turn to allow the shoulder joint to continue arm acceleration to impact. Stretched muscles may be involved and could be caused by the uppermost body turn acceleration.

Analyses like the above can show the timing, angles and identify the motions involved. Too bad there are not more high speed videos taken from above.

Demo - In slow movements without accelerations you can stand and try 1) the uppermost body turn and 2) the shoulder joint motion and vary the timing of each.
 
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FiReFTW

Legend
Different techniques work for different players.

Some people here like @Chas Tennis are too obsessed with some technique being "perfect".

But in reality there are many different ways and techniques that work on the highest level of tennis, so they are not inferior but they are different and yet they work on the highest level so they should work on every single lower level aswell.

Small details such as arm against chest are meaningless in the bigger picture, only really big fundamental flaws are something that should be corrected and fixed, because these things DO inhibit the stroke and make it worse.

Things like not using ur kinetic chain properly, not watching the ball, not having the right grip, not having the right swingpath etc... these things are fundamental and important.

Things like arm against chest, or big loopy backswing like Thiem... these are mostly preferences, but all of these strokes work on the highest level and are one of the best, so obviously these traits are not flaws, the players learned to play this way and after many years they mastered the swing like this, but if they were missing some fundamental thing then the stroke would be clearly worse and have flaws.
 

ByeByePoly

G.O.A.T.
Yes slice also. I'm a work in progress. I've hit some awesome ohbh topspin shots, and framed or hit long, net a lot more. So now trying to document what works, since I've changed things up and don't know what's worked before, working toward consistency. I just started editing video so i'll post some soon. Guess i'll need a host to upload files to, not sure how this works.
I use IMGUR for pics, and Youtube for video. When you are ready ... just ask. Maybe start a thread in "tips" and others can refer to it later, and ttw members can detail their own process. I only use video for stroke analysis, and short videos (5 minutes and less) don't take that long to upload to YouTube. If you record match/sets video ... there are many here that can help with editing (@ChaelAZ is good with app choices).
 

ByeByePoly

G.O.A.T.
Youtube posted in 2016.

Farthest Shoulder Line Turn Back. This looks about the farthest turn back of the uppermost body. Thiem is moving to the right as viewed. Reference by the background letters. He had just planted his right foot. Line between shoulders points to right of camera.


Possible Separation of Chest and Upper Arm? Hard to judge with this camera angle when the shoulder joint separates the upper arm from the chest. Trying to see by playing back the high speed video at 25% speed on Youtube. Line between the shoulders has turned forward to point to the left of the camera.


Frame before impact. Shows shoulder line just before impact. Probably the upper arm has separated from chest but not by much. Is this mostly an uppermost body turn backhand without much shoulder joint motion? Or has the shoulder joint added considerable racket head speed?


My shoulder joint alone in a static test with the backhand orientation produced 28 lbs of force at the hand (measured with a luggage scale). With my legs and body I produced 52 lbs. This means that in a static test the muscles of the shoulder were producing less torque that the legs, back and abdominal muscles. Test described in my backhand thread linked in a post earlier.

Little Torque on Big Torque Together. During stroke acceleration of body parts torques would be more complicated as the body has to rotate the mass of the uppermost body with shoulder mass and upper arm and racket but the shoulder joint only has to accelerate the upper arm and racket. But since the shoulder is located on the uppermost body it must accelerate the upper arm when the uppermost body is being accelerated. A lot has been mentioned about how the uppermost body seems to stop or slow down right before the shoulder causes the upper arm to move. It could be that the shoulder does not have enough torque to move the upper arm off the chest during full uppermost body acceleration? This might explain the logic of the stopping or reducing the acceleration of body turn to allow the shoulder joint to continue acceleration to impact. Stretched muscles may be involved.

Analyses like the above can show the timing, angles and identify the motions involved. Too bad there are not more high speed videos from above.
Let me state what I see as important/common in strokes ... maybe then find common ground.

