Hi guys, I’m Clay Ballard and welcome back
to Top Speed Tennis and your Topspin Forehand Series. In this series we’ve got an awesome video
for you. We’re going to talk about where the pros
get a lot of their speed and a lot of their topspin. That’s that wrist Lag & Snap motion through
contact. It’s really going to help you to increase
your speed and your topspin. I can’t wait to share it with you! For those of you joining us on YouTube, be
sure to stick around at the end. I’ve got some great bonuses for you. All right, let’s go ahead and get into the
technique. There are three basic motions in the Lag & Snap
wrist action we’re talking about through contact. It’s also commonly referred to as Windshield
Wiper. I’m going to go over how it’s a little
bit different than the traditional idea of Windshield Wiper, and some of the common mistakes
you can make when trying to do the Windshield Wiper move. Let’s go ahead and pretend, if we’re going
to the opposite side of the court, this is 12:00. Let’s imagine a clock face here. 12:00, 3:00, 6:00 would be right back at the
camera, and 9:00 over here. We talked about, as we’re loading up for
this forehand, how we need to go ahead and make this L-type motion with our arms. Then the racket needs to be pointed out at
basically a 45° angle. The racket’s going to be at a 45° and the
tip of the racket, from the butt end, will be pointing right over toward 3:00. That’s the first motion that we want to
get into. As we’re loading up, the racket tip is going
to be pointing out toward 3:00 and at about a 45° angle. The second move is where really the magic
starts to happen, and that’s the loading of the forearms. This is called a Stretch/Shortening cycle. Any time you’re going to have a lot of power
and fire your muscles with good speed and good power, we need to first stretch those
muscles and then fire them. What’s going to happen here, from this first
move, we’re now going to make a motion which will be very similar to turning a doorknob
to the right with your wrist. As we’re doing the first piece here, racket’s
out to the right. Now as I’m coming back, I want to go ahead
and turn my hand to the right as though it’s a doorknob. I’m going to do this until the tip of my
racket, now instead of pointing at 3:00, is all the way back to about 7:30. Don’t mistake this with your hand pointing
back toward 7:30. I don’t want my arm to get all the way back
here toward 7:30. I want my hand to stay in front. It’s my wrist and the angle of the racket
that’s going to be pointing back toward about 7:30. That’s stretching out these muscles of the
forearms and making it where they’re more powerful. Now as they snap back, we can get a lot more
speed into it. That’s Motion #2. Motion #1, racket at a 45°, pointing toward
3:00. Motion #2, my arm stays in front but now my
wrist is going to turn out until that racket’s pointing back to about 7:30. Then as we come through, now we’re going
to go ahead and turn the doorknob the other way. We turned it to the right, now we’re going
to turn it back to the left. That’s what’s going to get that snapping
motion through the contact area. Again, if you’re looking from face on, I’ll
go this way. Here’s Move #1, Move #2, and then I’m
going to go ahead and let it snap all the way on around for my final move. Let’s go ahead and take a look at Roger
Federer doing this exact motion. We can see here, as he’s loading up, racket
is pointing out to the right, toward 3:00 just like we were talking about, getting that
general L-type shape. Then as he’s dropping it in, now the racket’s
going to come in. Hand’s staying in front of the body, but
the racket’s dropping in to where it’s pointing at about 7:00 or 7:30. Sometimes even 8:00 if you want to get a lot
of wrist snap into that. Then finally, he’s coming up toward contact
and his hand is turning on over the other way. He’s turning the doorknob to the right,
and then turning the doorknob back to the left, creating that massive amount of snap
and really creating a lot of speed and a lot of topspin. Now that we’ve gone over the general principles,
let me talk about two things that I want you to be aware of that make this a little bit
different than the traditional Windshield Wiper technique, and that you want to make
sure that you avoid. Number one with the Windshield Wiper technique,
a lot of times people think of this as a strictly up-and-down motion. As the racket’s coming forward, it’s going
to be moving up and down this way. We talked about, in Video 1, how the racket
actually needs to be moving at a 45° as we’re coming through contact. Be sure that you’re not trying to go straight
up and down. What will happen is, if I’m going straight
up and down, now my strings are just going to slide across this ball. I may be able to hit it with a little bit
of topspin, but it’s not going to have any force behind it at all. You see how high and soft that was? It didn’t really have much on it. I want to make sure that that ball penetrates
into the other side of the court and really has some more speed on that. We want to make sure we get more of a 45°
angle. That way we’re not only getting topspin,
we’re getting a little bit more of a penetrating shot. Even that one was kind of dinky there! That’s the first thing. Make sure it’s more at a 45° rather than
vertical, which is what you think of naturally when you’re envisioning a windshield wiper. The second thing is, as we’re coming through
contact we want to make sure that we’re hitting this ball where the racket is moving
vertically. Just like this. The racket head is moving
up and down when it’s contacting the tennis ball. That way, as this ball starts to spin it’s
getting just topspin on it. A lot of times when I see people try the Windshield
Wiper technique their wrist is going this way and they’re making contact here somewhere. Now the strings are going at a 45° and that
ball starts spinning sideways, and it’s not going to dive down into the court. That looks something like this, where I’m
wiping across the ball. You can hit all kinds of crazy shots that
are very inconsistent, doing that. It doesn’t get a lot of topspin on it, and
a lot of times it’s not going to do much of anything. It’s just going to kind of float to the
right as you’re doing that. Make sure as you’re coming through you’re
