Converted to "topspinism"?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Scar1358, Sep 15, 2012.

  1. Scar1358

    Scar1358 New User

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    So this is my story...
    When i first started playing tennis my shots were always flat. My coach saw that all i did was flat forehands so he decided to teach me the windshield wiper forehand so i could add spin to my game and make it not 1 dimensional. The thing is that ever since that day i have been using the windshield wiper forehand and i can't do the flat forehand as it feels uncomfortable and i feel like i have to overgrip the racquet in order for it to not fly out. I use an eastern grip and would like to know how to do a flat forehand again so i can get more drive. Although my forehands have a lot of spin i still want to make it so i can do a topspin forehand or flat forehand when the time is right. Please help!!
     
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  2. sundaypunch

    sundaypunch Hall of Fame

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    The simplest thought you might try-

    More topspin = drop the racquet lower and swing up and across more

    Flatter = drop the racquet less below the ball and swing up a bit less. You should feel like you are extending thru the ball more.

    With an eastern grip you should easily be able to drive the ball flat
     
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  3. rkelley

    rkelley Hall of Fame

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    What he said ^^^.
     
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  4. boramiNYC

    boramiNYC Hall of Fame

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    For eastern grip, flatter drive and WW topspin swings have very different contact point and swing shape. Right now your CP must be all the way out in front with very open stance. For more flatter shot, your stance needs to be more neutral and the CP must be pulled back more. And begin the swing with the racquet very high and finish low with more pronounced weight transfer from the right leg to the left leg. The portion of the swing through the CP should be horizontal making the shape of the swing 'S', the same as WW topspin swing but more flatter initial trajectory of the ball.
     
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  5. Jay_The_Nomad

    Jay_The_Nomad Professional

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    It should have the same contact point (assuming the same stance is used for both flat and topspin drives).

    A closed stance forehand will actually cause the contact point to be further out in front. You meet the ball earlier rather than later.


     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2012
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  6. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Interesting since the proper WW Fh was developed around hitting very hard,
    flatter shots with excellent spin. It was really the whole purpose. You can hit
    loopy spinny WW Fhs, but why? You can do that without using the WW.

    The WW Fh should be primarily about hitting powerful shots with enough spin
    to keep them in despite all the power behind them.
    It's a way of getting great spin without getting sooo much below the ball prior
    to contact. Contact pt should be well in front with a long flat swing out to the
    contact, which is working out and thru, while working up and across the ball.
     
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  7. rkelley

    rkelley Hall of Fame

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    I don't know how it was developed, but I will say that when you hit a modern forehand properly you can develop tons of pace and spin. The spin keeps the pace from taking the ball out of the court just as 5263 said.

    When the ball is higher I still use the same stroke, but I prep higher (more at the level of the ball) if I want to hit it flatter (i.e. going for a winner). The resulting swing goes more through the ball with less topspin. It's not completely flat, but there's a lot less topspin than I could have generated. It skids more on the other side and doesn't kick up as much. However I can also still go for big topspin with the pace and make the ball kick up more. I'll do this sometimes if I'm hitting inside out to a rightie's bh to try to make them deal with a high ball with lots of pace.
     
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  8. Scar1358

    Scar1358 New User

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    what should my arm/wrist be doing? i am so used to pronating and like turning my arm/wrist as a whole that idk what to do with it anymore when hitting a flat. i just need help on the follow through as it feels stiff when i try to do it. Whenever i try to hit a flat shot and not pronate i bend my wrist forward and i know that's a bad thing because it starts to hurt later LOL.
     
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  9. sundaypunch

    sundaypunch Hall of Fame

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    You shouldn't be getting topspin from pronating. You don't want to be rolling over the ball at contact to get topspin. With a WW motion your arm/wrist will pronate on the follow thru. If you are hitting the classic flat, closed stance, linear, "hit thru three balls" and following thru over your shoulder, you probably won't pronate as much on the follow thru.

    If you think about it, topspin comes from having the racquet face closed very slightly at contact and/or having a more vertical swing path at contact. I think that varying the racquet face angle at contact for more/less spin is much more difficult than making the swing path steeper or more shallow.

    As boramiNYC said, you won't need to hit as far out in front for a flat drive. You do need to flatten out the swing path. The main thing for me is to feel as if I am driving straight thru the ball at contact rather than up and across. You can try to not let the racquet drop below your waist in your swing and see if that helps.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2012
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  10. Scar1358

    Scar1358 New User

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    on my follow through somehow my wrist automatically bends forward like a door hinge when doing a "flat forehand". is that natural for some bending forward to occur? im not forcing it, it just happens.
     
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  11. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    It is just easier with the SW grip.
     
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  12. xFullCourtTenniSx

    xFullCourtTenniSx Hall of Fame

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    Using what type of form? For a traditional forehand, no - they advocate a firm wrist. For a modern forehand, still no - they advocate using the wrist in a mostly upward direction with SOME forward direction (but not entirely forward; if you meant a little forward while mainly rotational, then yes). For a Federer mix of everything, yes - because the wrist does all things magical when it comes to Federer.

    If you're wristing your forehand like that (like you're spanking the ball with your wrist), you're either on the full stretch and can't do much else, or are using a short strong, or are completely messing around and are just that confident in your forehand. Maybe it will go forward a little bit, but generally with most forms of teaching the forehand that I've heard of, the wrist isn't a big factor except to generate spin.

    If you were originally using a traditional forehand, then you can stick to that as a basic stroke (so you can easily hit flat), then add more lift when you want to hit topspin.

    If you want to hit flat using your new form, then eliminate the windshield wiper altogether (or modify the direction so that the wrist rolls the racket over the top of the ball while you push it from behind as opposed to rolling up the back of the ball).

    If you're trying to hit 100% flat with a windshield wiper forehand, then you're doing it wrong.
     
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  13. boramiNYC

    boramiNYC Hall of Fame

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    start racquet very high up for flatter shot then you can pronate , use your wrist all you want just like WW topspin. the contact point must be quite precise. you gotta be able to do that.
     
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  14. Scar1358

    Scar1358 New User

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    This post i think was everything i needed to do a flat shot :p LOL. Thanks! going to go try it next time i'm at the courts
     
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  15. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    It means that you are not dragging the racket properly. If you have the feel for
    dragging it, the door hinge effect will only happen well after contact.

    Try having someone hold the tip of the racket head with their finger tips, and this
    can help you feel how to pull the racket.
     
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  16. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Welcome to the dark side! :evil:
     
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  17. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    I think you need to separate the two very different forehands in your mind first, then separate them in your muscle memory.
    Practice one at a time, without mixing the two. Generally, the flat forehand is hit with higher and shorter, more direct prep, more closed (linear) stance, and is meant for forcing shots and winner attempts ONLY.
    The rallyball modern forehand is best for rallyballs and half hearted forcing shot attempts, where IF you caught the opposition wrong footed, it's a clean winner, but if he's going where he's supposed to, it might just be a good groundie. But it doesn't miss, the most important point of a modern topspin forehand.
     
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