Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
from September 2014
©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2010) 09, 643 - 651

Research article
Key Factors and Timing Patterns in the Tennis Forehand of Different Skill Levels
Johannes Landlinger1, , Stefan Lindinger1,2, Thomas Stöggl1,2, Herbert Wagner1,2, Erich Müller1,2
Author Information
1 Department of Sport Science and Kinesiology, University of Salzburg, Austria
2 CD-Laboratory “Biomechanics in Skiing”, University of Salzburg, Austria

Johannes Landlinger
✉ Department of Sport Science and Kinesiology, University of Salzburg, Rifer Schlossallee 49, 5400 Hallein/Rif, Austria
Email: landlinger_johannes@
Publish Date
Received: 26-07-2010
Accepted: 08-10-2010
Published (online): 01-12-2010
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The main purpose of the present study was to quantify and compare selected kinematic variables and their timing during the tennis forehand of different skill levels. An eight-camera 400 Hz, Vicon motion analysis system recorded kinematic data of six ATP- professionals (elite) and seven high performance (HP) players when shots were played cross court and down the line. Timing of the maximum angles, linear and angular velocities was measured prior to and after impact. A total of twelve strokes per subject were analyzed from the beginning to the end of horizontal racquet movement. Significant differences (p < 0.01) and large effect sizes were observed between elite and HP players in the timing of maximum pelvis (-0.075 ± 0.008 vs. -0.093 ± 0.012 s) and trunk angular velocities (-0.057 ± 0.004 vs. -0.075 ± 0.011 s) before impact. The elite group showed a tendency (p < 0.05) towards higher peak horizontal shoulder (3.0 ± 0.4 vs. 2.5 ± 0.4 m·s-1) and racquet velocities (33.1 ± 2.4 vs. 31.1 ± 1.9 m·s-1) compared to the HP players. Depending on the situation (cross court vs. down the line), different peak hip, racquet and separation angles were found for both groups. Similar peak values were detected between groups for maximum angular velocities and displacement of key variables that had been selected for analysis. The findings of this study can be vital for successful player development, improved performance or injury prevention. The later occurrence of maximum angular pelvis and trunk rotations were the main reasons for the tendency towards higher horizontal shoulder and racquet velocities in the elite group.

Key words: Biomechanics, racquet speed, kinematics, proximal-to-distal sequencing

           Key Points
  • Different timing of maximum angular pelvis and trunk rotations separated the elite from the high performance players.
  • The elite group tended to reach higher horizontal shoulder and racquet velocities than the high performance group.
  • In addition to maximum angular velocities, maximum racquet, shoulder, and hip alignment angles were similar between groups.
  • To improve the forehand performance level of their athletes, coaches should focus on proper pelvis and trunk rotation.
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