Hi guys, I’m Clay Ballard with Top Speed Tennis,
and today we’re going to talk about one of the most important aspects to the game.
We all know about it, we’ve all heard about it, and it’s creating massive amounts of topspin.
I’ll bet you’ve probably watched some of the top pros in the world. Rafael Nadal comes
to mind. Their ball is clearing the net by almost four
or five feet over the net. They’re hitting this ball extremely hard,
and then it’s turning down into the court for a winner. Very hard hit shots are diving
down. In today’s video we’re going to talk about
why we even need all that topspin. We know that slider shots actually produce
a little bit more power, so why even bother hitting it so far over the net.
Then the second part of the video is to get everybody, even if you’re an absolute beginner,
you’ve not played a lot of tennis, I want you to experience what a lot of topspin feels
like. I have a series of drills that I’m going to
walk you through that will allow you to do that. Let’s go ahead and get started. So the first thing we’ll talk about is why
we even need topspin, what is the real advantage of topspin.
Let’s go over what happens when we hit topspin. As we’re making contact, let’s imagine that
I’m back at the camera, back at the baseline, and I’m making a swing.
As I’m making contact with the ball, my racket is going to be around waist high somewhere.
That’s about the same height as the net, it’s going to be in that general ball park, obviously
it’s going to matter where the ball is hit. As we’re clearing the net though, as I mentioned
with Nadal, his ball can be up to four or five feet above this net and hit very, very
hard, and it’s still going turn down into the court.
Now with the topspin is what allows that ball to curve down in the court since the ball
is spinning end over end in this direction, but there’s more friction on the top of the
ball than there is on the bottom of the ball against the air.
The felt catches that friction and makes it dive down into the court.
Now if we took a beginning player, maybe someone that’s never ever touched a racket before,
and they still swung at that same speed that Nadal was doing.
Now remember his ball was starting out at about waist high and clearing the net by about
four or five feet, so that means his ball took off from his racket at about an angle
like this. If we took a beginning player with no topspin
at all, no experience with how to create topspin, and they and swung with the same speed as
Nadal, hit that ball and it took off at that same angle with the same speed, it would clear
the net by the same four or five feet. But it would hit the top of the fence past
the court, and it would probably land with that same amount of speed, probably somewhere
in the ballpark of 40 or 50 feet past the baseline, so way too far out of the court.
That’s why you’ll see a lot of beginning players do that, they’ll hit these really crazy shots
that fly way past the court, because they haven’t learned that topspin yet.
What happens is, as we’re a beginning player, let’s say we’re ripping these shots and we
know that if we hit one up here, it goes 50 feet long, at the top of the fence.
As we start to go lower, maybe this is 30 feet long, 20 feet long, 10 feet long, as
we even hit a shot that clears the net by just an inch if we’re hitting it with that
kind of speed and no topspin, it’s still going to clear long.
There’s no way we can hit with that amount of speed and still get the ball to go in the
court. We have to then slow down our swing, take
a lot of power off of it, and then we start to hit it a little bit higher over the next
without spin, and it starts to fly in the court.
So now maybe we only have a margin for error of six or eight inches, as a beginning player,
whereas Nadal has a margin of error of five feet.
What it’s really about is creating a huge amount of margin for error, and being able
to swing hard and still have it go into the court.
That’s the reason that we want topspin. Now let’s go over a series of drill that are
going to allow you to do this, so you can start getting this massive margin for error
and be able to swing harder and still hit winners. OK, so to create this topspin, there’s two
things that have to happen from a scientific that have to happen, two things that have
to happen. I have to create a difference in the direction
my face is pointing and the direction that my racket is moving.
So here if I’m making contact square, and for all intents and purposes when we make
contact with the ball we want our racket just barely turned down a little bit, probably
pointing to the bottom of the net. If I were to draw a laser line from the center
of my racket, shooting out from the strings, it would hit roughly at the bottom of the
net. Now if my racket is moving in the same direction,
I’m not creating any topspin. My racket now has to be moving in an upward
direction, so if my racket overall is moving upward in an angle like this, and my strings
are pointed downward, that’s creating a separation, and that separation is going to cause that
ball to have topspin on it. We’re going to focus on three individual areas
that are going to help us to improve that topspin.
The first one is as my arm swings, to get that upward angle, I want my arm to be moving
upward as I’m making contact with the ball. So the overall path of my arm needs to be
up. You can imagine my arm is swinging as a circle.
As my arm moves farther and farther forward, now my hand is naturally going to move farther
forward. I want to make sure that I’m making contact
as my arm is moving up as I’m doing this. The second piece in order to be able to do
that, if I’m making contact late, where’s my arm going to be?
