Working 1-on-1 with coach

#1
Hey everyone,

I've started getting one-to-one coaching with a young guy. I find his coaching methods to work really well with my game. I've had a greater improvement that I could have anticipated, and he picks up on the little things that I need to be mindful of in my execution.

The only thing I am trying to get my head around is one thing that he insists on. He says with every topspin shot, I should be putting everything I have into it. No slowing down on the follow through. If the ball I am hitting is an easy one, no problem. I can get nice contact on it and at a nice height. However he insists that even on the more complex balls (lower or faster) that I should still be trying to give it 100%. But I find that if I don't back off my follow through speed that I will hit the ball too long on some of those shots.

Is it my role to be experimenting with the way I Contact the ball? Trying to apply more topspin to bring it down earlier? Maybe some of you guys can help me to understand this philosophy.
 
D

Deleted member 23235

Guest
#2
yeah I agree, when lined up you should be swing 100% to generate topspin.

the way to control the pace, is to either decrease your loop/take back (think plunger on a pinball table), or to increase the vertical component of the swing (or some combination of both).

definitely don't rely on slowing down you racquet head to control depth in the court. you get more control by swinging faster.

think about shaping the path of the ball (with topspin) with the same swing speed.

[edit]
can you control the ball with a full swing in mini tennis? a lot of folks even up to the 4.5 level can't control the shape of the ball in mini (i.e. generate topspin to bring the ball back down into the service box). most beginners just try to use their same gigantic backswing to drive the ball. and they tend to swing flat.
 
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#11
I am simply indicating that your post is not good
Topspin is related to a rotation of a ball
The racket acceleration understood in the easiest way is the acceleration of the linear motion.
Also the key is racket swing path
Having racket head tip point to ground gives u TS
 
#12
I'm going to have a 1-on-1 session tomorrow and I'll do my best to set up a camera. You'll hope see the good, bad and the ugly of my swing on both sides. If my coach is comfortable with it, I'll keep the audio as you'll hear him talking me through my strokes.
 
#13
Why do you think backing off on follow through will help? The ball is already gone by then. What you're actually doing is decelerating before you make contact which is not good.
Developing a variety of on my shots and shaping the ball in different ways is something that I am lacking, causing the ball to go too flat/long when I am inside the baseline.
 

Cheetah

Hall of Fame
#15
Developing a variety of on my shots and shaping the ball in different ways is something that I am lacking, causing the ball to go too flat/long when I am inside the baseline.
Maybe I misunderstood your original post. you mentioned backing off on your follow through speed. This will have zero effect on the ball. The ball has left the strings already. It's gone. You cannot have an effect on a ball that has left the strings.
If you try to back off on the follow through what you'll do and what most people do is back off or decelerate on the forward swing which you do not want to do. I'm sure even your coach will tell you this. If you are having control issues then you need to slow your whole swing down / modify the amount and type of spin / change other things like legs/core etc etc.. but NOT back off on the follow through.
 
#16
Pointing racket tip down for topspin is not needed, it's unnecessary excessive use of the wrist.
So is there a point where the wrist can be sitting that still allows you to flick it forwards just prior to connecting with the ball? As opposed to having it turned right and backwards? (Right hander)
 
D

Deleted member 23235

Guest
#17
Also the key is racket swing path
Having racket head tip point to ground gives u TS
Pointing racket tip down for topspin is not needed, it's unnecessary excessive use of the wrist.
+1 to @tennis_balla comment:

starting the racquet head below the ball, swinging low to high, and making contact with a slightly closed racquet face (generally), gives you topspin (ie. a glancing blow/brush "up the back of the ball").

One way to get the racquet head below the ball is by manipulating the wrist to point the racquet head down below the contact point (and probably necessary on low balls).

The other way to get the racquet head below the ball (without manipulating the wrist to point down), is to just get the hand below the ball (then the wrist can stay more neutral).. and this is where tips like:
* "bend your knees"
* "move to the ball"/"attack your contact point"*
* etc...
Come into play...

Ideally you want to minimize the smaller joint movements (like the wrist), and just let the arm do the work of transferring power (weight xfer, hip rotation) to the ball.

A long time ago, someone gave me the point-the-racquet-head-down-tip, which did help me generate topspin, when I was struggling to, but also made my forehand very wristy (ie. I was excessively focusing on the wrist - even on say shoulder high balls where you absolutely don't need to point-the-racquet down). Now when I'm teaching someone topspin, I just get them to focus on getting the hand below the ball which they accomplish by: (in order of priority):
1. moving to a point in the flight path where the can contact around waist height (since most folks arms naturally extend just below waist, should be easy to drop hand below the ball)...
2. bend at the legs on low balls, (to still make contact at the waist)
After they have that good foundation, I might give them the tip of rotating the wrist further down to get the racquet head below the ball (ie. on sliced balls, or low balls when approaching, etc...)... but I point out it's a "specialty" movement, only after moving-to-good-contact and bending-at-the-knees-low have been exhausted.