This is the common elements I see in all high level strokes (1hbh, 2hbh, FH):

- what matters is from slot forward ... when shoulders (girdle) starts to rotate/uncoil ... hand starts foward ... we don't power arm with shoulder before this point ... just drop/position the arm/hand/racquet
- from this slot to contact, a see two "arm/shoulder muscle" phases.
1) I do not think we fire full shoulder/arm muscling right when shoulder/girdle turn starts. I think we do just enough arm effort so the arm becomes a lever (not rope) that can be flung from the shoulder. If we did no arm effort, the arm and racquet would hand down by our sides. To my eyes, Thiem would require more arm effort at this stage then Fed ... straight arm vs bent. BUT ... this all still feels very relaxed ... not arming/muscling ... the upper arm comes along with shoulder uncoiling for free ... just enough arm muscle to have the arm be a swung lever
2) somewhere between that start of shoulder rotation and contact ... you add to the existing uncoiling rhs with significant shoulder/arm muscle/effort. With Fed, probably about the point his arm goes from bent to straight. Even though I think we are adding significant shoulder/arm muscle/effort at this point, it feels effortless because we are jumping on existing momentum/rhs. I feel this later arm effort in both my 1hbh and 2hbh (but late left arm/hand in case of 2hbh).

- there has to be timing between that 2nd shoulder/arm effort phase and the end of shoulder rotation. It probably would be informative if we understood that timing in the best strokes. My guess is it matters much more than any strength ... core or otherwise ... that's why little skinny kids can knock the cr@p out of the ball.

- I actually am an outlier here in thinking much rhs happens from legs, hips and core by themselves. I can shadow swing max legs, hips and core rotation with my arms hanging down by my sides, and can only get the arms to flop up a bit (no horizontal monkey drum rope for me). At that rotation speed ... it would be a bunt over the net.

- I hit pretty good pace on a drop feed nipples to the net FH. You can feel the legs and core assistance even on these nipple to the net so called all arm FHs.

- I can hit a significantly faster FH, 1hbh and 2hbh with a full shoulder turn then without. This is always better information than theories.

So that left me trying to square two apparently opposing observations ... 1) leg, hip and core rotation by itself didn't seem like much mph/rhs 2) hitting my fastest pace (for me) required #1 which shouldn't have added much.

This is where I am on that now ... until I change my mind. 8-B

I think the main contribution of the hip and shoulder uncoiling is it is much easier to add pace to something already in motion, then from a static resting position (nipples to the net arm only FH). Possibly the longer shoulder uncoiling range of motion is also key, but not sure there is any less arm hinging at the shoulder from nipples to the net vs when arm hinges foward in modern strokes. On 1hbh ... never could hit a 1hbh without turning shoulder, so I have no reference for nipples to the net equivalence.

So ... VERY LONG way for me to frame your "arm to chest" interest. For me ... I would have to see it as a contributor in one of the two phases from slot to contact I listed above. Since I view that first phase as still a pretty relaxed arm, and the upper arm coming along with the shoulder uncoiling for free (other than minimum effort maintaining arm position with rotating shoulders) ... doesn't seem a likely contributor there. When we fire that second phase (think Thiem) ... it seems possible in his stroke the arm to chest (or side of chest) contact could be in the mix of phase two acceleration. I guess we couldn't call it a common mandatory element because we can find pros without that contact. But that is the fun of being a rec player ... pick the style that you prefer.
 

ByeByePoly

G.O.A.T.
Different techniques work for different players.

Some people here like @Chas Tennis are too obsessed with some technique being "perfect".

But in reality there are many different ways and techniques that work on the highest level of tennis, so they are not inferior but they are different and yet they work on the highest level so they should work on every single lower level aswell.

Small details such as arm against chest are meaningless in the bigger picture, only really big fundamental flaws are something that should be corrected and fixed, because these things DO inhibit the stroke and make it worse.

Things like not using ur kinetic chain properly, not watching the ball, not having the right grip, not having the right swingpath etc... these things are fundamental and important.

Things like arm against chest, or big loopy backswing like Thiem... these are mostly preferences, but all of these strokes work on the highest level and are one of the best, so obviously these traits are not flaws, the players learned to play this way and after many years they mastered the swing like this, but if they were missing some fundamental thing then the stroke would be clearly worse and have flaws.
One of the small details I would be interested in is why did Agassi create so much FH pace compared to other pro FHs? They all were using pro k-chain ... he wasn't any bigger or stronger than most pros. It must me "better timing" somewhere in the swing ... or just the ability to swing his arm faster from the shoulder. Maybe he would have also been the fastest nipples to the net FH also. :p
 
Different techniques work for different players.

Some people here like @Chas Tennis are too obsessed with some technique being "perfect".

...................................................................................
You quoted the word "perfect". Did someone say "perfect" associated with a tennis stroke technique? Who?
 

Kevo

Legend
1) I do not think we fire full shoulder/arm muscling right when shoulder/girdle turn starts.
2) somewhere between that start of shoulder rotation and contact ... you add to the existing uncoiling rhs with significant shoulder/arm muscle/effort.
I shortened your post to points 1 and 2 above to try and make this post shorter.