It’s going to be at the bottom of its arc. I need to make contact with that ball early
well out in front of my body so my arm is naturally moving up and I don’t have to try
to create so much topspin. If you’re making contact late here, now your
arm isn’t moving up naturally, and you’re going to have to feel like you’re doing all
this stuff with your shoulder and your wrist to make up for that.
So piece number one, arm naturally coming up by letting it swing from the shoulder socket,
down and up. Piece number two, making contact out in front
so it’s going to be coming up all on its own, it’s naturally going to happen.
The third piece is my wrist. If you imagine my hand here, as I’m making contact.
If I take my fingertips and point them down to the ground, and then I want to flick those
wrist upward like this. So as I’m coming into contact, I want to have
my wrist flick up, where that’s called the windshield wiper.
It looks something like this when you’re making the contact with the racket, it’s going to
naturally slip on over. It’s the same way you’d turn a doorknob to
the left, same motion there. Imagine this is a doorknob I have a hold of,
and I’m going to turn that to the left. That’s extreme, we’re talking about getting
a lot of topspin on that ball, but that’s how you’re going to do it, to get that to
really kick up. So those three pieces, arm coming up, contact
out in front, and then we’re going to have that wrist flick up to add that last little
bit. Now let’s go ahead and go over a several-part
drill that’s going to help you to feel this. Now I have you a four-part drill that’s going
to help you to do this motion. It may take a little bit of time for those
of you who are beginnings. But I really want you to work through these
drills, make sure you do them correctly, so you can experience in a short period of time,
what all that topspin is really going to feel like.
From there, you can go onto my topspin forehand series which is really going to teach you
these moves in much more detail. So we’re going to kind of fake it, we’re going
to cheat to get a little bit more topspin on there.
Just so you can feel it today, then you’re going to go to that series and watch that
so that you can learn how to do it correctly, and learn how to do those motions properly.
To start out we’re going to use a continental grip.
You can imagine that as if I were going to grab this racket, and I was going to hit this
racket and I was going to hit this like a hammer, straight down into the ground, that
would be my continental grip. Also my index finger knuckle, my bottom knuckle
on my index finger here, is going to be on the second bevel.
Bevel number one is going to be the top bevel if my racket is up and down.
The next bevel over to the right is bevel number two, and my index finger is going to
be on that. That’s your hammer grip, your continental
grip. From here, this is a very difficult grip to
create spin. I want to make sure I’m using this grip so
I’m making as tough as possible, and I have to manufacture the spin my using my arm correctly,
and using my wrist correctly. So again, I’m going to make a couple practice
swings here, and I’m going to feel like I’m letting this racket come back high, and I’m
letting it loop down under, and I’m making contact out in front when my racket hand is
moving up. As I’m coming back, my hands are high.
Watch my right hand, it turns under, and then I’m making contact as it’s coming back up.
If I add the racket, it’s going to look something like this.
Coming back high, looping down, so I’m making a loop, and then I’m coming back up to contact.
Now we’re not getting really detailed on the biomechanics, I get much more into that in
the topspin forehand series. But here we’re just going over the general
idea. So hand goes down and then back up. Check that grip, make sure you have that correct,
and now I’m going to do that same thing, where I’m letting it loop back up.
That ball just kind of floated on me, didn’t have a lot of topspin.
Now I really want to focus on getting that racket to kick up with the wrist, and that’s
going to add that second little boost of topspin on there, so that that racket is really moving
upward as the face is still pointing downward. We’re really trying to get a lot of topspin
on here by doing so. I’m going to stand four, five feet behind
the baseline, toss a couple balls up, focus on those three keys to try and manufacture
as much topspin as I can on there. Now one that I want you to keep in mind, is
make sure that you keep this continental grip. The second thing I want you to keep in mind
is this is very difficult to create topspin this way.
Very, very difficult drill. The reason that we’re doing this to start
out is because I want to make it as difficult as possible for you to create topspin so that
you have to use the arm moving up, and you have to use the wrist kicking up, and we don’t
simply just turn the grip right away, and start to try to manufacture it, or cheat into
it. We’re going to get into a little bit of that
later. The first thing I want to do, is I want to
make sure I make it as difficult as possible, so that I have to use the arm and the wrist
to try to force myself to create that topspin. I’ll go ahead and hit a couple more here,
and again, as I mentioned, I’m going to even mess up on these, because I’m not used to
having this grip at all. But you’re going to try to create as much
topspin as you can. So I didn’t really create a ton on those,
you probably won’t either because of that grip, but I want to try to get as much as
I can as I’m starting out. Now the second piece to this, I’m going to
turn it one bevel to the right. So bevel number two is the first one to the
right, the second one which is on the flat side, bevel number three, I’m now going to
put my index finger knuckle on bevel number three.