getting this topspin and the racket is moving vertically as you’re coming through the
strike zone. There we go. We can see that that ball dove
straight down into the court. That’s a good thing to keep an eye on. Now let’s go ahead and walk through a series
of progressions to get used to this so we can start to take this into our game. I recommend you take it slow and get your
reps in before you take it out there to the court and take it into a match. As you know, with Top Speed Tennis we always
do some kind of progression. We start out slow, with very simple pieces,
then we build upon that. We’re going to start out by losing the racket,
losing the tennis balls. We’re just going to do the motion with our
hands, get very comfortable, then we’ll add those pieces back in there. Let’s go ahead and start out making this
L-type shape. We’re going to pretend that my fingertips
are representing the racket face. As I’m coming back, now my racket is pointing
out to the right, 3:00. It’s up at about a 45° angle, like we went
over. As I’m extending this down, now my hand
is going to turn inward until my fingertips are pointing down and back at about 7:30,
or maybe even 8:00 if I really want to get that to lag. As I’m coming through here, I want to make
sure that my hand is straight up and down, or the strings would be straight up and down
as I’m getting contact with the ball. That way we’re getting topspin on this. If I do this type of motion, now my hand’s
at a 45°. I’m going to be kind of wiping across the
ball and I’m going to get that sidespin that we don’t want to do. We can get all kinds of crazy shots with that. We’re going back, fingers up, letting them
turn in, making contact right here with strings up and down. Then coming on through to a good, full finish. Once you’ve done about 100 of these, gotten
very comfortable with it, let’s go ahead and add the racket and do the exact same thing. We’re going to pause in these three positions
again. Position #1, racket out, #2, racket drops
in. Make sure that hand’s staying in front of
your body. I don’t want my hand to drop back in here. That’s going to get really difficult to
time that forward momentum. Position #2…Position #3. My strings are up and down, to where now as
I’m making contact, that’s going to be just topspin. Then if you’ve done this, go ahead and come
on through to a good, full finish. Get very, very comfortable with that, and
then make it into one fluid motion. I come back and I’m letting that racket
snap. I should be feeling, right as I’m coming
through contact, that my racket is snapping and I’m getting that 45° upward angle. Now, once you’re comfortable with that,
let’s go ahead and try to hit a couple shots doing this. Just nice and easy, tossing the ball. You don’t need to take it out to a match
play or anything like that yet. You’re just going to go ahead and practice
this on your own. I got that one a little low. There we go, that got a little bit more topspin
on it. You’re not trying to really do anything
special with these. You’re just making sure that you’re getting
used to that motion. Getting that hand to turn back in and then
create that topspin. They’re not going to be really pretty at
first. You don’t have to do anything fancy. You’re not trying to hit them 100 miles
an hour. You’re just getting really comfortable with
that stroke. Then you can build upon that to where you
can go out in a match or playing a partner. You’re going to be comfortable enough with
it to be able to take it to when it matters in a tournament, and it still hold up. Good luck to you guys! I hope you guys enjoyed this video, and I’ll
see you all very soon. For those of you joining us on YouTube, I
hope you guys enjoyed this video. If you did like this video, be sure to click
the Like button down below. That helps us out, helps me to grow this channel
and to bring you guys some more free videos. If you have any questions on anything we’ve
covered in this video, be sure to post your comment below and I’ll answer that personally. I have a great bonus for you guys! This is one video out of a series of videos
on how to create more topspin, a whole progression. We go over racket setup, we go over grip,
we go over all the technique. I’m going to play a preview from another
video in this series. If you want to watch that entire video, plus
the entire series, absolutely free — it’s never going to cost you anything. Just click the link that pops up on your screen,
or down below in the description. That’s going to take you to the place where
you can put in your email and we’ll send the whole thing to you, free of charge. I really look forward to working with you
guys much more in the future. Good luck with that topspin, and I’ll see
you soon! Hi guys, I’m Clay Ballard and welcome back
to Top Speed Tennis and the Topspin Forehand Series. Hopefully you guys have watched a couple of
the first videos. We talked about what creates topspin, what’s
the perfect grip, and what’s the perfect racket setup. Now today we’re going to get to the real
fun stuff, in my opinion. We’re going to start talking about technique
and how you can use this right arm to not only create more speed, but to do it by using
physics instead of power. And also how you can use this right arm with
the exact same motion to get more topspin. Be sure to stick around, at the end I have
some great drills for you guys. Let’s go ahead and get started! As I mentioned, we want to use this right
arm in the correct way to create some speed. We’ll go over speed first, then we’ll
talk about the topspin. If you can imagine my right shoulder here
as being a pivot point, then my right arm is going to swing on this pivot. I have a full 360° range of motion, or roughly
360°. As I let my arm swing, I’m just going to
let it swing with gravity here. You’ll see that my fingertips are actually
moving with some pretty good speed, without very much muscular effort. That’s because I have a pretty long lever
here. My right arm is extended, and creating a long
lever. If I bend my right arm and shorten this lever
and my hand is much closer to my pivot point here on my shoulder… Now as I let that swing, my hand is going
to be moving much slower. As I let that extend out, it’s going to
move much faster. That’s what we want to do in the forehand
also, is create a longer lever…