Basically I agree with your points above, but there aren't hard and fast rules to this. If I am doing what I want to do most of the time then I am going to power my shot with legs, trunk and shoulders. My arm is going to deal with the finer aspects mostly and not add too much power itself. It will handle the spin and aim or the control aspects. If I'm hitting relaxed that way I can hit all day at rally pace with not a lot of errors as long as I'm not making rash decisions.

I often do the monkey drum thing, as you called it, with my students, and I try to get them to feel how a short explosive tug of the shoulder can send their arm flying. It's usually quite effective for most kids and fairly easy to do without a racquet or a stroke involved.

I also think this is going to vary a lot especially for adults. For kids that have played since they were young, this skill can be retained well into old age if they're in good health. For people who simply can't do it for whatever reason they are going to be arming the ball more and that's ok if not optimal IMO.

Also, I frequently use the illustration with my students that their body is like a set of springs and levers and if they properly wind them up in preparation to hit the ball then they will properly unwind during the swing. So for me the foot placement, unit turn, backswing, and all that other prep before the slot is equally as important as the swing itself. They are like the yin and yang of the stroke. One without the other is not going to work so well.

The other thing I do a lot with students is start with a very limited subset of a stroke and then add pieces. It's fairly easy to hit a decent low pace shot with just a tiny piece of the stroke. The point being that you can hit a decent ball without adding force all the through the kinetic chain. In fact it's important to only add force at the different links when you have control of the timing. When you haven't got the timing down adding force is more likely to be a detriment to the output of the shot.

So whether or not you use arm muscle to enhance your swing on top of the core and shoulder rotation you can still hit a very effective shot either way. The difference between one versus the other is going to vary a lot between players with top pros being able to add that arm in to deliver forehands and backhands over 100mph. But it's a lot more effort and energy to hit that because your engaging so much of your body and players don't hit those shots very frequently. They are much better off saving those shots for the right moment and hitting a much "lazier" 80-85mph forehand.

So going back to shoulder tilting and what not, most of these technique specifics are the result of an intention to apply the strings to the ball in a specific way. For a topspin ground stroke you want the face of the racquet to travel up and through the back of the ball. The easiest way to do that is to stand sideways and simply swing the arm from the shoulder in an in to out low to high path. This is typically how I start kids with a 1HBH if that's the shot they feel more comfortable with. From there we add all the other stuff to get more power and more spin. To get more spin you need a bigger faster lift. To get that you need to wind your body up more in line with the path of your stroke. So the shoulder starts lower to get more low to high in the swing. Now your shoulders are tilted. This all happens very naturally for many kids. It's really fun to watch it happen too. Some kinds will go back and forth between one and two hands as they experiment with how to get more swing in their stroke.

OK, totally failed on making this post short. :-(
 

Kevo

Legend
One of the small details I would be interested in is why did Agassi create so much FH pace compared to other pro FHs? They all were using pro k-chain ... he wasn't any bigger or stronger than most pros. It must me "better timing" somewhere in the swing ... or just the ability to swing his arm faster from the shoulder. Maybe he would have also been the fastest nipples to the net FH also. :p
Was Agassi's shot speed more than other pros of similar rank at the time? I don't really remember that being the case, but I could be wrong. What I remember is he liked to crowd the baseline and hit early and use the opponents pace against them. I think is relatively simpler stroke mechanic and his timing allowed him to do that better than most. I think he still used his legs and trunk well to power his stroke and I'm not really sure he swung his arm faster than others.
 

ByeByePoly

G.O.A.T.
I shortened your post to points 1 and 2 above to try and make this post shorter.

Basically I agree with your points above, but there aren't hard and fast rules to this. If I am doing what I want to do most of the time then I am going to power my shot with legs, trunk and shoulders. My arm is going to deal with the finer aspects mostly and not add too much power itself. It will handle the spin and aim or the control aspects. If I'm hitting relaxed that way I can hit all day at rally pace with not a lot of errors as long as I'm not making rash decisions.

I often do the monkey drum thing, as you called it, with my students, and I try to get them to feel how a short explosive tug of the shoulder can send their arm flying. It's usually quite effective for most kids and fairly easy to do without a racquet or a stroke involved.

I also think this is going to vary a lot especially for adults. For kids that have played since they were young, this skill can be retained well into old age if they're in good health. For people who simply can't do it for whatever reason they are going to be arming the ball more and that's ok if not optimal IMO.

