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-   -   Why does no one topspin their volleys? (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=453685)

_craze 02-04-2013 06:54 PM

Why does no one topspin their volleys?
 
Versus slicing - and I'm not talking about those swinging forehand volleys: I'm talking about a pickup motion over the net, with topspin and no slice.

Is this supposed to be a low-percentage shot? Because it's my favorite way to volley, it's safe and just as penetrative, and I only slice when I'm sure that I can create a nice angle and win the point off of that shot.

If there's something inherently disadvantageous in volleying this way, I'd like to know, since I never see anyone volley this way...other than in things like video games and sometimes when the pros are stabbing at the ball; upwards, though. Maybe I haven't seen too many matches with a lot of volleying.

Topspin Shot 02-04-2013 06:57 PM

Three reasons:
1. Topspin can't be hit with a blocking motion. When you're on top of the net, there is no time for a full swing.
2. To generate topspin, you have to have separate grips for the forehand and backhand. There isn't enough time to change grips at the net.
3. When you're closer to the net, you have more margin for error (think court geometry). You don't need topspin to keep the ball in the court.

luvforty 02-04-2013 07:02 PM

low ball fh volley, stretched out, many do topspin volley...... one of the signature shots from sampras.

_craze 02-04-2013 07:02 PM

An appropriate user name for the response. lul

But maybe I didn't explain it correctly. Maybe that's not even the name of the shot because I can't describe it perfectly.

It's a volley and it's hit with topspin. It's hit in the traditional manner, so there's no full swing. You can hit topspin with any grip, and if you're good at it, you can hit a higher percentage shot than even a slice. I think margins still play a big role at the net, unless I just happen to suck, otherwise people would flatten-out all of their volleys.

Think a blocked ball at the net, going forwards and with a fast, upwards motion. Mostly brushing.

_craze 02-04-2013 07:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by luvforty (Post 7191960)
low ball fh volley, stretched out, many do topspin volley...... one of the signature shots from sampras.

He doesn't count.:wink:

I mean the modern game. Sorry: Should've clarified this all in the OP.

Topspin Shot 02-04-2013 07:07 PM

The backspin from volleys is not used for margin. If anything, it decreases margin. It is used for ball control. It is very hard to hit a ball perfectly flat, so it is better to hit with backspin, so you know how the ball will behave when it comes off your racket. Brushing sharply upward in an abbreviated motion with a continental grip is a recipe for disaster. If the ball is a sitter, this motion is possible, but on a sitter, why do you need topspin at all? If the ball is not a sitter, then you're trying to time a steep brush with a ball coming straight at you at high speeds. You will have no control of your shot at all.

_craze 02-04-2013 07:10 PM

That's what I was thinking about the backspin, but isn't ball control used to increase the margin of error?

If the incoming shot is hit a high speeds, all one really needs to do is abbreviate their motion and take some pace off of their shot.

Topspin Shot 02-04-2013 07:14 PM

Not necessarily. I could try to hit like Nadal, and I'd get a ton of topspin and margin for error. But, I would be pushing myself beyond my comfort zone and make a ton of errors from late preparation, shanks, etc. Here's the problem with abbreviating the motion and taking pace off the "topspin volley." You're hitting it with a continental grip. Is it possible to hit topspin with a continental grip? Yes. Is it efficient? No. So, if you don't put any oomph into the "topspin volley" that you're hitting with a continental grip, you're going to hit a weak shot that will be killed.

Anyway, don't take my word for it. Take the word of every single pro and experienced player out there. Your proposal is intriguing. I'm sure it has been tried many times before. If it worked in match play, it would be used. It isn't used. It doesn't work.

_craze 02-04-2013 07:23 PM

Good point. I always assume the shot itself and nothing about the player's personal quirks, when I'm talking about margins.

Maybe it needs to be honed. I see people struggling against slice backhands more than topspin backhands, yet the latter is the more widely used. More often than not, shots like these are good for, at least, setting up a winner off the volley.

But I'm going to come to the net much more tomorrow, using this style and seeing how effective it is at winning me points. With slicing, I just find that there's a lot more to judge, to balance placement and power. Even though it's "supposed" to allow more room for error, it really just widens the angle and decreases the margins, like you say.

TheCheese 02-04-2013 07:35 PM

Why would you ever want to topspin your volleys? It makes the ball bounce up high, making passing shots easier. If you slice it you can keep it low and get it to skid. Also gives you the option to drop shot.

luvforty 02-04-2013 07:39 PM

forget about spin.

FH volley is a push with an open face.

most often you get underspin as a by product.

sometimes you get topspin as a by product.

_craze 02-04-2013 07:40 PM

It doesn't have to be massive topspin...just enough to clear the net. The trajectory is almost like that of a flat shot. Anything much more than that is a badly hit topspin shot, just like a poorly hit slice that barely goes past the service box.

