Author Topic: Hit faster or hit harder?  (Read 4612 times)

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Offline miticfam

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Hit faster or hit harder?
« on: August 01, 2009, 06:07:27 PM »
As the thread name tells, how can you generate more speed and power on the ball? Let's see Federer for an example, his forehand have a lot of speed and power, but how he can generate such speed and power, he hits very hard or it's because of his racket head speed? And how he hits those slow balls and he generates huge speed, I suppose if he hits really hard those balls they will go out?
« Last Edit: August 09, 2009, 10:04:22 AM by Tennis4you »

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Offline dmastous

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Re: Hit faster ot hit harder?
« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2009, 06:54:35 PM »
I'm going to define speed and power as the same thing. It is also defined as pace. But's not the same as hitting a "heavy" ball.  Heavy is pace combined with spin.
If you want more pace you need to use more of your body. Billie Jean King has described it as the Kinetic Chain. It's the joints and muscles that can move in combination with each other first one, then the next, building up energy which ends up directed at the point of contact.
It used to start with the feet, and legs, and still can. But the modern game it starts with the hip rotation, which then causes the torso to rotate, which is followed by the shoulders rotating, which rotates the arm into the contact zone and the arm directs the racquet into position to hit the ball.
But that's the obvious part of kinetic energy.
The hidden part is the opposing actions that take place at each point in the stroke. This is best exemplified by the bull whip being snapped. The snap you hear is the tip of the whip exceeding the speed of sound and creating a small sonic boom. The hips turn as the shoulders are still turning back. The hip causes the shoulder to snap forward, which increases the energy. At every transfer, there is a opposing snap as one part is going one way and is forced to go the other by the opposing force. Each one of these snaps adds energy to the shot. That is the kinetic chain Billie Jean King is talking about.
You can see the same thing in action when a pitcher is throwing a pitch in baseball, and when a hitter his swinging a bat. You can see some of it in action when a long range sharpshooter takes a shot from way outside the three point arc in basketball.
So you need to work on the transfer of energy from the hips to the shoulders to the arm to the racquet. Then you need to work on creating the opposing forces that add the kinetic energy the gain that racquet head speed for spin and hidden power.

Is a tree as a rocking horse
An ambition fulfilled
And is the sawdust jealous?
I worry about these things .

Kevin Godley & Lol Crème (I Pity Inanimate Objects)

Offline miticfam

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Re: Hit faster ot hit harder?
« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2009, 07:34:22 PM »
I'm going to define speed and power as the same thing. It is also defined as pace. But's not the same as hitting a "heavy" ball.  Heavy is pace combined with spin.
If you want more pace you need to use more of your body. Billie Jean King has described it as the Kinetic Chain. It's the joints and muscles that can move in combination with each other first one, then the next, building up energy which ends up directed at the point of contact.
It used to start with the feet, and legs, and still can. But the modern game it starts with the hip rotation, which then causes the torso to rotate, which is followed by the shoulders rotating, which rotates the arm into the contact zone and the arm directs the racquet into position to hit the ball.
But that's the obvious part of kinetic energy.
The hidden part is the opposing actions that take place at each point in the stroke. This is best exemplified by the bull whip being snapped. The snap you hear is the tip of the whip exceeding the speed of sound and creating a small sonic boom. The hips turn as the shoulders are still turning back. The hip causes the shoulder to snap forward, which increases the energy. At every transfer, there is a opposing snap as one part is going one way and is forced to go the other by the opposing force. Each one of these snaps adds energy to the shot. That is the kinetic chain Billie Jean King is talking about.
You can see the same thing in action when a pitcher is throwing a pitch in baseball, and when a hitter his swinging a bat. You can see some of it in action when a long range sharpshooter takes a shot from way outside the three point arc in basketball.
So you need to work on the transfer of energy from the hips to the shoulders to the arm to the racquet. Then you need to work on creating the opposing forces that add the kinetic energy the gain that racquet head speed for spin and hidden power.
Thank you very much dmast :// :// Everything is much clearlier now, but are there any specific way to improve the connection between muscles to gain more energy

FEDERER THE GOAT, 16 GSs, Career Slam, 21 GS finals, 23! consecutive GS SFs
My favs: Federer, Djokovic, DelPotro, Haas, Ana, Henin:)

