Hitting A Forehand With Top Spin
What’s the unique thing about tennis? It’s a game that has numerous shots in the book and you require a significant amount of time, energy, passion and skill to master it. If you play football, you’ll only need your legs to master techniques; but in tennis, you need your whole body in perfect synchronization to be able to hit one shot and you have to hit hundreds of shots in one match.
Hitting top spin shot is one of the safest shots in tennis and it often helps you in crucial rallies. When you have no option but to be defensive, top spin shot will might get you out of trouble. Coaches often tell you that first learn top spin shot then go to flat shot. In matches, a player who has better control and top spin on the ball often comes out as winner.
What is a Top Spin Shot?
Top spin is the ability of the ball to rotate (revolve) as moving forward. The ball is spinning heavily as going in the forward direction, thus causing it to come downwards. The spin effect produces a downward force thus causes the ball to drop which eventually made the ball to land inside the court.
Often in tennis, from baseline there are two shots, one is topspin shot and the other is flat shot. (Backspin/ Slice will be covered in another article) A player with flat shots will not involve in long rallies while a player with top spin shots will last in long rallies and often forces his opponents to make errors. You might be well shocked to know that Rafael Nadal hit his top spin shots with over 3000 revolutions per minute and that’s why Nadal normally involve in longer rallies and more probably comes as the winner because of his high top spin balls.
Top spin shot is one of the basic shots in tennis. Most of the times, it is the very first shot that every tennis player, who begins to play tennis, learns. Top spin shot is also the backbone of your advanced tennis. So, how to hit a top spin forehand? Let’s have a look.
You might have heard your coach saying that “Brush the ball, Rub the ball”. Well, there is a reason for that. Top spin balls are easy to hit and they are safer shots in tennis.
While hitting a top spin shot, you should care of two things; one is the angle of racket head and the other is the direction of swing. In order to generate top spin on the ball, you need to really swing the racket in the upward direction so that the strings get rub with the ball.
Let’s take a look at different factors that you need to consider while hitting a topspin shot.
Tennis Grip For A Top Spin Shot
To be honest, the grip is irrelevant while hitting a topspin shot. You can hit a good and heavy topspin shot with all types of grips. So, don’t worry if you have a continental grip or play with western grip, just make a proper swing while hitting the ball.
Shoulder & Body Movement During The Swing
The first thing that you do while setting yourself up for a shot, is your shoulder movement. Correct, as the ball is coming towards you, turn your shoulder and body in that direction so that you're non-hitting shoulder faces towards the net. In this position, your racket will be in backward swing motion. Press your lower body downwards.
Now, make the swing. When you’ll hit the ball, rotate your shoulders along with the upper body as one single unit across your torso. Release your legs to give the require power and strength to the ball.
Top Spin Swing Motion
The most important thing in hitting topspin shot is the swing motion. Proper and complete swing motion is absolutely necessary for a good shot. While your shoulder is getting the back motion, your racket will be behind the body. At that position, make a pause for a split second before initiating the forward swing. Drop your racket a bit down to get the required thrust for the forward swing.
Now, make sure that just before you start to make the forward swing of the racket, the angle of the racket head must be facing down. This angle helps you in generating the spin effect. Upon contact with the ball, try to rub and brush the ball as much as you can. Use your wrists to flick the ball. Flicking the wrist helps you in generating some extra spins on the ball. Don’t stop your racket there, rather just keep the motion in flow up to the back of your non-hitting shoulder. Easy, swing the racket form low to high across the opposite shoulder. The momentum of the should be smooth and in a continuous manner.
Make Contact W/ The Tennis Ball In front Of The Body
Another important factor while hitting a topspin shot. Prepare early for the shot. Make contact in front of your body. It will allow to generate the maximum blast to your shot rather if you are late on a shot and the ball is back from your body, you’ll still be able to make the shot but with no power and weight and your opponent will get a very weak return.
Hit The Ball High Over The Net
Top spin shot is considered to be the safest shot in tennis. Why? Because of its topspin effect which helps the ball in bringing it back to the ground. So, don’t worry too much regarding the height of the ball. Top spin shot gives you much larger margin of error. Hit the ball 3-5 ft above the net and don’t worry, if you hit a proper topspin shot, the ball will come back. Just aim the ball a bit higher.
What makes a proper tennis shot... Coordination. For any shot, coordination plays a key role in the execution. Shoulder rotation, upper body motion, lower body motion, racket swing, flicking of the wrist, contact point of the ball; everything should be in perfect coordination for a perfect shot. Why does top players seem to have make less errors? It is because of their perfect coordination of the shots. So, next time you go out for a training session, keep these things in your mind.