Tagged : # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # #

Dennis Veasley

99 thoughts on “Topspin Forehand Series Video 4 | Lag and Snap (Top Speed Tennis)”

  1. is this concept of lag the same as in golf swing? you are an amazing instructor on both tennis and golf btw, i learned so much from you! thank you!

  2. I've seen so many videos on this, this was the best one, why? the fact that you outlined the door handle aspect of the SCC (out then in). Most talk about the wrist pull towards the ball, but never mentioned what caused the lag, the outward wrist motion? thanks

  3. This video is the best forehand tips I have ever watched. I knew this before this video, but this video is the best for all begingers. I'll ask my 6-year-old watch this. 🙂

  4. Hi Clay,
    Thank you so much for sharing your
    Topspin Forehand Series with us! Your lessons are a great tool to learn modern Tennis the right way and I enjoy them a lot!
    I have only one question – I can't find PART 2 of your 4-part series. I have actually watched most of the videos you share (and keep watching them regularly… LOVED the "Grigor Dimitrov Forehand Rythm, as I am Bulgarian 🙂 and recommend it 100%
    Grigor Dimitrov: Forehand Rhythm and Power (Top Speed Tennis) )
    and I've saved the other 3 parts in my "Tennis Coaching" Playlist, but keep failing to find Part 2. Could you please help me with that? (…while I watch another great video of yours:
    Modern (Open) Forehand Vs. Closed Forehand (Top Speed Tennis)
    Modern (open) AND Classical (closed) Stance Forehand )

    All the best and THANKS ! 🙂

  5. This video has helped me correct a problem i had with my top spin. i used to get contact at the 14 deg angle and hence the ball used to travel without much speed and always to the left (i am right handed). Thanks for helping me correct my mistake… 

  6. I can't believe it but you identified what I've been doing wrong all these years. I'm bringing my arm back to 7:30 instead of leaving it out in front at 3: o'clock and turning the wrist to 7:30. Thank you for pointing this out and keeping your analysis simple and not too technical.