Offline dmastous

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Re: Hit faster ot hit harder?
« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2009, 07:47:33 PM »
Unfortunately, there is no easy answer. Understanding what to do is a good part of the battle, but practice is the only way to get better. There are plenty of slow motion examples of pros hitting groundstrokes. With what may be a new understanding of what the pros are trying to accomplish, watch some of these videos again. Watch the way the create the kinetic chain and generate power. Notice some of the smaller, opposing motions as well as the more obvious ones. Especially look at the smaller or slimmer players (and the women), and the power they can generate.
Then have friends feed you forehands and backhands so you can work on these things in controlled environment, so you can work on these things. But hitting hundreds, and even thousands of balls is really the only answer to get it into your game.
Let your body work freely, and don't try and fight it too much. Loose flexible movement is better than tight, overcontrolled movement.
Another way of gaining power is to take the ball on the rise. Hit it before it gets to the top of it's bounce. You get more pace from your opponents pace that way.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2009, 07:49:08 PM by dmastous »

Is a tree as a rocking horse
An ambition fulfilled
And is the sawdust jealous?
I worry about these things .

Kevin Godley & Lol Crème (I Pity Inanimate Objects)

Offline TheEternalCowboy

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Re: Hit faster ot hit harder?
« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2009, 08:16:49 PM »
How much of a factor do you think racket weight plays?

Offline dmastous

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Re: Hit faster ot hit harder?
« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2009, 08:34:41 PM »
How much of a factor do you think racket weight plays?

It can be a part of the ability to produce power, but it's more about technique, and the energy you can generate with your swing. Of course more mass in the frame makes it easier to hit the ball harder. But it's more difficult to generate racquet head speed. So it's a plus/minus thing.
One area where a heavier frame can help is keeping the power under control, since you don't have to swing as hard. But being able to swing with more racquet head speed can bring more spin.
To me the weight of the racquet and the distubution of that weight is a matter of personal comfort. I used to use a very light weight frame for many years. But switched to a heavier frame and gained a lot of control from the switch. I didn't need power, I needed to get the power I already had under control.

Is a tree as a rocking horse
An ambition fulfilled
And is the sawdust jealous?
I worry about these things .

Kevin Godley & Lol Crème (I Pity Inanimate Objects)

Offline TheEternalCowboy

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Re: Hit faster ot hit harder?
« Reply #6 on: August 02, 2009, 09:53:28 PM »
How much of a factor do you think racket weight plays?

It can be a part of the ability to produce power, but it's more about technique, and the energy you can generate with your swing. Of course more mass in the frame makes it easier to hit the ball harder. But it's more difficult to generate racquet head speed. So it's a plus/minus thing.
One area where a heavier frame can help is keeping the power under control, since you don't have to swing as hard. But being able to swing with more racquet head speed can bring more spin.
To me the weight of the racquet and the distubution of that weight is a matter of personal comfort. I used to use a very light weight frame for many years. But switched to a heavier frame and gained a lot of control from the switch. I didn't need power, I needed to get the power I already had under control.
I too am switching from to heavier racket at the moment, mainly because I read that it might be better for my wrist.  I agree that I feel like I can't get as much racket head speed, but that affects the spin for me, not so much the power. 

Offline monstertruck

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Re: Hit faster ot hit harder?
« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2009, 06:45:49 AM »
This is one time where I think slo-mo has a very limited use.
It can be very helpful to break down the stroke into positions or key points, but in the end it is a fast stroke made up of the key positions.
I prefer to string multiple clips (30+) of the same stroke togther at normal speed and observe. 
Watching the clip over and over at normal speed helps to ingrain the image in my mind rather than watching the slo-mo or frame by frame.
Then try to replicate while watching the clip. 
Lastly, perform the stroke in front of a mirror keeping the vid in your mind's eye and comparing the 2.
CONK da ball!!!

