– Hey guys, Scott and Nate
from PlayYourCourt.com, and today we’re gonna show you how to generate more
power with your drives, and more top spin by shaping the ball. So today, we’re gonna help you
make some better decisions, show you when to drive,
show you when to generate more top spin by shaping the ball, and this video is for players with a PlayYourCourt rating of 70 and up. If you’re not in our community, or familiar with our rating system, a PlayYourCourt 70 is the
equivalent of a USTA 4.0. So the stuff we’re gonna go over today, while I definitely agree
with Nate and understand, he is way better at this
type of instruction, this is sort of what a lot of his coaching is based off of, it’s
sort of his foundation, his holy grail of
coaching, so I’m actually gonna step off camera and Nate, you’re welcome, and let you take the reigns on this today,
shape versus drive. – Alright, guys, I’m really
excited to share this with you. As Scott said, this is
really the blueprint for a lot of my teaching, and in fact, I had a good conversation
with Andres Pedrosa, who is now the head coach of UVA, multiple national winner,
and Andres was kind enough, and did a clinic with
some of our top juniors, and we really got in depth
with this conversation about shape versus drive, and
he shared that he actually works with this stuff quite
a bit with his players. I mean, what do you teach
guys that are blue chip, top recruited players,
and it’s getting guys to be more aggressive by
cutting off the angles, getting guys to be more defensive and not going for too much
when it’s inappropriate, so I cannot drive home enough just how important this concept is. So let’s jump into it, what
is a shape versus a drive. The first thing to
note, this is more about what the ball is doing, not
what you’re doing, okay. A drive is going to be
when you attack the ball while it’s ascending, alright, so the ball is up at the apex, and you’re being aggressive
going through the ball, alright, but a drive is not
while you’re hitting the ball while it’s descending,
the ball is not dropping, that’s where the shapes come in. So either the ball is really short and it’s falling, it’s descending, and you’re gonna be able
to create big top spin with this and this is a shape, or I’m being more conservative, and perhaps I’m moving off the baseline, I’m allowing the ball to get up and down and descend, where I’m then shaping. So if you’re asking yourself, what do more advanced players do, we’re
gonna see a lot more drives, doesn’t mean they don’t
shape, but if you watch like a Federer and a Djokovic, right, the ball’s gonna be
going through the court and they’re gonna be hitting
at the apex predominately, big defensive positions,
or trying to get the ball off the court will be their shapes. If we talk about Rafael Nadal, we’re gonna talk a lot more about shapes, but that guy definitely
knows how to drive the ball. So guys, the simple way that
we’re gonna remember this, is that when you’re driving,
we’re gonna shoot arrows. What do arrows do, they
move in a straight line, and they penetrate, they go
through the court, alright, doesn’t mean you can’t angle at all, but you better be aiming nice
and safe when you’re driving, you can’t be too close to the lines. Alright, shapes, they
move like rainbows, right, but they’re still offensive,
because they do a great job at getting your opponent off the court, but, yes, they’re better served
as a defensive mechanism. So what we’re gonna do here is we’re gonna demonstrate first what
the shapes look like, and as you notice, there’s
an X on the ground, and I’m gonna be working on this plane. I’m gonna stay away from working
parallel with the base line and on this ball, I’m gonna be working away from it, allowing it to descend so I can get some big ole heavy top spin. Alright, let’s see what that looks like. (ball bouncing) (racqet hitting ball) (sneakers squeaking) Alright, so as you can see,
I’m working off the court, and I’m allowing the ball to drop, and what that’s enabling me to do is to really work under the
ball and work really up the ball to create this big heavy top spin. I can use it to get my
opponent off the court, push them back much like Nadal does, or I can use it defensively,
to kinda reset things, get my opponent to back off a little bit. Alright, so on a ball that
looks a little bit similar but won’t have quite as much on it, then I can make the decision to drive, and now I’m attacking, here
I’m gonna be really focused on getting up to the ball
and hitting it while it’s at is apex, let’s take a
look at what that looks like. (ball bouncing) (racket hitting ball) So guys as you can see,
I’m moving to the ball with a lot more aggressive footwork. I’m hitting off my front foot, but most importantly, I’m
hitting the ball at the apex, at the very top of the bounce, and I’m going through the court, not giving my opponent any time to reset, not waiting for the ball,
I’m being super aggressive. Something really important
to note here, though, if your swing path does not start high, you’re not gonna be able
to effectively drive. The problem is if your
racket is going low, and you swing up, you’re already lifting a ball that’s
lifted, so you guessed it, yeah, it’s gonna go out, right, so from here, I’m working
with the racket up, and going all the way through
the ball in order to drive it. On a shape, I’m simply gonna move back, I’m gonna let it drop,
and I’m gonna shape it up. Now some of these, can you
turn a shape into a drive, absolutely, right, if I
can get low and get there, I can go all the way through that court and still drive the ball. This has nothing to do with heighth. It has nothing to do with
how you’re hitting the ball. This is a simple concept
that is gonna dictate how you move and your decision-making. So when you guys are told, you know, are you watching the ball
you hear your coaches, are you watching, make
sure you watch the ball, this is really what they
should be talking about. They should be talking about the decision making you’ve made. Are you going to shape the ball, are you gonna drive the
ball, that’s gonna tell you how to move to the ball,
and it’s also gonna tell you how you’re gonna strike the ball, how you’re gonna impart spin or work through the nose in order to drive. Alright, so the same exact
thing would be on the backhand. What we’re gonna do now
is show you a little drill that I like to practice,
and our friend Scott gets to mess with me here,
he’s gonna work through this X, and he’s gonna call out
what he wants me to do, so I’ve gotta work on it on
the fly so I can practice both. Alright, so let’s take a look
at what that looks like now. – [Scott] Shape. (racket hitting the ball) Drive. (racket hitting the ball) Shape. (racket hitting the ball) Drive. (racket hitting the ball) Shape. (racket hitting the ball) Drive. (racket hitting the ball) – Whew, alright Scott, you weren’t particularly kind there were ya. – Out of breath, huh. – Out of breath, it’s a tough
drill, we call it the X drill, but it’s a phenomenal drill, getting you to work through these patterns. – For sure, and to be clear, if I’m sort of a counter puncher, and
I’m looking to attack more, I guess I should be looking to move up and take that ball at the apex more often, right, is that sort of the goal? – A hundred percent, guys,
think about how this works with your strategy, right, like, if you’re looking to be more aggressive, you need to be looking
for the apex of the ball and swinging through it to
get a lot more aggressive. You’re gonna be taking the
time away from your opponent, a lot like Agassi, think about how early that guy took the ball. – Absolutely, alright, very cool, great instruction, I know this
is sort of your holy grail, but bring us home here,
give us a quick summary for those watching at home,
what’s sorta the quick, the quick actionable items here. – What I want you to remember, this is not about how
you’re hitting the ball, it’s about when you’re
hitting the ball, alright. If the ball is ascending,
and you’re moving to it, striking it, that’s a
drive, that’s your arrow, you’re going through the court, alright. If the ball is descending, whether it be a short ball that you’re moving up to, or a ball that you’re moving away from, that’s a shape, that’s a rainbow, right, nice arc getting over
the net that you can work to get your opponent off the court. Make the appropriate decisions and you’re gonna cut down your errors. And just like Scott said,
if you’re a counter puncher, or somebody that doesn’t
have a lot of weapons, look for the apex, drive the
ball to become more aggressive. And on the flip side, if
you’re somebody that’s making a lot of errors, maybe we
should back off a little bit, allow a ball to drop, allow it to descend, and look at shapes that have
a lot more margin for error. – So Nate, that was great instruction, and as always, guys, Nate and I just wanna help you improve your tennis game. The bottom line, as we always say, we just don’t know a ton about you. Do us a favor, click the
button, or the link below, answer some questions for us about your specific skill
level so we can send you some custom video coaching based on the stuff that’s going on in your game. Click the button or the link below and Nate and I will do the rest.