Also, I frequently use the illustration with my students that their body is like a set of springs and levers and if they properly wind them up in preparation to hit the ball then they will properly unwind during the swing. So for me the foot placement, unit turn, backswing, and all that other prep before the slot is equally as important as the swing itself. They are like the yin and yang of the stroke. One without the other is not going to work so well.

The other thing I do a lot with students is start with a very limited subset of a stroke and then add pieces. It's fairly easy to hit a decent low pace shot with just a tiny piece of the stroke. The point being that you can hit a decent ball without adding force all the through the kinetic chain. In fact it's important to only add force at the different links when you have control of the timing. When you haven't got the timing down adding force is more likely to be a detriment to the output of the shot.

So whether or not you use arm muscle to enhance your swing on top of the core and shoulder rotation you can still hit a very effective shot either way. The difference between one versus the other is going to vary a lot between players with top pros being able to add that arm in to deliver forehands and backhands over 100mph. But it's a lot more effort and energy to hit that because your engaging so much of your body and players don't hit those shots very frequently. They are much better off saving those shots for the right moment and hitting a much "lazier" 80-85mph forehand.

So going back to shoulder tilting and what not, most of these technique specifics are the result of an intention to apply the strings to the ball in a specific way. For a topspin ground stroke you want the face of the racquet to travel up and through the back of the ball. The easiest way to do that is to stand sideways and simply swing the arm from the shoulder in an in to out low to high path. This is typically how I start kids with a 1HBH if that's the shot they feel more comfortable with. From there we add all the other stuff to get more power and more spin. To get more spin you need a bigger faster lift. To get that you need to wind your body up more in line with the path of your stroke. So the shoulder starts lower to get more low to high in the swing. Now your shoulders are tilted. This all happens very naturally for many kids. It's really fun to watch it happen too. Some kinds will go back and forth between one and two hands as they experiment with how to get more swing in their stroke.

OK, totally failed on making this post short. :-(
Good post. If you ever have a video that shows significant arm slinging from body rotation please post. I think pros generate a lot more of their rhs from arms and timing from shoulder, arm and wrist into contact then conventional ttw/coaching wisdom here. SinjinCooper said I lived on an island by myself. When Sinjin tells you that you are stupid ... very high likelihood you are in fact stupid. 8-B(y) Loved that guy ... hope he is ok.
 

ByeByePoly

G.O.A.T.
Was Agassi's shot speed more than other pros of similar rank at the time? I don't really remember that being the case, but I could be wrong. What I remember is he liked to crowd the baseline and hit early and use the opponents pace against them. I think is relatively simpler stroke mechanic and his timing allowed him to do that better than most. I think he still used his legs and trunk well to power his stroke and I'm not really sure he swung his arm faster than others.
I think so. The story I heard was he showed up at satellite tournaments as a teen, and noone had seen that kind of fh pace before.
 

ByeByePoly

G.O.A.T.
I shortened your post to points 1 and 2 above to try and make this post shorter.

Basically I agree with your points above, but there aren't hard and fast rules to this. If I am doing what I want to do most of the time then I am going to power my shot with legs, trunk and shoulders. My arm is going to deal with the finer aspects mostly and not add too much power itself. It will handle the spin and aim or the control aspects. If I'm hitting relaxed that way I can hit all day at rally pace with not a lot of errors as long as I'm not making rash decisions.

I often do the monkey drum thing, as you called it, with my students, and I try to get them to feel how a short explosive tug of the shoulder can send their arm flying. It's usually quite effective for most kids and fairly easy to do without a racquet or a stroke involved.

I also think this is going to vary a lot especially for adults. For kids that have played since they were young, this skill can be retained well into old age if they're in good health. For people who simply can't do it for whatever reason they are going to be arming the ball more and that's ok if not optimal IMO.

Also, I frequently use the illustration with my students that their body is like a set of springs and levers and if they properly wind them up in preparation to hit the ball then they will properly unwind during the swing. So for me the foot placement, unit turn, backswing, and all that other prep before the slot is equally as important as the swing itself. They are like the yin and yang of the stroke. One without the other is not going to work so well.

The other thing I do a lot with students is start with a very limited subset of a stroke and then add pieces. It's fairly easy to hit a decent low pace shot with just a tiny piece of the stroke. The point being that you can hit a decent ball without adding force all the through the kinetic chain. In fact it's important to only add force at the different links when you have control of the timing. When you haven't got the timing down adding force is more likely to be a detriment to the output of the shot.