Offline miticfam

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Re: Hit faster ot hit harder?
« Reply #8 on: August 03, 2009, 06:46:54 AM »
Unfortunately, there is no easy answer. Understanding what to do is a good part of the battle, but practice is the only way to get better. There are plenty of slow motion examples of pros hitting groundstrokes. With what may be a new understanding of what the pros are trying to accomplish, watch some of these videos again. Watch the way the create the kinetic chain and generate power. Notice some of the smaller, opposing motions as well as the more obvious ones. Especially look at the smaller or slimmer players (and the women), and the power they can generate.
Then have friends feed you forehands and backhands so you can work on these things in controlled environment, so you can work on these things. But hitting hundreds, and even thousands of balls is really the only answer to get it into your game.
Let your body work freely, and don't try and fight it too much. Loose flexible movement is better than tight, overcontrolled movement.
Another way of gaining power is to take the ball on the rise. Hit it before it gets to the top of it's bounce. You get more pace from your opponents pace that way.
Thanks again dmast, you really know how to explain things. I'm hitting the ball on the rise but I need to improve my chain a lot. And I have one more question, you can hit the ball on the rise and when the ball start to fall, what happens when you hit the ball when she reaches the top of bounce?

FEDERER THE GOAT, 16 GSs, Career Slam, 21 GS finals, 23! consecutive GS SFs
My favs: Federer, Djokovic, DelPotro, Haas, Ana, Henin:)

Offline miticfam

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Re: Hit faster ot hit harder?
« Reply #9 on: August 03, 2009, 06:47:51 AM »
This is one time where I think slo-mo has a very limited use.
It can be very helpful to break down the stroke into positions or key points, but in the end it is a fast stroke made up of the key positions.
I prefer to string multiple clips (30+) of the same stroke togther at normal speed and observe. 
Watching the clip over and over at normal speed helps to ingrain the image in my mind rather than watching the slo-mo or frame by frame.
Then try to replicate while watching the clip. 
Lastly, perform the stroke in front of a mirror keeping the vid in your mind's eye and comparing the 2.

I will sure try this monster, thanks

FEDERER THE GOAT, 16 GSs, Career Slam, 21 GS finals, 23! consecutive GS SFs
My favs: Federer, Djokovic, DelPotro, Haas, Ana, Henin:)

Offline dmastous

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Re: Hit faster ot hit harder?
« Reply #10 on: August 05, 2009, 12:25:13 AM »
This is one time where I think slo-mo has a very limited use.
It can be very helpful to break down the stroke into positions or key points, but in the end it is a fast stroke made up of the key positions.
I prefer to string multiple clips (30+) of the same stroke togther at normal speed and observe. 
Watching the clip over and over at normal speed helps to ingrain the image in my mind rather than watching the slo-mo or frame by frame.
Then try to replicate while watching the clip. 
Lastly, perform the stroke in front of a mirror keeping the vid in your mind's eye and comparing the 2.


I had a coach, long ago, who showed me his video setup. He would take videos of the pros hitting similar shots to his players, and create looped 10 or 20 minute videos of the pros hitting those shots for his guys. It's a very effective tactic. With digital video it's pretty easy to create the same sort of video montage of your own game juxtaposed with pros who use a similar approach.
As for using slow motion video, I meant that more to note the things in a pro's stroke that are not obvious to realtime watching. The small details that get overlooked mostly because the stroke happens so fast. It's not something I would do a lot of, but it is something that can help understand, and uncover the little things that make these pros so good. What gives them so much effortless power.

Is a tree as a rocking horse
An ambition fulfilled
And is the sawdust jealous?
I worry about these things .

Kevin Godley & Lol Crème (I Pity Inanimate Objects)

Offline miticfam

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Re: Hit faster ot hit harder?
« Reply #11 on: August 05, 2009, 06:09:10 AM »
Unfortunately, there is no easy answer. Understanding what to do is a good part of the battle, but practice is the only way to get better. There are plenty of slow motion examples of pros hitting groundstrokes. With what may be a new understanding of what the pros are trying to accomplish, watch some of these videos again. Watch the way the create the kinetic chain and generate power. Notice some of the smaller, opposing motions as well as the more obvious ones. Especially look at the smaller or slimmer players (and the women), and the power they can generate.
Then have friends feed you forehands and backhands so you can work on these things in controlled environment, so you can work on these things. But hitting hundreds, and even thousands of balls is really the only answer to get it into your game.
Let your body work freely, and don't try and fight it too much. Loose flexible movement is better than tight, overcontrolled movement.
Another way of gaining power is to take the ball on the rise. Hit it before it gets to the top of it's bounce. You get more pace from your opponents pace that way.
Thanks again dmast, you really know how to explain things. I'm hitting the ball on the rise but I need to improve my chain a lot. And I have one more question, you can hit the ball on the rise and when the ball start to fall, what happens when you hit the ball when she reaches the top of bounce?
Can you please answer this dmast