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Dennis Veasley

17 thoughts on “How To Get More POWER on Drives and TOPSPIN By Shaping The Ball”

  1. I went to Tennis Tech at Tyler Junior College …we loved tennis mechanics..You guys would love it….i love your teaching and dedication..

  2. Great video! I can hit hard, I can hit heavy and I can angle my opponent off the court. However, because I naturally like to shape the ball, I wait for the ball to descend before hitting it and give my opponent too much time to recover.

    I've been working on trying to drive the ball. I try to hit the balls on the rise but I still end up hitting with too much topspin. My coach gave me the same advice you gave about keeping my racquet high but it doesn't seem to help. I feel like I have been hitting heavy spin all this time that it is difficult to unlearn this. Could you please post another video with more detail about drive technique, maybe with slow motion video analysis? I'd really appreciate it if you did!

  3. Good tip guys! I Will try this concept tomorrow at play court and than i'll come back here to tell you what happend! TKS.

  4. Yeah true.. Great video man! Never hurts to learn all the tools Incase somethings not working i agree!

  5. Superb video. I am beginning to find the optimum balance between going for broke and setting up the point (trade off between deep topspin shots and flat drives). This is improving my consistency big time.

  6. I needed this lesson in my life. It makes so much sense. Apparently, I naturally default to "shaping" I'll have to start hitting the ball at its apex when I'm wanting to get aggressive.

  7. Great video! Do you recommend shaping or driving a slice ball? I’m more of a driver but when I try to drive a slice it always seems to go into the net or out.

  8. I'm interested to know if this concept extrapolates into taking the ball on the rise (before the apex). Is that a totally different shot or some combination of the two, since you'd be striking the ball early, but lower? Seems like that would be an even more aggressive shot with perhaps a lower margin for error. I'm sure you guys have a video on that, so I'll go search for it.

  9. One more question: Are you for/against switching between an eastern forehand grip for driving and semi-western for shaping? I assume that would require lightning reflexes and an entirely different swing path, but could it maximize the effectiveness of your intended shot?

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