So whether or not you use arm muscle to enhance your swing on top of the core and shoulder rotation you can still hit a very effective shot either way. The difference between one versus the other is going to vary a lot between players with top pros being able to add that arm in to deliver forehands and backhands over 100mph. But it's a lot more effort and energy to hit that because your engaging so much of your body and players don't hit those shots very frequently. They are much better off saving those shots for the right moment and hitting a much "lazier" 80-85mph forehand.

So going back to shoulder tilting and what not, most of these technique specifics are the result of an intention to apply the strings to the ball in a specific way. For a topspin ground stroke you want the face of the racquet to travel up and through the back of the ball. The easiest way to do that is to stand sideways and simply swing the arm from the shoulder in an in to out low to high path. This is typically how I start kids with a 1HBH if that's the shot they feel more comfortable with. From there we add all the other stuff to get more power and more spin. To get more spin you need a bigger faster lift. To get that you need to wind your body up more in line with the path of your stroke. So the shoulder starts lower to get more low to high in the swing. Now your shoulders are tilted. This all happens very naturally for many kids. It's really fun to watch it happen too. Some kinds will go back and forth between one and two hands as they experiment with how to get more swing in their stroke.

OK, totally failed on making this post short. :-(
One other observation ... Del Potro seems to hit his neutral stance weight transfer to left leg (less rotation) fh as hard as his open stance full k-chain from ground up fh (max rotation).

I think everything below the shoulders is a supporting cast member to the stars ... shoulders, arm, wrist (on lag FHs).
 
So ... VERY LONG way for me to frame your "arm to chest" interest. For me ... I would have to see it as a contributor in one of the two phases from slot to contact I listed above. ......................................
You are seeing it when the uppermost body and upper arm are both accelerating together in sync. Keep looking at videos until you see whether they move together or move individually.
 

FiReFTW

Legend
One of the small details I would be interested in is why did Agassi create so much FH pace compared to other pro FHs? They all were using pro k-chain ... he wasn't any bigger or stronger than most pros. It must me "better timing" somewhere in the swing ... or just the ability to swing his arm faster from the shoulder. Maybe he would have also been the fastest nipples to the net FH also. :p
Agassi took balls very early, he was known to have amazing hand eye coordination and really took many balls early on the rise.

The earlier you take balls and hit them the more pace you get, since the ball from the opponent has more pace compared to if you let the ball bounce further and take it later.
 

Kevo

Legend
I think so. The story I heard was he showed up at satellite tournaments as a teen, and noone had seen that kind of fh pace before.
Yeah that's the kind of thing I tend to call BS on. I've told this story before, but we had a big kid on our high school tennis team who broke two wilson sting frames back to back in one week. We would hit the ball to him as hard as we could just for fun because we were trying to see how hard he could hit it back and it was ridiculous. Was probably less than 10 minutes after he started hitting with his brand new replacement frame that he broke it. I think he had the original one 2 or 3 days. I mean once we knew we could do we were much more efficient the second time. And while he was big, me and my doubles partner were both small for our age. I was actually playing with a Prince 110 that had Agassi's picture on the marketing material when I bought it. Agassi was the man back then. Everybody wanted to wear his sneakers.

Anyway, I seriously doubt that at a satellite tournament no one had seen that kind of pace. I knew several kids in high school that could hit the ball super hard. I got drilled in the shoulder by a senior one time when I was up at new. he hit it so hard I literally had no time to move my racket and I couldn't even get out of the way. Ball shot into the air about 40ft and I had a bruise that was still sore like two weeks later. Not that I admitted that to anyone of course.

My suspicion is that they had never seen anyone hit that sort of pace consistently. That would be unusual I suspect. Regardless how you slice it he was a fantastic talent.
 

Kevo

Legend
Good post. If you ever have a video that shows significant arm slinging from body rotation please post. I think pros generate a lot more of their rhs from arms and timing from shoulder, arm and wrist into contact then conventional ttw/coaching wisdom here. SinjinCooper said I lived on an island by myself. When Sinjin tells you that you are stupid ... very high likelihood you are in fact stupid. 8-B(y) Loved that guy ... hope he is ok.
The timing point is right on. The addition of a short burst of muscle action at the right time in the chain is additive. I don't believe they are really putting their whole arm into the typical shot. I think they save that kind of effort as I mentioned. I mean many of these guys can probably hit a ball 105-115mph or more on a forehand if they really go all out. Yet we see average pace values around 70-80mph a lot of times. Also when they hit it that hard you can see how the other player basically has no shot at getting the ball unless it's hit just a step or two away. So I think it's pretty clear that they leave a lot on the table and it would make sense it's the arm they save. I mean pitchers have pitch counts for a reason, and tennis players are swinging their arm around hundreds of shots in a set.
 