Essentially what I’m doing is turning down the face a little bit.
Now it’s easier for me to swing up and get that level face, and the difference between
that angle and my racket is moving the angle that the face is pointing.
It’s going to be a lot easier to create spin. This is your stock forehand grip.
I’m going to focus on those same three things. Another 20, 25 shots, getting more topspin,
you can see those are diving down a little bit more as I’m starting to hit with those.
Again, I want to make sure that I make contact in front of my body out here, really extend
out in front so that my arm is naturally going to move up.
After we’ve done about 20, 25 of those, you’re really trying to create as much spin as you
can. Now we’re going to move it even farther over
to bevel number four. Now we move it over to bevel number four,
that’s going to be called a semi-western grip, so really turning this racket face down.
Now I can really hit up on this thing very easily, and create a lot of topspin.
You’ll see Nadal using a semi-western a lot of times.
I’m going to do the same 20 to 25 swings, trying to get as much topspin as I can and
really get comfortable with that curving down. I’m going to swing hard, I’m going to try
to really get this ball to turn down, and you’ll see it’s much easier.
I’m just tossing these balls, I’m not worrying about hitting them with a partner or any of
that kind of stuff yet. Focusing on arm moving up, contact in front,
making that wrist really turn up. The final piece here, and this is where I
think everybody’s going to feel the topspin, we’re going to go all the way over to bevel
number five which is at the bottom of the racket, way down here.
Your hand is going to turn completely underneath the racket, and now the knuckle of your index
finger is going to be no other choice with this grip but to swing up on the ball.
Because if you swing level at all, what’s going to happen if I swing level, that ball
is going to go right down into the ground because I’ve closed this space so much.
So I’m going to have to really swing up on this ball a lot, and this is kind of a cheater’s
way of getting topspin. The disadvantage with this long-term is you’re
not going to be able to create enough speed doing this, so it’s going to be very difficult
to create speed. You’re going to have to swing extremely hard
to get any pace on the ball. But for now, to feel this topspin, we’re going
to try this out, and we’re going to see again this is very hard, that ball turned down a
lot! But it is very hard for me not playing with
an eastern most of the time, very hard to get a feel for how to do that.
But you can see that that ball is definitely turning down a lot, and almost no way to swing
without getting a lot of topspin. So 25 good shots creating as much topspin
as you can, first starting out with a continental and then going stronger, and stronger, and
stronger. I guarantee you by the time you get to a full
western grip at the bottom, not what I would recommend for regular play, but you will feel
the topspin today and you’ll start to get that feel of getting that ball to turn down.
So good luck to you guys, and good luck with that topspin forehand.
All right, so now that we’ve experienced how to get this ball to really turn down, we’ve
cheated it a little bit by getting the hand way underneath the racket.
You started to feel that topspin, now it’s time to go ahead and learn how to do it the
correct way, with the correct technique. I have a bonus with you guys, here in a second
a video is going to pop up from the topspin forehand series.
It’s going to be a preview of the full video. If you want to see the entire video plus the
entire series free of charge. It’s going to talk about how to use the legs,
how to use the proper arm motion in much more detail.
It’s going to go into detail of three different positions of how to get that snapping motion
through contact. You’re going to learn a lot of great information
for that. That’s going to pop up here in a second, just
click the link in the bottom of your screen or down below in the description if you’re
on a mobile device. You’ll be able to see that entire video, entire
series free of charge. Also if you liked this video, be sure to click
the like button below, that really helps me to grow the channel.
If you have any question post them in the comments, and also remember to subscribe so
you’ll see our latest content. Good luck to you guys, good luck with that
topspin, I look forward to hearing from you soon. Top spin with your forehand.
In this video we’re going to talk about how to use the lower body correctly to get some
leverage from the ground, really create a lot of power so that you start ripping some
of those forehands not only with topspin, with a lot of speed.
So let’s go ahead and get started. This video is about the lower body as I mentioned,
and we’re going to talk about how to leverage the ground for some power.
It’s a motion that I call the “Power U.” Basically your hips and your body are going
to be making this U-type shape as we’re hitting the shot.
It’s going to help you to really transfer energy from the ground through your body,
and out to the ball, and it will result in a lot more speed. Let’s go ahead and get started on the basic
motion first. As you’re waiting for the ball to come, you’re
going to be standing fairly tall, and then as you begin your forward momentum, you always
want to be moving forward through the ball as we’re coming into contact if at all possible.
As we start our forward momentum we’re going to let our hips drop down.
You can imagine my hips are starting to go down and they’re making the first half of
this U-type shape. Now as I begin the forward swing with my racket,
now my lower body’s going to be driving upward.