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stirallyracer
03-29-2008, 08:48 AM
video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kn5Kmfy0skU

Hi all, I am have trouble hitting consistent, effective topspin. Here is my dilemma:

If I try hard to hit topspin, my racket travels upward so fast that the time window for the racket to hit the ball is miniscule. This results in frames, netted balls, or extremely short balls with no forward drive on them. And I still don't get that much spin. It seems like the strings just slide off the ball.

If I try to drive the ball AND hit topspin at the same time, I just end up hitting the ball hard and high over the net, and it keeps going, until it lands long.

Note, I use a semi western grip, so I DON'T think it's a problem with my racket face being too open. I will try to get a video.

Are there any common solutions to this (hopefully) common problem? If not, feel free to ask me questions about my stroke if i can't get a vid up anytime soon. Thanks!

doogoshly
03-29-2008, 09:29 AM
apparently, it is a problem with your racquet face being open if you're popping balls up when you hit through the ball. the point of using semi-western is so that you can hit through the ball AND put topspin on it at the same time.

work on your entire swing slowly and gradually increase the speed. for me, at the point of contact, my racquet face is more or less perpendicular but because of the grip, my swing path carries the racquet up as i follow through. so the flat face at contact determines which way the ball is going, and the fact that my swing goes up imparts topspin. i know it's hard to explain through typing. you can go on youtube and watch slowmo vids of federer hitting forehands. i think the poster of those vids is txchou on youtube.

Bagumbawalla
03-29-2008, 02:22 PM
Most likely your racket face IS open. Or you are hitting late, off your back foot, or both.

The racket face should be virtually vertical to the court surface at impact.

Hold your racket out in the exact position you would strike the ball. Check your grip. Check that the racket face is vertical. Remember that position and the way it feels.

Practice the stroke without a ball. Watch how your racket travels. Is the path smooth and free of hitches? Is the face properly vertical each time?

Now, forget about the term "brushing up". That makes it sound like you are trying to spin a huge wheel of fortune with your racket, and that is not the effect you want.

You want to hit THROUGH THE BALL-- FROM LOW TO HIGH--.

At first start out with a moderate amount of topspin. Bring your racket down just abour 2 or 3 inches lower than the ball and you are going to drive through it with a slightly upward sweep and follow-through of about 15 degrees-- remember, keep the racket face vertical.

Try to hit the ball in the center of your strings- keep the stroke smooth and loose. Do not try to force anything on the ball.

Make sure your weight is moving forward in the direction you are hitting the ball, and at impact the weight should be foward. In other words, you should not be leaning back on your rear foot.

Timing is essential, obviously, so do not try to hit overly hard, keep a nice easy, moderate pace. If you can have someone just toss you a bucket of balls, that would be a good start.

As you master the topspin, you can begin to add more, for greater spin, or less, for a flatter, faster ball.

You don't want to be stuck with just one stroke. You need to master the CONCEPT of spin and control so you have a wide range of shots available to you.

Good luck.

Mansewerz
03-29-2008, 02:46 PM
Most likely your racket face IS open. Or you are hitting late, off your back foot, or both.

The racket face should be virtually vertical to the court surface at impact.

Hold your racket out in the exact position you would strike the ball. Check your grip. Check that the racket face is vertical. Remember that position and the way it feels.

Practice the stroke without a ball. Watch how your racket travels. Is the path smooth and free of hitches? Is the face properly vertical each time?

Now, forget about the term "brushing up". That makes it sound like you are trying to spin a huge wheel of fortune with your racket, and that is not the effect you want.

You want to hit THROUGH THE BALL-- FROM LOW TO HIGH--.

At first start out with a moderate amount of topspin. Bring your racket down just abour 2 or 3 inches lower than the ball and you are going to drive through it with a slightly upward sweep and follow-through of about 15 degrees-- remember, keep the racket face vertical.

Try to hit the ball in the center of your strings- keep the stroke smooth and loose. Do not try to force anything on the ball.

Make sure your weight is moving forward in the direction you are hitting the ball, and at impact the weight should be foward. In other words, you should not be leaning back on your rear foot.

Timing is essential, obviously, so do not try to hit overly hard, keep a nice easy, moderate pace. If you can have someone just toss you a bucket of balls, that would be a good start.

As you master the topspin, you can begin to add more, for greater spin, or less, for a flatter, faster ball.