Most folks (myself included when I'm tired!) do the point the racquet down to get under the ball to get topspin, to make up for the fact that they didn't move optimally and/or are lazy and/or are out of shape/tired, etc... and they may even be able to execute it regularly... but IMO, relying on the wristy shot becomes a source of errors (for me anyway), under pressure.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
#18
+1 to @tennis_balla comment:

starting the racquet head below the ball, swinging low to high, and making contact with a slightly closed racquet face (generally), gives you topspin (ie. a glancing blow/brush "up the back of the ball").

One way to get the racquet head below the ball is by manipulating the wrist to point the racquet head down below the contact point (and probably necessary on low balls).

The other way to get the racquet head below the ball (without manipulating the wrist to point down), is to just get the hand below the ball (then the wrist can stay more neutral).. and this is where tips like:
* "bend your knees"
* "move to the ball"/"attack your contact point"*
* etc...
Come into play...

Ideally you want to minimize the smaller joint movements (like the wrist), and just let the arm do the work of transferring power (weight xfer, hip rotation) to the ball.

A long time ago, someone gave me the point-the-racquet-head-down-tip, which did help me generate topspin, when I was struggling to, but also made my forehand very wristy (ie. I was excessively focusing on the wrist - even on say shoulder high balls where you absolutely don't need to point-the-racquet down). Now when I'm teaching someone topspin, I just get them to focus on getting the hand below the ball which they accomplish by: (in order of priority):
1. moving to a point in the flight path where the can contact around waist height (since most folks arms naturally extend just below waist, should be easy to drop hand below the ball)...
2. bend at the legs on low balls, (to still make contact at the waist)
After they have that good foundation, I might give them the tip of rotating the wrist further down to get the racquet head below the ball (ie. on sliced balls, or low balls when approaching, etc...)... but I point out it's a "specialty" movement, only after moving-to-good-contact and bending-at-the-knees-low have been exhausted.

Most folks (myself included when I'm tired!) do the point the racquet down to get under the ball to get topspin, to make up for the fact that they didn't move optimally and/or are lazy and/or are out of shape/tired, etc... and they may even be able to execute it regularly... but IMO, relying on the wristy shot becomes a source of errors (for me anyway), under pressure.
Is there a connection to ATP vs WTA style forehand here?
 
D

Deleted member 23235

Guest
#19
yeah I agree, when lined up you should be swing 100% to generate topspin.

the way to control the pace, is to either decrease your loop/take back (think plunger on a pinball table), or to increase the vertical component of the swing (or some combination of both).
Wanted to clarify this statement... was thinking about it, while practicing this weekend.
You want to be accelerating into the contact on every shot...
And ideally you want to swing as fast as you can, while still maintaining good technique, form and balance... (ie. in boxing speak, don't throw haymakers!)

Getting tired swing with good technique, balance, and form? A better diet, losing weight, and more physical training - will get you better results (presuming your goal is to play tennis better), than compensating poor fitness with bad technique. I don't know it is about tennis (and I used to think this)... but people (below 4.0) get so caught up in good technique, etc... but forget that at you've mastered the basics of the stroke (ie. 4.0+) , tennis is a movement sport. Don't want to move,... bowling, golf, billiards, etc... all will feed your competitive spirit, and simultaneously eliminating the need to move. If you're still getting winded walking to get the bowling ball, walking to the golf cart, or walking to the billiards table,... you probably need to be asking more questions in the "Health & Fitness" section :p

The most common mistake folks make is to slow down their racquet (usually in an attempt to "hit it just hard enough that it won't go long"). but this leads to a stroke that have a very low ceiling of potential. They make this compensation, as a response to 2 of the most popular reasons (that i see in my students) for hitting long: :
1. they misshit it or framed it
2. their racquet face was too open on contact (a string of stuff could be contributing here: wrong grip, flat swing, couldn't get under it, not moving wel to the ball, not anticipating the ball, etc...)
 
#20
Hey everyone,

I've started getting one-to-one coaching with a young guy. I find his coaching methods to work really well with my game. I've had a greater improvement that I could have anticipated, and he picks up on the little things that I need to be mindful of in my execution.

The only thing I am trying to get my head around is one thing that he insists on. He says with every topspin shot, I should be putting everything I have into it. No slowing down on the follow through. If the ball I am hitting is an easy one, no problem. I can get nice contact on it and at a nice height. However he insists that even on the more complex balls (lower or faster) that I should still be trying to give it 100%. But I find that if I don't back off my follow through speed that I will hit the ball too long on some of those shots.

Is it my role to be experimenting with the way I Contact the ball? Trying to apply more topspin to bring it down earlier? Maybe some of you guys can help me to understand this philosophy.
Swinging at 100% shouldn't be understood to mean muscling the shot with your arm. Maximizing racquet head speed requires a loose, relaxed grip and arm. In my view, you should think about putting your effort into the precision of your shot preparation and the rotation of your body starting with the hip.
 
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