  7. really fucking good video dude! im like 21 and i want to start playing for fun and i want federer's forehand this will help me alot! 

  8. I've been subscribing to a bunch of tennis channels on youtube for about two years. I just recently found Top Speed Tennis and this breakdown of the topspin swing progression with all the key frames is my favorite series. The whole "doorknob, lag, snap" description finally gives me the "aha!" feeling.  Thanks a bunch and please keep them coming.

  9. You have very nice videos, very nice capacity to explain things, the only one thing bothering me is that you always stay with a close stance. I think that now 90% of the players are playing either an open stance or a semi-opened stance…

  10. First of all, the use of the body is what creates the lag of the racket. The way he's teaching it makes it sound like you have to force the racket lag and snap with your forearm which is false. The way he's presenting this may be good for beginning players to learn the correct arm mechanics of the strokes, but the element of the body is completely left out in this video – this greatly concerns me. Actively forcing your forearm to do that lag, doorknob, and snap thing can lead to easy injuries. 

    Though, he talks about how we are suppose to be hitting through the ball and not completely brushing the ball on the "windshield wiper;" that's good.

    I don't think he knows the importance of the body for all the strokes even though he has pretty good use of the body in his technique. Then again I have not looked at the rest of his videos on the forehand, maybe he addresses the use of the body in those.

    I'm pretty certain if this was taught to a beginning player, it would work out fine, but if the use of the hips and core is never addressed, his/her potential will be limited.

    The pros like Nadal and Federer make it seem like they are doing certain things actively like this in their strokes but in reality, it is all a result of simply the proper use of their core.

  11. Hi Clay, I was curious if you play tennis? I didn't find you on tennislink. Did I you play as a junior? What's your playing experience, ranking?

  12. Hi Clay, I hope this message finds you well. I got a quick question for you. I started to incorporate the lag and snap to my forehand. I can immediately see the benefits, as you create greater head speed and accuracy (much to my surprise). However, the more I use it with more consistent players that have a heavier ball, I noticed I am starting to get a slight disconfort in my wrist and a bit of a tennis elbow sensation. Is that a common occurrence when starting to use the lag and snap or a problem with the technique? Thanks!

  13. Hey Clay, can you please do a video on second serves. I have been playing tennis for seven years and I loose a majority of points from double faults.

  14. Dear Clay
    David from the Bronx, just started learning this summer. 68 yrs. of age. I think in pretty good shape. this forehand stroke has been a problem. I like your instruction on lag and snap. my question is this. at position 2, I feel as if my hip and shoulder turn are in tuned with this motion coming to contact. I have yet to try it on the court. please tell me I am on to something that will finally work. now I have a ball hanging on a string in  my garage. it feels pretty good. , how do I communicate with you. please [email protected],net

  15. You never mentioned anything about what grip you were using. Many videos miss this point as well. What grip would you recommend for this forehand action? Thanks.

  16. This is a good video some very good points. But there is one thing I think needs further fine tuning. When your forehand arm sets up for a take back…the elbow should not lock at 7:30 position. It should still be bent. When the arm moves forward then the elbow locks due to momentum. As well, you should not turn or twist the racquet at the wrist from 3 to 7:30pm. This occurs when when your slightly bent arm/elbow in the take back position moves forward rapidly causing the racquet to move into the 7:30 position and then the arm elbow locking during forward motion never during the back motion. If you watch Federer's forehand at 240fps you will notice the arm moves forward first causing the chain reaction in the rest of the swing. Don't forget slower take back faster forward swing. Cheers.

  17. Thanks Clay for this EXCELLENT video (and all the other great vids)! Watched many videos on the web and many helped but this one improved my forehand more than any other video. What you explain between 4:45 and 5:45 really changed my forehand big time. While it looks rather obvious so many (including me) do it wrong. More importantly, the nice thing about it is that in order to do what you explain one is (i) more or less forced to get the body into the right and powerful position and (ii) to keep the wrist passive/lagged long enough to achieve good consistency and rather effortless power. I took the image back to the court and it immediately made a huge difference. Have worked on this since fall now and am MUCH more consistent and powerful than before plus my arm does not get tired anymore (had tennis elbow problems before).

