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View Full Version : How to hit SPIRAL SPIN when returning a ball with lots of pace?

ubermeyer
07-17-2009, 01:48 PM
Note that side spin in tennis causes the ball to curve left or right while traveling thru the air (due to a Magnus force). However, this type of spin has no effect on the bounce of the ball. Spiral spin, on the other hand, does not produce a Magnus force and does not cause a left/right deviation in the flight of the ball. In fact, it tends to minimize a left/right deflection. Spiral spin will cause the ball to bounce off to the left or the right.

With spiral spin the rotation is all perpendicular to the path. This means that no part of the ball is special with spiral and hence it flies as if there was no spin. The spiral spin will only act when the ball hits the ground.

Okay, so I recently posted a thread asking how to hit sidespin. Sorry for posting practically the same thing again, but I now realize what I actually wanted to learn was spiral spin.

Can anybody tell me how to hit spiral spin when returning balls that have lots of pace (such as serves)? When hitting with my 7-year old brother, I was able to produce spiral spin, because every ball he hit was flat, and very slow, but I don't know how to replicate this when I hit a ball that is traveling rapidly toward me, or a ball that has topspin or backspin on it, etc.

Can anybody help me hit spiral spin?

10nistennis
07-17-2009, 01:57 PM
Are you sure you will use this when you play matches? I thought you just liked pushing. :shock:

ubermeyer
07-17-2009, 02:04 PM
Are you sure you will use this when you play matches? I thought you just liked pushing. :shock:

uh yeah, I will if there is an effective way of doing it. This is a type of pushing, right? hitting junky balls with weird spin on them? Instead of just slicing/hitting slow, flat/topspin shots, I can use spiral spin to mess with my opponents' heads... If i can learn how to do it properly.

10nistennis
07-17-2009, 02:10 PM
It might mess with opponents heads. If they are lower level. But once you start playing more higher level players, they're not going to give you much opportunity to hit their aggressive shots back with junk spin. If you do manage to get it back, it will most likely be a shot where they can capitalize on it and hit it for a winner.

I'm just advising you to just play how your private coach teaches you to play. You'll be a far better player.

ubermeyer
07-17-2009, 02:17 PM
It might mess with opponents heads. If they are lower level. But once you start playing more higher level players, they're not going to give you much opportunity to hit their aggressive shots back with junk spin. If you do manage to get it back, it will most likely be a shot where they can capitalize on it and hit it for a winner.

I'm just advising you to just play how your private coach teaches you to play. You'll be a far better player.

Still, I really want to learn how to hit spiral spin!!! because it would really be so much fun

ubermeyer
07-17-2009, 06:04 PM
is anybody going to tell me how to hit spiral spin? sorry to be so impatient...

plasma
07-17-2009, 06:21 PM
duh, just like any other shot, use your core and correct footwork and stay loose... if you are training too much garbage though, as another poster stated, you will be dead in the water when the heat is cranked up.
I could show you in person, it involves cutting through in a spiral football motion and can be done on the fh or bh topspin or underspin.
But it's would be like someone asking how to do a flying jump kick against a jab on theor first day...oooh ooo ooooo....no I teach you how to parry or step out of the way for a reason. Part of being a good tennis player is hitting the right ball at the right time.
Even most topspin at the club level is inneffective,

you are a junk ball addict,
consider this an "intervention" from a certified professional.
get help in person
stop this plague of hackeritis...
it's spreading daily with the sale of pure drives

harr
07-17-2009, 06:36 PM
The following isn't entirely coherent (I don't know why I'm up at four in the morning), but I hope it's clear what I'm saying.

I can't see any realistic way of putting noticeable spiral spin on a fast ball without imparting significant sidespin. If combined with backspin, the sidespin shows the other player which way it'll bounce, so the advantage is lost.

To hit spiral spin you have to hit across the top or bottom of the ball. Hit across the top and it goes into the ground. Hit accross the bottom and it'll go pretty much straight up. The momentum of a fast ball will probably cause it to go behind you when you try this. To compensate for this you'll have to hit the back of the ball much more significantly than when facing soft shots. The cutting underneath motion that you used for soft shots now gives the significant sidspin.

There is an alternative approach though: by combining topspin, sidespin and spiral spin you can create a shot that curves one way in the air and then bounces the other. Reading up on the american twist serve you should give you a better idea of how this works. You'll need to hit this shot solidly though for it to work. It may also prove to be impossible to hit against fast balls since it'll fly off unless you hit near the back of the ball, which means you'll have to hit heavier sidespin, resulting in the ball moving quite sideways into the bounce so the spiral spin is working against the motion rather than perpendicular to it.

It could be fun to mess around with, but I doubt it'll be of much practical use.

ubermeyer
07-17-2009, 07:59 PM
do any pros ever hit with spiral spin, discounting mishits?

Nonentity
07-17-2009, 08:05 PM
duh, just like any other shot, use your core and correct footwork and stay loose... if you are training too much garbage though, as another poster stated, you will be dead in the water when the heat is cranked up.
I could show you in person, it involves cutting through in a spiral football motion and can be done on the fh or bh topspin or underspin.
But it's would be like someone asking how to do a flying jump kick against a jab on theor first day...oooh ooo ooooo....no I teach you how to parry or step out of the way for a reason. Part of being a good tennis player is hitting the right ball at the right time.
Even most topspin at the club level is inneffective,

you are a junk ball addict,
consider this an "intervention" from a certified professional.
get help in person
stop this plague of hackeritis...
it's spreading daily with the sale of pure drives

off topic, but why are you hating on pure drives?? Did i miss something about pure drives driving people to play bad tennis?

SystemicAnomaly
07-17-2009, 11:54 PM
As harr indicates, spiral spin is pretty much always accompanied by side spin. It is also seen with either topspin or backspin. Usually, the spiral spin component is the weakest of the spins on most balls in flight. Its effects are usally more prnounced on slice (underspin) shots than on topspin shots.

do any pros ever hit with spiral spin, discounting mishits?

Yes, they do. However, it's seen mostly with kick serves. The American twist serve has the greatest amount of spiral spin. Other kick serves have a somewhat lesser amount.

On groundstrokes, the pros will have some spiral spin on many of their shots but it will not usually be a very strong component of spiral. As the previous posters have indicated, the "junk ball" variety of spiral spin is much more effective against intermediate and older (less mobile) players than against advanced players. That is why you don't see exaggerated spiral spin on groundstrokes very often from the pros.

The pros will sometimes incorporate some spiral spin on specialty shots, such as some drop shots. I recall one drop shot in particular that Roddick hit against Federer his SF match at the AO earlier this year. Andy's dropper had so much spiral spin that the ball kicked out wide to the alley. Roger lunged to play the shot but ended up framing the ball. There must be a video of this out there somewhere. Following is a drop shot hit by Federer against Agassi. It's not quite as dramatic as the one that Andy hit at the AO tho'.

Quite often, pros will hit on the "outside" of the ball rather than directly at the back of the ball. This will often result in a fairly mild spiral spin. However, with these shots we are apt to see more of the side spin component. The video below shows Roddick hitting an amazing passing shot against Djokovic. It has some spiral spin, but the side spin component is actually more dramatic;

.

SystemicAnomaly
07-18-2009, 04:00 AM
As I said in the previous post, the pros will use a groundstroke with heavy spiral spin judiciously. The side-jumping drop shot by Andy Roddick can be seen in the following video of highlights on his AO semi match against Roger Federer. Check out Andy's last shot in the point that start at 6:25 (the drop shot happens at 6:45).