Tennis Groundstrokes Tips – The Basic Swing PatternDavid Frank October 13, 2019 49 Comments
Hey guys. Today I want to talk to you about
the basic swing pattern that you need to understand to master all of your topspin 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. We’ll have a look at myself hitting a forehand here. We’re going to have
a look at the high-low-high swing pattern. 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 sideview. 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. I take my hand a little bit
higher than probably most professional players. Taking it up to about shoulder level is a
good guideline for you guys. Then once I drop down, the racket 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.
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. 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. Now let’s have a look at the two-handed backhand.
Here on the two-hander, we’ll see the same thing. The racket is going to go up high a
little bit first. 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. 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 shadow swingsand you work on it. And another thing that really
helps us actually saying the words out loud so you can say high, low, high as you’re making
that particular part of your swing. 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.