  18. This door knob analogy is great…. however I wouldn't worry too much about generating pure topspin. Some side spin is normal if the contact point is high.

  19. Hi clay
    I am trying to learn this forehand
    and I was practicing forehand and two handed backhand to use forearm
    So i can get a better backhand
    but Using forearm in forehand is harder than backhand
    I think that reason is that forehand have to use forearm more than backhand
    what is the better backswing to learn ur forehand between l type(45degree) shape or loop swing
    Thank u

  20. thanks Clay, Praveen here again. A little doubt, when n how to release the wrist in snap from its cocked back position?

  21. I learned more in this video than two months of prior private lessons. Thank you! I just was wondering about the follow through. I see your racquet head final position is over the top of your left shoulder while Roger's example (and other video instructors I watched) follow through is more straight across the front of the torso with the head ending up below the left shoulder. Any suggestions?

  22. At 2:39, instead of me swinging across with the racquet somewhat parallel to the ground, my entire racquet dropped down to the ground (looked like my racquet was upside down and parallel to the net). What can I do to fix this?

  23. Great video. 
    I'm pretty confused of about the topspin motion forehand series. . Does the right arm make a  degree of 360 and the left arm 45 degree?

  24. Hi maybe u could try following thru at below the left shoulders(halfway between elbow and shoulder) i think it will looks great and easier & shorter path resulting to higher speed. Not sure will it be true , just looking at this video and analysed haha

  25. Excellent teacher. Very well done. I love the way you break down the motion into segments. VERY helpful.

  26. off late i started watching you video….looks really great…do you upload any videos on double handed backhand?

  27. nice video. even though the follow through should be a bit lower and with the raquet head pointing down and not up(check federer s forehand). great video though

  28. My gosh!  Respectfully, please thank your parents for that one night stand, creating you, and the Man upstair for giving you the knowledge and talent to teach.

  29. Clay! This is exactly what I needed. I have been struggling with this part of my game a lot lately. I love the reference to turning the doorknob. I cannot wait to go out there and practice this. My problem has been that when i first learned to hit my forehand i was told repeatedly to keep my wrist in the same position. This led to a lot of pushing the ball and very little racket head speed.  Great video!

  30. Hi Clay,
    Excellent video, no words to say you Thanks for such a nice video,  My coach never taught me these techniques of having L shape posture and turning wrist,I always struggle to play good forehands in wrong technique, but not anymore!
    Just wondering can we use the pro style foot steps as you explained in 6 steps footwork video?
    You are awesome!

  31. Excellent instructions coach, this is exactly what I needed. I knew about the windshield wiper motion but I was doing it all wrong, swiping the ball across at 45 and not vertical, also the analogy of the clock and the door knob turning made everything clear, I was doing these motions randomly hence the ball not landing properly. Thank you!

  32. when you actually hit your forehands, your hand is definitely NOT in front of your body…. that is, when you point your racquet to 7:30, your hand is behind your body also pointing towards 7:30.

  33. @Top Speed Tennis when your swinging to contact are you doing it by swinging with your arm and the then the cores just naturally uncurling from the unit turn or are you actively consciously turning the hips and keeping the racquet stationary?

  34. Please check the Federer slow-mo again, it's clear that he is first starting the swing to the ball, and then achieving the racket lag position, not the other way around as your video appears to be endorsing. Federer and other high level players achieve the racket lag from a very loose grip, and allowing gravity to let that racket lag behind AFTER they start accelerating the racket forward to the ball. This is very clear from all the slo-mo footage out there. I appreciate your efforts to make the video, but please explain your reasoning for teaching it this way?

  35. I have a question. Should I choke up on the racquet handle? I've seen Federer holding the racquet very away from the butt, and I've read that choking up you get more control and you can hit harder, is it true? Thank you for your good lessons and waiting to hear from you soon Regards Claudio.

  36. okay, been playing for years and have watched many hours of tennis video. THIS video series gave me the final piece to my forehand. i could never generate the type of effortless power i know i am capable of until now. i took this advice to the court yesterday and was awed by the results. Your Sir turned my forehand into a real weapon! the centripetal force as you explained it produced incredible pace and spin! thank you!