ByeByePoly

G.O.A.T.
The timing point is right on. The addition of a short burst of muscle action at the right time in the chain is additive. I don't believe they are really putting their whole arm into the typical shot. I think they save that kind of effort as I mentioned. I mean many of these guys can probably hit a ball 105-115mph or more on a forehand if they really go all out. Yet we see average pace values around 70-80mph a lot of times. Also when they hit it that hard you can see how the other player basically has no shot at getting the ball unless it's hit just a step or two away. So I think it's pretty clear that they leave a lot on the table and it would make sense it's the arm they save. I mean pitchers have pitch counts for a reason, and tennis players are swinging their arm around hundreds of shots in a set.
Agreed ... any pro trying to hit 100% all the time would have never been a pro.

"The addition of a short burst of muscle action at the right time in the chain is additive."

Well phrased. I meant to make that distinction in my two phases. In the second phase we "burst" (y) ... but not all the way to contact.

1) first uncoiling just enough arming for the arm to be flung like a lever
2) mid-point burst
3) 10ish lb arm+racquet lever coasts from own momentum into contact.

All of that feels pretty "arm effortless" ... as opposed to nipples to the net all arm where you feel the effort to start the arm.

I will throw out two players where I clearly see the visible arm effort, but in two different ways. Two world class FHs ... Soderling with minimum arm to racquet lag, and Fognini with exquisite timing of huge lag coupled with crazy late release of that lag (late flip if you prefer) near contact. To me Fognini is the "live arm" to perfection. Live arm can not mean "armless rope".

Bigtime arm effort here:


Burst timing perfection:

 

Kevo

Legend
That Soderling forehand is a really good example. You can see the shoulders and arm rotating as a solid unit until right before contact when the arm comes forward and up relative to the shoulder.

Fognini looks very similar, but it's hard for me to tell how much less he activates the arm. He looks to be hitting more relaxed in that sequence like he's playing around a little feeling things out. But his stroke does seem to be less "armed" right before contact.
 

ByeByePoly

G.O.A.T.
That Soderling forehand is a really good example. You can see the shoulders and arm rotating as a solid unit until right before contact when the arm comes forward and up relative to the shoulder.

Fognini looks very similar, but it's hard for me to tell how much less he activates the arm. He looks to be hitting more relaxed in that sequence like he's playing around a little feeling things out. But his stroke does seem to be less "armed" right before contact.
If Fognini looked any more relaxed he would be asleep.
 

ByeByePoly

G.O.A.T.
See backhand drives. What is missing?
Left arm to left nipple contact?

I have seen a few matches where he was on with his 1hbh drive, pretty stroke. I would imagine it’s difficult to turn the switch on after slicing so much for so long. Got to give him credit for still playing at a good level at his age.
 

FiReFTW

Legend
The timing point is right on. The addition of a short burst of muscle action at the right time in the chain is additive. I don't believe they are really putting their whole arm into the typical shot. I think they save that kind of effort as I mentioned. I mean many of these guys can probably hit a ball 105-115mph or more on a forehand if they really go all out. Yet we see average pace values around 70-80mph a lot of times. Also when they hit it that hard you can see how the other player basically has no shot at getting the ball unless it's hit just a step or two away. So I think it's pretty clear that they leave a lot on the table and it would make sense it's the arm they save. I mean pitchers have pitch counts for a reason, and tennis players are swinging their arm around hundreds of shots in a set.
But there is a huge difference in hitting the ball flatter or adding a ton of spin.
Pro players hit extremely fast on both, but if they add a ton of spin (rally ball) and more height the ball is much slower.

And even alot of winners have good margin usually and spin.

When you see those fast bombs of shots they are as flat as a bullet trajectory as they really slap it with extremely low margin for error.

So its not as easy as saying, well.. pro players swing 70% on most shots.

The spin and arc plays a huge role in how fast the shots are.

I would say if they have time to setup and really position themselves they hit pretty much close to all out but with enough spin to have consistency, as we can see in this situations they hit extremely aggressive shots or winners.

But of course on the pro tour the placement and level is so good that they rarely are setup like that and mostly have to hit difficult on the run shots on which they cant really unload properly and have to tone it down more.
 
Left arm to left nipple contact?

