Tennis Groundstrokes Tips

November 25, 2014 10:00 am

Hey guys. Today I want to talk to you about the basic swing pattern that you need to understand to master all your topswing groundstrokes. As you probably already know, the way you should swing the tennis racket is heavily influenced by the physical laws involved in hitting a tennis ball. The swing pattern for the topspin forehand, the topspin one-handed backhand, and the topspin two-handed backhand is actually almost identical. In the following super slow motion animations, you will see that the swing pattern goes from high to low and then high again. So the basic swing pattern that you need to remember is high-low-high. And most recreational players unfortunately don’t get this right. So it’s very important that you guys start working on it. Alright, let’s go ahead and start with some visual learning and we’ll go ahead and start with the forehand. Okay, we’ll have a look at myself hitting a forehand here. And we’re going to have a look at the high-low-high swing pattern. Now, what you can see here is that my hand and racket go up high first as I make my unit turn. And then the racket and the hand drop down low below the level of the incoming ball. Then on the forward swing, I start swinging upward again to finish with the high swing. So that’s how the high-low-high swing pattern looks like here from the side view. Let’s have a look at it again. What you can see here is that my hand goes a little bit above my shoulder height. Okay, I take my hand a little bit higher than probably most professional players. And taking it up to about shoulder level is a good guideline for you guys. And then once I drop down, the racket actually goes very low. As you can see right here, the racket is not too far away from the ground as I start to swing up again with the last portion of the swing where I go high again. Alright, now let’s have a look at the one-handed backhand. Here on the one-handed backhand, you can see again that my racket and hand move up high a little bit in the beginning, roughly shoulder height, and then the racket drops down low again below the level of the incoming ball. The ball that I’m hitting here is coming a little bit higher. So I’m not getting my racket quite as low as I did on the forehand, but I’m still getting it below the level of the incoming ball. And then from there, I swing up high again with the high finish. You can see my hand again is roughly at ear level at the end. So that’s what the typical high-low-high looks like on the one-handed backhand. Now, you can also see very well here that my body and my hand go down together, and then up together. Okay, that’s another very important part here of the swing. But what I want you guys to understand and to get a really good visual feedback is the high-low-high swing pattern. And I really hope that this animation here can give you a great idea, and for an image in your mind that you can use to work towards, which usually really helps. Alright, now let’s have a look at the two-handed backhand. Here on the two-hander, we’ll see the same thing. Okay, the racket is going to go up high a little bit first. Now, there are several pros on the tour that don’t take the racket up too high on the two-hander and that’s perfectly fine. I would recommend that you guys roughly take the hands up to about shoulder level and then drop the racket from there. You really want to drop the racket low again, below the level of the incoming ball, and then the swing goes up high again. As you can see, the arc on these swings, on the forehand, one-handed backhand and two-handed backhand, is almost identical with the high-low-high swing pattern. The reason you want to have the racket up a little bit high in the beginning is that you want to use gravity to pick up a little bit of racket head speed. You can hit a perfectly fine shot if you take the racket back low, but you’re just going to lack a little bit of power because you’re not going to make use of gravity as the racket goes down. Alright, so much here for the two-handed backhand. And now, let’s have a quick look at the three animations in comparison. So here we can see the comparison of the swing pattern for the forehand, the one-handed topspin backhand, and the two-handed topspin backhand. As you can see, the swing pattern is almost identical and goes from high to low to high again. Getting the swing pattern right is absolutely crucial for your topspin ground strokes and I highly recommend that you go ahead and start working on that. First thing of course will be to check and see if you already have the swing pattern. You might have it already but most likely, a lot of you guys are not going to have the swing pattern yet. If you’re missing a lot in the net, then maybe you’re not getting the low to high part correctly. And then you go ahead and start with some shadowswings and you work on it. And another thing that really helps is actually saying the words out loud so you can say, high, low, high, as you’re making that particular part of your swing. And I am pretty sure that if you guys go ahead and work on this, then your topspin ground strokes are going to improve a lot.

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