FEDERER THE GOAT, 16 GSs, Career Slam, 21 GS finals, 23! consecutive GS SFs
My favs: Federer, Djokovic, DelPotro, Haas, Ana, Henin:)

Offline monstertruck

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Re: Hit faster ot hit harder?
« Reply #12 on: August 05, 2009, 06:12:26 AM »
This is one time where I think slo-mo has a very limited use.
It can be very helpful to break down the stroke into positions or key points, but in the end it is a fast stroke made up of the key positions.
I prefer to string multiple clips (30+) of the same stroke togther at normal speed and observe. 
Watching the clip over and over at normal speed helps to ingrain the image in my mind rather than watching the slo-mo or frame by frame.
Then try to replicate while watching the clip. 
Lastly, perform the stroke in front of a mirror keeping the vid in your mind's eye and comparing the 2.


I had a coach, long ago, who showed me his video setup. He would take videos of the pros hitting similar shots to his players, and create looped 10 or 20 minute videos of the pros hitting those shots for his guys. It's a very effective tactic. With digital video it's pretty easy to create the same sort of video montage of your own game juxtaposed with pros who use a similar approach.
As for using slow motion video, I meant that more to note the things in a pro's stroke that are not obvious to realtime watching. The small details that get overlooked mostly because the stroke happens so fast. It's not something I would do a lot of, but it is something that can help understand, and uncover the little things that make these pros so good. What gives them so much effortless power.
I agree that slo-mo is very useful and would like to rephrase the intial statement of my post to read as follows-
Slo-mo analysis is one useful tool in stroke development.  There are also other ways to make use of video technology.

Summary-  used in conjuction, slo-mo and high speed looping can be effective tools in stroke development at practically any level.
CONK da ball!!!

Offline miticfam

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Re: Hit faster ot hit harder?
« Reply #13 on: August 05, 2009, 06:36:22 AM »
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=454
I found this thread it has a nice tips to generate more pace on the forehand

FEDERER THE GOAT, 16 GSs, Career Slam, 21 GS finals, 23! consecutive GS SFs
My favs: Federer, Djokovic, DelPotro, Haas, Ana, Henin:)

Offline dmastous

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Re: Hit faster ot hit harder?
« Reply #14 on: August 08, 2009, 09:12:08 PM »
Thanks again dmast, you really know how to explain things. I'm hitting the ball on the rise but I need to improve my chain a lot. And I have one more question, you can hit the ball on the rise and when the ball start to fall, what happens when you hit the ball when she reaches the top of bounce?
Can you please answer this dmast

Hitting the ball at it's apex of a serve toss is really the ideal point because that's the point where it's stopped moving. But I don't see too much difference between hitting a groundstroke at the apex, or as it's coming down.

Is a tree as a rocking horse
An ambition fulfilled
And is the sawdust jealous?
I worry about these things .

Kevin Godley & Lol Crème (I Pity Inanimate Objects)

Offline miticfam

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Re: Hit faster ot hit harder?
« Reply #15 on: August 09, 2009, 07:26:04 AM »
Thanks again dmast, you really know how to explain things. I'm hitting the ball on the rise but I need to improve my chain a lot. And I have one more question, you can hit the ball on the rise and when the ball start to fall, what happens when you hit the ball when she reaches the top of bounce?
Can you please answer this dmast

Hitting the ball at it's apex of a serve toss is really the ideal point because that's the point where it's stopped moving. But I don't see too much difference between hitting a groundstroke at the apex, or as it's coming down.
Thank you very much

FEDERER THE GOAT, 16 GSs, Career Slam, 21 GS finals, 23! consecutive GS SFs
My favs: Federer, Djokovic, DelPotro, Haas, Ana, Henin:)

Offline monstertruck

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Re: Hit faster ot hit harder?
« Reply #16 on: August 09, 2009, 07:46:12 AM »
I always figure hitting the serve while the ball was at or near the peak of the toss provided me with the greatest margin of error. :)
CONK da ball!!!