I have seen a few matches where he was on with his 1hbh drive, pretty stroke. I would imagine it’s difficult to turn the switch on after slicing so much for so long. Got to give him credit for still playing at a good level at his age.
Yes.

Here is another more intense backhand drive.

Click Vimeo, go full frame. To do single frame on Vimeo hold down the SHIFT KEY and press the ARROW KEYS.
 
Last edited:

IowaGuy

Hall of Fame
Yes.

Here is another more intense backhand drive.

Click Vimeo, go full frame. To do single frame on Vimeo hold down the SHIFT KEY and press the ARROW KEYS.
Lack of nipple to hitting arm doesn't seem to bother this guy, who arguably has the best 1HBH of all time:


 

ByeByePoly

G.O.A.T.
Lack of nipple to hitting arm doesn't seem to bother this guy, who arguably has the best 1HBH of all time:


If I had to pick one 1hbh for a career it would be Fed's if we include all BHs ... drive, slice, volley, drop shot, ros, variety.
 

IowaGuy

Hall of Fame
If I had to pick one 1hbh for a career it would be Fed's if we include all BHs ... drive, slice, volley, drop shot, ros, variety.
Yeah, I'm not sure "nipple to arm" is a necessary checkpoint for a high-level BH, if (arguably) the best ever doesn't do it?

Feliciano is a good example of a not-so-great topspin BH that doesn't hit the "nipple to arm" checkpoint, but I'm sure we could find some BH that do indeed hit the checkpoint but aren't that great either...

But I'm probably biased as I hit my BH more like Fed (though obviously not as good), while @Chas Tennis hits his BH more like Gasquet/Henin.

I'm not sure we can objectively say which style is biomechanically superior. Both types of topspin BH can be effective at the highest levels of tennis...
 

Kevo

Legend
But there is a huge difference in hitting the ball flatter or adding a ton of spin.
Pro players hit extremely fast on both, but if they add a ton of spin (rally ball) and more height the ball is much slower.
True.

And even alot of winners have good margin usually and spin.
True.

When you see those fast bombs of shots they are as flat as a bullet trajectory as they really slap it with extremely low margin for error.
A lot of the time that's true. In fact, I think that in order to hit 100% you have to take some spin off the table because the movement that you use to go flat is inherently capable of more power than the pulling up movement you use for spin. And that's a tradeoff for sure, but using spin has more advantages on average so people tend to trade that power for spin in most cases. However, if the ball sits up high enough in the strike zone you could conceivably swat the tar out of that ball every time. Case in point was the Soderling victory over Nadal at the French. When Soderling got the right spinny ball from Nadal he would just swat winners. It was a fun match to watch because you knew that shot was going to come at some point in the rally if he could stay in the rally long enough. And of course he made a good number of errors pulling the trigger a little too soon perhaps, or maybe going for a bit too much.

So its not as easy as saying, well.. pro players swing 70% on most shots.
No, there are a lot of decisions being made about each individual shot, and a lot of adjustments too. But they definitely are not going 100% except for a very small percentage of shots.

The spin and arc plays a huge role in how fast the shots are.
True.

I would say if they have time to setup and really position themselves they hit pretty much close to all out but with enough spin to have consistency, as we can see in this situations they hit extremely aggressive shots or winners.
Well, if you are a pro who can hit 85mph rally shots with decent margin for error and a good amount of spin, you don't have to be hitting 100% very often. 85mph will fly right by your opponent if you can get them out of position.

But of course on the pro tour the placement and level is so good that they rarely are setup like that and mostly have to hit difficult on the run shots on which they cant really unload properly and have to tone it down more.
Yeah, it's hard to understand what it's like to play a really high level rally until you actually are capable of playing one and then get to do it against another capable or even more capable player. To the outside observer it might not look like you aren't being pressured as much as you really are. You can have a good rally and get off some really good shots, but still feel like if you go for just a little bit more you will make an error or mishit or throw up a weak ball. I think this is where player mentality really makes a difference. A lot of players go for too much when they get uncomfortable. You have to learn to ride that line and just push it a little closer to an offensive opportunity on each shot, but not push too far too fast where you end up making a mistake. Take a guy like Ferrer. He pretty much has to get comfortable living on that line. And to do that he is super fit. Simon is another good example I think.
 
Statistics matter for what is being done at the highest level of tennis in the ATP in 2019.

We are talking about heavier paced one hand backhand drives where the players are not pressured and intend to hit high pace.

Federer has a high level backhand without or with less chest-arm press. If at all present sometimes, his technique does not include the chest press as often or with the same intensity.