  37. Mr.prado you never choke up on the racquet handle for the forehand because the wrist must be relax after contact
    to have a fluid motion.Chocking up will only keep you stiff during the swing.

  38. When the racket is lagging should the racket face face the ground or the side fence? Also when your snapping the racket are you using wrist flexion or wrist ulnar deviation?

  39. tnx for the videos. i just have a query. does this also apply for semi western grip. i have a problem on my backswing its just not comfortable enough

  40. I've been practicing this technique and the ball keeps going out… should i consciously pronate after the lag phase?

  41. Hey Clay, do you think that if i already have a decent lag and snap, by adding more weight to the racquet head, it will make the lag and snap even better? Since it weights more the head will lag even more? Or could I generate a similar lag with a light racquet.. thanks!

  42. Hi Clay ! Thanks for your videos, very helpful!
    I'm playing in France and my teacher told me that we do not have to force the "turning the knob" and the lag should be the consequence of a total relaxation of the wrist, is it right or we have to force it ?

    Thanks for your answer 🙂

  43. Hey Clay thanks so much for this great video. I just tried it today with my partner and it was exactly what was lost in my forehand.

    Normally my forehand has a lot of spin but lacks power. I usually play it as a defensive stroke. but today using your technique "turning the doorknob" part really gave the snap and my forehand turned into an amazingly aggressive shot.

    The speed and penetration were impressive. I scored so many winners today and my friends were asking what did I do??? lol

    Thank you so much for the great advice.

  44. Hi, Clay. I use to play a lot of tennis and I agree completely with your explanation of the topspin forehand. This is exactly how I use to hit it using the western forehand. One of the most dramatic examples of the western forehand was Jim Courier and a professional named Aaron Krickstein. When you look at slo-mo videos of their forehand, it looks like they are dislocating their wrist every time they hit a forehand. I subscribe to Top Spin Golf now and think you are a great instructor.

  45. thanks a lot for the video.. can you explain more on the point of contact? is the wrist already released during point of contact or is in the process of snapping or still waiting in the phase before the snap ?

  46. Hi and thanks for the video,
    I'm 56 and sick of having side spin on my forehand so I'm making a (painful!) change.
    Anyway, one point of clarity, you mentinon keeping the hand in front of the body on the back stroke. I'm not sure what you mean? I see that your'e not putting the hand way behind the body but keeping it in front seem awkard. If you can clarify that, I'd appreciate it greatly.


  47. So you encourage a straight hitting arm vs a bent elbow? I ask because I saw on a video recently that most pros use a bent elbow, maybe I got that the opposite way. What are the benefits of each? thanks!

  48. Thanks for the wonderful video! I just have a quick question. As I'm making contact, it's not the racket face that's the problem, it's that the racket points too far down. I'm assuming it's because I try snapping my wrist too late, resulting in contact where the racket isn't parallel to the ground, but more with a 45-50 angle with the ground. Is there any way to fix this? Thanks!

  49. Clay, when I am trying to relax my wrist through the swing, my wrist tends to roll over and turn the racket face upward, which launches the tennis ball upward. Any tips to keeping my racket face in a downward angle while staying loose? My grip is already at Semi-western. thanks

  50. This is Great. I like the bio mechanics. Using your body more & arm less. I am going to practice duplicating your swings. 100x? ok I will try to get that rhythm 12 – 3 – 7 o'clock. Gotta get to the court. Thx

  51. Hi clay I'm a young coach in Argentina,my student places the racket in the table position but at the time of going to the stroke he continues in this position until the impact and ends up with the racket not perpendicular to the floor. This is because he does not do what is explained in the video ?

  52. Thank you for the videos, simple accurate instruction! Well done, can’t wait to add these tips to my weekly lessons

  53. Great video, clear. I was doing this often instinctively but was never confident that my stroke was correct. Watching this helped me to clarify the movement, and increase my own confidence. I am hitting the ball well now. Great vid. Thanks.

  54. The door nob is a good analogy but you don't force it. It should happens naturally if the technique is done right.

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