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The Tennis Business Discussion Forum Archive

[tennisbiz] Re: Loop Swing vs. Straight Back Swing for Groundstrokes

From: Steve Halverson <>
Date: Thu 9 Aug 2001 00:11:00 -0700

<x-charset iso-8859-1>Dear Alan,

Good to see you are still teaching tennis.

As for your question. Preparation is strictly a timing issue. First, ask
yourself what is the purpose of backswing? Most students that I ask this
question either to say it is because their pro told them to take a backswing
or it is to get ready to contact the ball.

Remember, you don't have to take a backswing to prepare for a volley, 1/2
volley, return of serve...So that must mean that preparation doesn't
necessarily mean backswing because there are so many shots in tennis that we
hit without a backswing.

So, what is the purpose of backswing? It is for power. Now you need to ask
yourself 1)Do you always want to hit the ball hard? and 2) Do you always
have time for backswing? I would hope that most people would answer 'no' to
both of these questions. Does this mean that backswing is "bad"? Of course
not. However, it does mean that backswing isn't always the best way to
prepare for contact. What you want to do is prepare according to the speed
of the ball. If the ball is coming fast, ie. with power, you don't need to
add more power by taking a backswing plus you don't have time to get your
racket back anyway. Remember, when you hit the ball hard against a wall,
what happens? It comes back fast. The harder you hit, the faster the ball
comes back. Now how big of a backswing is the wall taking?

So in answer to your question. If the ball is coming over slow enough to
take a loop, the loop provides a relaxed, continuous movement before
contacting the ball. If the ball comes over faster and if you have time for
backswing, then a straighter, compact motion is more beneficial.

Something to remember. You can have the best preparation in the world,
however it is the contact that dictates where the ball will go.

Take care and hope to hear from you Alan.

Steve Halverson

Received on Thu Aug 09 2001 - 09:20:27 CDT

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