Wawrinka, Gasquet, Justine Henin, Thiem and others use the chest-arm press. I believe that more would be found if looked for.

F. Lopez has a suspect backhand because he does not use it much but uses his slice backhand much more. He does come to the net often and that might be a factor.

That makes 4 confirmed using the chest press and 2 not using it. Find some more and post.

I can't recall seeing the chest-arm press in my rec tennis.

I have considered my experience and feeling of chest-arm contact when I hit a heavier backhand. That experience is available to all. Careful as there is more pace and stress at impact. Maybe back issues for some people.

This thread is seeing a lot more serious observations of backhand details using high speed video than is typical on the forum, especially with the OP. Instead of believing what a forum poster says we should always check for ourselves what we see in high speed videos. Future threads would be more interesting and progress faster if more people were able to back up their claims with videos.

For credibility it always helps to also have references that discuss the same subject especially if they have the same conclusion or other conclusions.

This instruction deals with the same issue - as a fix. Kevin Garlington places his hand between his chest and upper arm to demo.

See times 1st 1:47 & 2nd 2:32 and later.
 
Last edited:

FiReFTW

Legend
True.


True.



A lot of the time that's true. In fact, I think that in order to hit 100% you have to take some spin off the table because the movement that you use to go flat is inherently capable of more power than the pulling up movement you use for spin. And that's a tradeoff for sure, but using spin has more advantages on average so people tend to trade that power for spin in most cases. However, if the ball sits up high enough in the strike zone you could conceivably swat the tar out of that ball every time. Case in point was the Soderling victory over Nadal at the French. When Soderling got the right spinny ball from Nadal he would just swat winners. It was a fun match to watch because you knew that shot was going to come at some point in the rally if he could stay in the rally long enough. And of course he made a good number of errors pulling the trigger a little too soon perhaps, or maybe going for a bit too much.



No, there are a lot of decisions being made about each individual shot, and a lot of adjustments too. But they definitely are not going 100% except for a very small percentage of shots.



True.



Well, if you are a pro who can hit 85mph rally shots with decent margin for error and a good amount of spin, you don't have to be hitting 100% very often. 85mph will fly right by your opponent if you can get them out of position.



Yeah, it's hard to understand what it's like to play a really high level rally until you actually are capable of playing one and then get to do it against another capable or even more capable player. To the outside observer it might not look like you aren't being pressured as much as you really are. You can have a good rally and get off some really good shots, but still feel like if you go for just a little bit more you will make an error or mishit or throw up a weak ball. I think this is where player mentality really makes a difference. A lot of players go for too much when they get uncomfortable. You have to learn to ride that line and just push it a little closer to an offensive opportunity on each shot, but not push too far too fast where you end up making a mistake. Take a guy like Ferrer. He pretty much has to get comfortable living on that line. And to do that he is super fit. Simon is another good example I think.
Yeah I agree with ur post.

And yeah its hard too see for a casual observer how high level pro matches are.

But looking up close with a video it becomes really obvious.

Very rarely do they get a ball where they have time and can really setup and unload, amd often times in these situations they hit a winner.

Most balls that they get they have very little time and cant really use their body as effectively, some are so tough they almost arm the shot.
Yet they still hit such great shots from these tough situations consistently.


This video shows it good, the tough positions that a pro has to constantly hit good quality shots from.

Compare that to a rec player match like ballbag who played prodigy or his dad, 80% of the forehands he hit he had a ton of time to position himself and wait for the ball and really unload.

Here you can see how tough the pros have it, almost none of these shots are like that and alot are quite difficult on the run with little time.
Even good rec players would spit alot of errors getting run around amd forced hitting such difficult shots... yet alone hit good heavy shots off these balls.
 
Lack of nipple to hitting arm doesn't seem to bother this guy, who arguably has the best 1HBH of all time:


Agree. His backhand technique is high level and very effective. He improved it for 2017 for that great year.

Can you find another ATP player with similar technique?
 

Kevo

Legend
Agree. His backhand technique is high level and very effective. He improved it for 2017 for that great year.

Can you find another ATP player with similar technique?
Well, even if he isn't getting the full chest press, I would bet he's getting the same leverage from locking out the shoulder joint either muscularly or mechanically just from his specific geometry. The point is you want that joint to be a one way hinge from early in the turn of the shoulder. If it's got slop then you will lose some of the energy by getting lag in that joint. Maybe that could work for some people, but it's an extra complication which seems to be problematic for several reasons.

So Federer may be a little different but I think his technique basically the same.
 
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