Topspin Shot 02-04-2013 07:47 PM

If you're just going to clear the net, there's no point in topspin. Your ball will land in no matter what spin you put on it. For reasons I've already explained, you won't be able to hit a penetrating volley with this technique. You can try it, but you're wasting your time.

WildVolley 02-04-2013 08:14 PM

We need video. I really don't understand what you are doing?

It is hard to put topspin by volleying a passing shot hit with topspin because you have to reverse the spin of the ball. How you are generating enough racket head speed to do this would be interesting to see.

Hitting the ball flat or with slice is easier because you are adding to the spin rather than reversing it.

rkelley 02-04-2013 08:17 PM

Ditto for most of the advice above.

I think the biggest thing is that you want your volley to skid and stay low. Backspin will help with that. You want to force your opponent to hit up to you at the net. You don't want the ball to sit up.

Also what would be the point? You're a couple of feet from the net. How much margin are you going to gain with topspin?

Practically you will have a very hard time (like impossible) putting topspin on a ball that's ripped to you at the net. Sometimes you're happy just to get your racquet in front of it. A lot of volleying is about blocking and angles. You really have to have one grip for both fh and bh because of all of this. Continental is the best answer, and that that grip isn't great for topspin even if you had enough time to generate a swing upward, which you don't.

_craze 02-04-2013 08:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Topspin Shot (Post 7192085)
If you're just going to clear the net, there's no point in topspin. Your ball will land in no matter what spin you put on it. For reasons I've already explained, you won't be able to hit a penetrating volley with this technique. You can try it, but you're wasting your time.

I have years.

My slice volley is ok, but I've found the other easier. It's been a while since I've hit it, but from what I remember, I could place the ball just as well as, if not better than my coach's slice volleys, and there isn't much of a loss of pace.

It may just be me comparing myself to my own experiences, but the better volleyers here should be able to improve upon the shot.

@WV: I can try, tomorrow, but don't expect studio quality.

You sure you want to see some young punk hitting unconventional volleys?:wink:

_craze 02-04-2013 08:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rkelley (Post 7192144)
Ditto for most of the advice above.

I think the biggest thing is that you want your volley to skid and stay low. Backspin will help with that. You want to force your opponent to hit up to you at the net. You don't want the ball to sit up.

Also what would be the point? You're a couple of feet from the net. How much margin are you going to gain with topspin?

Practically you will have a very hard time (like impossible) putting topspin on a ball that's ripped to you at the net. Sometimes you're happy just to get your racquet in front of it. A lot of volleying is about blocking and angles. You really have to have one grip for both fh and bh because of all of this. Continental is the best answer, and that that grip isn't great for topspin even if you had enough time to generate a swing upward, which you don't.

Again, it's been a while since I tried this. My responses would be more sure tomorrow, and I'm mostly going from the memory and perception:

I'm not sure just "how" much margin would be gained, but you would gain more margin.

Remember it's not a full swing. It's just as one would hit a traditional flat volley, but going upwards. From what I recall, it's very easy and allows you to make angles, just like a topspin groundstroke. You still must go out with it, though.

Looks like it'll have to be something that I show on video - unless I can find a pro hitting this shot above the net, or like it in a video game, or something.

WildVolley 02-04-2013 08:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by _craze (Post 7192152)
@WV: I can try, tomorrow, but don't expect studio quality.

You sure you want to see some young punk hitting unconventional volleys?:wink:

Sure. It would be interesting to see, and I don't really get what you're doing.

I sometimes put topspin on blocked half-volleys, but the court has bounced the ball up into the racket so it is easy to guide it back up over the net. I can see putting a little topspin on high volleys without much difficulty, but I don't understand how you are taking lower balls and putting them back over the net with topspin.

The main test is if something works. However, I'm still skeptical that you've made a break thru. Most of us won't develop a better way of doing something, but I'm willing to consider new technique.

_craze 02-04-2013 08:47 PM

Well, here's a video of Sampras doing it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N6E3vPigzxI

I don't know if it was a half-volley or not, but if not, this is what it would look like. At least against a harder shot.

skiracer55 02-04-2013 10:05 PM

Uh uh...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by _craze (Post 7192194)
Well, here's a video of Sampras doing it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N6E3vPigzxI

I don't know if it was a half-volley or not, but if not, this is what it would look like. At least against a harder shot.

...the first ball he hits is a half-volley (ball hits the court and you finesse it back in the court), not a volley. The second shot is a classic volley, no topspin there.

So if what you're doing is a half-volley, then fine...that's one more tool in the toolbox, and everybody who comes anywhere near the net needs a half-volley.

The Williams sisters, among others, do use a swing volley when the ball is up high, and it's basically a topspin groundstroke in stroke path. Doesn't work for me, or most volleyers, but if that's what you're doing and it works, fine. I don't see how anybody can hit a true topspin volley against a low ball, so I'd like a video of what you're doing, too...


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