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bholloway
04-14-2008, 03:19 PM
Hello,

I'm a sophmore currently playing first singles on my high school varsity team. This year I'm struggling a bit and I think its due to a lack of topspin on my forehand. I'm using a semi western grip with a head flexpoint prestige. I feel that because of a lack of topspin my forehands are too flat and that there is not enough margin for error. This causes me to be much less consistent. If anyone has any advice that would be great.

Rafael_Nadal_6257
04-14-2008, 03:28 PM
Swing faster, not necessarily harder. Use a swing path from low to high. Practice until you can feel the strings brushing up the ball of the ball, which produces topspin. Try to almost whip your forehand, without snapping your wrist...Aim higher above the net.

Your racket is not really a topspin racket so that could be a problem too...

SteveI
04-14-2008, 03:37 PM
Hello,

I'm a sophmore currently playing first singles on my high school varsity team. This year I'm struggling a bit and I think its due to a lack of topspin on my forehand. I'm using a semi western grip with a head flexpoint prestige. I feel that because of a lack of topspin my forehands are too flat and that there is not enough margin for error. This causes me to be much less consistent. If anyone has any advice that would be great.

17G and 18G strings might also help..

Essential Tennis
04-14-2008, 05:09 PM
What racket you use and which strings you use will have no affect on the amount of top spin you produce unless you're making a vertical swing at the ball first.

Top spin is created by the racket moving past the back of the ball in an upwards direction. If you're not making any, then you're swinging too horizontal in relation to how vertically your racket path is. If as you swing upwards more your shots simply float long, then you have to close your racket face more and continue to swing upwards.

A semi western grip is plenty to keep the face closed if you keep your hand, wrist, and forearm relaxed. However, its quite easy to simply turn your hand upwards which opens your face regardless of how extreme your grip is. If you swing upwards and the ball goes long, I would not recommend you turn your grip any further (assuming you are in fact at semi western). You'll have to learn to relax your hand and turn the face downwards to close it more, this along with an aggressive upward swing path will make the ball spin end over end towards your opponents side, allowing you to hit the ball upwards and curve it back into the court.

Vision84
04-14-2008, 05:19 PM
Some things with a semi-western that could aid in topspin are:
1. Drop the racket below the wrist on the backswing.
2. Follow through across your opposite arm and not over your shoulder. This is not required but it helps me and many others.

If you are hitting the ball relatively flat and not to high over the net then you need to change your swingpath with a more low to high motion. Of course you still need to swing forwards or it will not land very deep.

LuckyR
04-15-2008, 10:49 AM
Hello,

I'm a sophmore currently playing first singles on my high school varsity team. This year I'm struggling a bit and I think its due to a lack of topspin on my forehand. I'm using a semi western grip with a head flexpoint prestige. I feel that because of a lack of topspin my forehands are too flat and that there is not enough margin for error. This causes me to be much less consistent. If anyone has any advice that would be great.

Since you are in HS, I will assume you have a modern forehand stroke with plenty of action. Probably not much to gain there, what you may not have considered is: if you are using poly strings or a hybrid, is that although the strings are very durable from breaking, they lose their "playabillity" fairly quickly, certainly long before many will break them.

XFactorer
04-15-2008, 10:55 AM
Keep your current strings... changing strings doesn't give you more or less topspin (cite: Technical Tennis). The best is to change grips to semi-western to western and work on a faster low-high swing.

XFactorer
04-15-2008, 10:59 AM
In a related note: I think you should work more on your flat balls... they fly faster through the air and really mess up the players who want to do the 'extreme topspin' crap since the ball you'll hit won't bounce as high. I say keep the flat balls! Just hit over the middle of the net more often as a 'safe' play.

Vision84
04-15-2008, 11:14 AM
XFactorer I have to disagree with your advice. You can get plenty top spin with a semi-western and switching to a western would be a drastic change. Also working on hard flat balls is good but won't get you very far if you don't have a good safe rally ball that goes high over the net with top spin.

rexessex
04-15-2008, 11:28 AM
I disagree that the racquet or the strings have no effect on creating spin. I can grab 3 different racquets out of my bag that all have a different effect on the ball.

LuckyR
04-15-2008, 11:52 AM
Keep your current strings... changing strings doesn't give you more or less topspin (cite: Technical Tennis). The best is to change grips to semi-western to western and work on a faster low-high swing.


