View Full Version : Topspin Heights
10-21-2007, 10:37 AM
I was wondering about the height of balls on groundstrokes.
First of all, my strokes are very interesting in my opinion is that they don't lack topspin but they dont have a good height. Most of my shots rotate with slot of spin but are such a low angle that my shots have a very low margin error.
I dont like it cause i end up many balls straight to the the top of the net. The thing is that i see other people with the same amount of spin but have a higher arc shot. To very vaguely show what i mean i have provided to "Paint" produced diagrams.
This is my current low arc shot:
Now this is the higher arc shot im talking about
I was wondering if anyone could provide some insight on this. thanks
10-21-2007, 11:44 AM
1) change your forehand grip to a more eastern one
2) hit harder and with more spin
i used to hit like that a lot, but i changed it by aiming my shots more towards the baseline. you'll naturally just hit harder
10-21-2007, 11:54 AM
Take the racquet further back and accelerate on contact. Dont brush the ball so much, i used to have the same problem, now i land my groundies with plenty of height like 3 ft before baseline andt hey bounce high enough to force an error on the backhand side, most of the times =)
10-21-2007, 12:00 PM
Here are the factors that determine the flight path of the ball over the net and into the opposite court.
1) Speed of the ball.
2) Amount and type of spin.
3) Height of ball hit over the net.
Gravity-- Ok, take a tennis ball and hold it above the court at the height of your normal contact zone. Drop the ball. The amount of time that it takes to hit the court is the same amount of time it would hit in the opposit court-- if you could hit it perfectly level and with no spin. So much for gravity.
Height above the net-- Still hitting without spin, if your ball speed is constant, as you hit at a greater angle (from the perfectly level ball, above) the distance will increase up to a certain point (where you are basically hitting lobs) and then begin to decrease.
Speed of the ball-- As you add or subtract velocity to any of the situations, above, the distance will increase or decrease as well.
So, up to this point we have just been talking about balls with no spin-- just relying on gravity, speed and elevation to control the landing point of the ball. As you can see- you do not have a lot to work with or much variety-- until you start playing with the spin of the ball.
Spin-- At this point let's confine the discussion to topspin. Topspin creates a high and a low pressure area on the ball and during its forward flight forces it downward more so than if it had no topspin at all.
So, if you want to be able to hit higher above the net for a margin of safety. You have basically 2 choices. "Aim" higher above the net, but hit the ball slower and let gravity do its work--or
Or aim the ball higher and add topspin to bring the ball back down into the court-- this way you can, actually, hit harder and safer at the same time.
Most likely you will not have to change your stroke very much. The very act of "aiming" higher ofer the net will cause the amount of topspin to also increase (because of the angle of the racket through the ball).
If that does not work, if you begin too hit long, simply start your stroke a bit further below the ball and follow through a bit higher above the ball than in you normal "flattish" stroke.
Will this solve your problem instantly. Most likely not. You will still have to practice the stroke over and over on your forehand and backhand sides until you get the feel of the shot and it becomes quite natural-- so that you can vary the amount of topspin-- at will-- and cause it to fly longer, shorter, higher, lower as necessary for the situation at hand.
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