You don't want to be stuck with just one stroke. You need to master the CONCEPT of spin and control so you have a wide range of shots available to you.

Good luck.

This helps a lot. I have the same problem as OP on brushing up too much. I explained the same thing to Will Hamilton on here and he mentioned going through the ball, unlike the Windshield wiper forehand thing that we're kind of doing. BeHappy also mentioned ending up with the head over your shoulder, not your hand.

stirallyracer
03-29-2008, 09:47 PM
well, i have a video now. this guy i'm hitting with was #1 on my HS team in 2006. he doesn't play much anymore.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kn5Kmfy0skU

i purposely put in most of the points i lost. you guys can see how erratic my forehand can be sometimes. it LOOKs like i'm hitting late, but i'm not sure.

and yeah, i tend to pop up my slice backhands sometimes. but i was mainly focusing on my forehand today.

jman
03-29-2008, 10:28 PM
well, i have a video now. this guy i'm hitting with was #1 on my HS team in 2006. he doesn't play much anymore.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kn5Kmfy0skU

i purposely put in most of the points i lost. you guys can see how erratic my forehand can be sometimes. it LOOKs like i'm hitting late, but i'm not sure.

and yeah, i tend to pop up my slice backhands sometimes. but i was mainly focusing on my forehand today.


Hey,
Just finished watching your video. It looks like you only swing your arms when hitting a forehand. Try to rotate your shoulders and core a little into your shots. Awesome backhand BTW.

Zachol82
03-29-2008, 10:35 PM
jman said what I wanted to say but I would also like to add:
1) Step in on your left foot, you're a right hander so your weight should be shifting to your left foot when you hit a forehand. Granted, you ARE hitting with an open stance a lot so transfering your weight to the left foot would be impossible there.

Watch your video again, watch the shots that you DO step into with your left foot, such as at 52 seconds. Then right after that 52 seconds, you decided to hit off on your right foot with an open stance again for some reason and POP...there goes a home run. Again, at 3:22, you stepped into the ball and look how effortlessly you're hitting that...and it's about the same pace as your other shots too.

Watch your backhand as well, you stepped into the ball with your right leg on ALL of your backhands, so why not do that with your forehand as well?

Although I do admit that open stance has its uses, stepping into the ball gives it more FORWARD power since your whole body is leaning forward so most of the force is applied naturally; it also gives you better balance.

You've made NO mistakes at all whenever you step into the ball with your left leg...absolutely zero. However, you have a 50% chance of success when you hit off your right leg with an open stance. So, what do you think that tells you?

stirallyracer
03-29-2008, 10:46 PM
wow, you guys are MUCH more perceptive than me at this... lol. anyway, very good point about the closed stance.

that means i need to work on getting into position behind the ball faster, and close my stance up and get a more stable base. i'm not even sure why i use an open stance, as when i shadow swing and the way i've taught is to use a closed stance. odd. i guess i need to anticipate and get into position faster. and thanks for the compliment on my backhand, although i will admit that it IS my weaker side.. and honestly i didn't hit that many good backhands in the video.

thanks for the tips, anything else? i appreciate your guys' kindness =] i NEVER would've thought it was a stance issue if it weren't for this.

Zachol82
03-29-2008, 10:50 PM
It's not as much a stance issue alone. It's just the "stepping in to the ball" part. If you step into it with your left leg when hitting a forehand, then naturally your stance wont be open.

Bagumbawalla
03-30-2008, 12:10 PM
Basically, you seem to move well and get into position, but you seem to have a habit of hitting off your back foot and almost trying to "lift" or "whip" up through the ball.

As mentioned, above, your weight needs to be a bit more forward at contact- that will help as far as control and power.

Your stroke at impact seem wristy/whippy. I would suggest that you try to not impose an overly conscious wrist motion on the ball. Let the wrist do what it does, naturally.

I think that would give you a more fluid swing, free of timing errors where the ball kaboings all over the place.

Let us know how it goes.

GPB
03-30-2008, 12:29 PM
I have somewhat of a similar problem, whenever I want to rip a forehand winner (or an approach shot) I usually put it straight into the net. When I calm down and concentrate on hitting *through* the ball instead of *up* it helps a lot. I also have to be conscious of keeping a decent eastern/semiwestern grip... I got a lot of bad habits in h.s. with a full western...