Technically correct but irrelevant. Changing strings alone will not change your spin amount, true. But changing strings can allow you to have a higher head speed without hitting the ball long and therefore allow you to create more spin.

junbumkim
04-15-2008, 12:13 PM
Before chaning anything, you should consider hitting a little more low to high.
Focus on getting under the ball more than usual. Try to hit at least 2~3 ft above the net.

Increasing swing speed will help, but is much much easier said than done. If you are swinging above your capability then your balance will go haywire and start spreading your shots left and right. So stay within your capability.

Another aspect might be because of your racket. I haven't hit with Flexpoint presitage, but I think it's 93 sq inch with dense string pattern? It's not the most spin friendly racket. I played with head presitage classic in high school and could never get enough power or spin. When I tried other rackets with more open string pattern, I naturally got more spin.. So the problem may lie within your tool.

String / tension can make difference..I rarely noticed the difference between gauges (I have tried it all, 15, 16, 17, 18). I noticed more difference between the type of strings. I generally didn't find this to be the answer to the problem though..

Djokovicfan4life
04-15-2008, 01:43 PM
Swing faster, not necessarily harder. Use a swing path from low to high. Practice until you can feel the strings brushing up the ball of the ball, which produces topspin. Try to almost whip your forehand, without snapping your wrist...Aim higher above the net.

Your racket is not really a topspin racket so that could be a problem too...

Unless your talking about a huge OS racket then pretty much any racquet can be a "topspin" racquet. It's all about the technique, not the racquet.

Babb
04-15-2008, 03:01 PM
Hello,

I'm a sophmore currently playing first singles on my high school varsity team. This year I'm struggling a bit and I think its due to a lack of topspin on my forehand. I'm using a semi western grip with a head flexpoint prestige. I feel that because of a lack of topspin my forehands are too flat and that there is not enough margin for error. This causes me to be much less consistent. If anyone has any advice that would be great.
You sound just like me a few months ago. I did the more extreme thing and learned a new forehand from scratch that uses a western grip. And now I have so much margin for error. And since my BH is my weapon, it doesn't really matter that I can't absolutely crush my forehand. However, if you learn a western, you must be consistent in depth of shot or you will be eaten alive...

Djokovicfan4life
04-15-2008, 07:10 PM
Yes, getting good depth with a full western can be tricky. We can't all be Canas, after all. I struggle with depth in my semi western sometimes.

I would give a full western a try but if you really have a problem getting spin from semi western than you're probably not using a solid low to high motion. You may want to consider working on that before you resort to an extreme such as the full western. Just my 2 cents.

junbumkim
04-15-2008, 08:15 PM
Grip change is the last thing OP should consider.
Western grip can give more topspin, but won't really resolve inconsistency problem the op is experiencing.

Mansewerz
04-15-2008, 08:36 PM
XFactorer I have to disagree with your advice. You can get plenty top spin with a semi-western and switching to a western would be a drastic change. Also working on hard flat balls is good but won't get you very far if you don't have a good safe rally ball that goes high over the net with top spin.

x2. Flat balls are great and all, but you need a safe rally ball.

Rickson
04-16-2008, 02:04 AM
Hello,

I'm a sophmore currently playing first singles on my high school varsity team. This year I'm struggling a bit and I think its due to a lack of topspin on my forehand. I'm using a semi western grip with a head flexpoint prestige. I feel that because of a lack of topspin my forehands are too flat and that there is not enough margin for error. This causes me to be much less consistent. If anyone has any advice that would be great.

Hit from low to high.

Pusher
04-16-2008, 03:14 AM
Hello,

I'm a sophmore currently playing first singles on my high school varsity team. This year I'm struggling a bit and I think its due to a lack of topspin on my forehand. I'm using a semi western grip with a head flexpoint prestige. I feel that because of a lack of topspin my forehands are too flat and that there is not enough margin for error. This causes me to be much less consistent. If anyone has any advice that would be great.

There is no silver bullet.

Changes in equipment will not solve the problem. Hit a few thousand FH's while concentrating on generating racquet head speed using the correct swing path and follow thru. You will find your answer on the practice court.

quicken
04-16-2008, 08:16 AM
incorporate a windshiled wiper swing

Rafael_Nadal_6257
04-16-2008, 02:49 PM
Unless your talking about a huge OS racket then pretty much any racquet can be a "topspin" racquet. It's all about the technique, not the racquet.

That part was IN ADDITION to what I already said. Its just that the OP's racket has a relatively dense string pattern so if he really wants topspin that badly, which it seems like he does, thats another thing that MIGHT be why hes not getting the topspin he wants, IF he's already following and doing the right technique.

Yes, technique is more important than racquets...:D