Offline dmastous

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Re: Hit faster ot hit harder?
« Reply #17 on: August 09, 2009, 08:02:02 AM »
I always figure hitting the serve while the ball was at or near the peak of the toss provided me with the greatest margin of error. :)

That has long been the theory, because that's when the ball is not moving. It's stopped it's upward momentum, and is not yet coming down. There are some discussions about tossing the ball higher, and seeing an increase in topspin while hitting it on the way down, and we've also seen pros who hit it on the way up, very effective servers like Roscoe Tanner and Goran Ivanisovic as an example.
But the question, as I took it, was about hitting groundies. Is it best to take the ball on the rise (riskier, but gaining some free power), at the apex, or on the downslope. I don't think there is much difference between the last two options. Maybe hitting the ball at the apex can be seen to be slightly less risky because there is no up down motion, just forward motion, but hitting in on the down slope can mean you give yourself more time. Trying to hit a modern groundstroke at it's apex could find you hitting a lot of balls at or over your head which is far from ideal. I just don't think there is any added advantage to trying to catch the ball at it's apex when hitting groundstrokes.
The bottom line, to me, is you should work on being able to hit in all situations. You may have a tendency to hit on the rise, or as it is coming down, but you should be able to do both effectively, so you can take advantage of the benefits of each.

Is a tree as a rocking horse
An ambition fulfilled
And is the sawdust jealous?
I worry about these things .

Kevin Godley & Lol Crème (I Pity Inanimate Objects)

Offline monstertruck

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Re: Hit faster or hit harder?
« Reply #18 on: August 09, 2009, 10:17:20 AM »
That makes sense.
I've yet to see the person who can get to every ball and hit it at the same height each time.
CONK da ball!!!

Offline HarryWild

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Re: Hit faster ot hit harder?
« Reply #19 on: December 10, 2010, 12:17:48 AM »
I'm going to define speed and power as the same thing. It is also defined as pace. But's not the same as hitting a "heavy" ball.  Heavy is pace combined with spin.
If you want more pace you need to use more of your body. Billie Jean King has described it as the Kinetic Chain. It's the joints and muscles that can move in combination with each other first one, then the next, building up energy which ends up directed at the point of contact.
It used to start with the feet, and legs, and still can. But the modern game it starts with the hip rotation, which then causes the torso to rotate, which is followed by the shoulders rotating, which rotates the arm into the contact zone and the arm directs the racquet into position to hit the ball.
But that's the obvious part of kinetic energy.
The hidden part is the opposing actions that take place at each point in the stroke. This is best exemplified by the bull whip being snapped. The snap you hear is the tip of the whip exceeding the speed of sound and creating a small sonic boom. The hips turn as the shoulders are still turning back. The hip causes the shoulder to snap forward, which increases the energy. At every transfer, there is a opposing snap as one part is going one way and is forced to go the other by the opposing force. Each one of these snaps adds energy to the shot. That is the kinetic chain Billie Jean King is talking about.
You can see the same thing in action when a pitcher is throwing a pitch in baseball, and when a hitter his swinging a bat. You can see some of it in action when a long range sharpshooter takes a shot from way outside the three point arc in basketball.
So you need to work on the transfer of energy from the hips to the shoulders to the arm to the racquet. Then you need to work on creating the opposing forces that add the kinetic energy the gain that racquet head speed for spin and hidden power.

Thank you very much dmast :// :// Everything is much clearlier now, but are there any specific way to improve the connection between muscles to gain more energy



[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m_yWePjInF8[/youtube]
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ymUFbMJJMx8&feature=channel[/youtube]
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ojzfPud_mvo&feature=channel[/youtube]
All you have to do is do like these guys above and you will be feared by all!


[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hYJgyzBzxh4&feature=channel[/youtube]
I watched Marat at Key Biscayne hit and it is "hard" with lots of spin.  He has great power on his strokes!  Of course, he is not to consistent on his stokes but they are nice to watch.  He is practicing!  You can see him serve, volley, hit, etc....
« Last Edit: December 10, 2010, 12:53:46 AM by HarryWild »