Can you recommend a Topspin trainer?

SliceGirl

New User
Are any of the training tools/devices actually helpful for a player wanting to hit with more topspin? I’m taking weekly lessons with a pro and playing frequently with friends, but my progress is very slow and frustrating. I hit almost completely flat.
I’ve amassed a great league record with awful technique and I’ve got to address this pronto!
 

2nd Serve Ace

Hall of Fame
Are any of the training tools/devices actually helpful for a player wanting to hit with more topspin? I’m taking weekly lessons with a pro and playing frequently with friends, but my progress is very slow and frustrating. I hit almost completely flat.
I’ve amassed a great league record with awful technique and I’ve got to address this pronto!
If a tennis "pro" can't help you with that, you should sack himorher and look for another.

Also, hitting flat has many advantages.
 
You don't HAVE to hit with a lot of topspin. Plenty of rec players get to 4.5/5.0 without it. Plus a lot of pros are trending towards a flatter ball (i.e. Medvedev).

As to your question. Most topspin devices are geared towards people (usually kids) who struggle understanding the concept of it at all. They're really basic. If you are just trying to get the basic motion down they might help for a week.
 

OnTheLine

Hall of Fame
3 years ago I hit nothing but a flat FH... now I hit nearly nothing but a topspin ball (or a slice). It does pay dividends as opponents have trouble with it.

I agree, you have to find the right coach if after weekly private lessons you aren't there yet ... yeah time for a different coach, something isn't clicking there.

I also found that switching to a thinner gauge string has helped .... I play with 17g now and although I have to string much more often, I am generating more spin without as much sacrifice of pace.

But gear cannot replace technique or reps.
(Pat, I would like to buy FH)
 
I agree, you have to find the right coach if after weekly private lessons you aren't there yet ... yeah time for a different coach, something isn't clicking there.
If a tennis "pro" can't help you with that, you should sack himorher and look for another.
YUP! If you're coach can't teach you top-spin technique find one who can!--something wrong with that picture. It's good you want to acquire a new shot, to have as many arrows in your quiver as you can. Tilden said, every shot should be hit with an intention of spin, flat, top, slice, side, etc. Gadgets and gizmos wind up under the bed quickly, one session with a pro should be all you need to teach you how to hit the proper follow-through to obtain your topspin--then hit a million practice balls. A topspin ball that hops up high will make it difficult for your opponents to hit a green light ball and drive it. Topspin will keep the ball deep and the spin will keep it in.
 
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MRfStop

Professional
Are any of the training tools/devices actually helpful for a player wanting to hit with more topspin? I’m taking weekly lessons with a pro and playing frequently with friends, but my progress is very slow and frustrating. I hit almost completely flat.
I’ve amassed a great league record with awful technique and I’ve got to address this pronto!
 

OnTheLine

Hall of Fame
On finding a new coach .... have 2 questions before being 100% certain that is the right course of action:

A. In your weekly lesson ... at the end of the hour are you hitting a solid topspin ball?

B. How many hours the rest of the week are you practicing that stroke? (with a ball machine, with a hitting partner, against a wall ....)

If the answer to A is No ... get a new coach.

If the answer to A is yes and the answer to B is "fewer than 3" then it isn't the coach's fault it is all on you.

Learning an even decent topspin forehand takes a lot of reps ... if you are not putting in the time on the practice court on top of your lesson it isn't going to happen.

(and practice is deliberate repetition not a clinic and not a practice set)
 

Cindysphinx

G.O.A.T.
I hit flat as a 2.5, 3.0, and for four years as a 3.5. I wanted to hit spin with Eastern, but it didn’t happen. I even hurt my wrist trying to hit topspin.

Then I changed my grip to SW. I bumped to 4.0 the next year.

The change gave me topspin for the first time, and I ran with it. I could dip a ball at an opponents feet; hit sharper angles to move them; and most devastating of all could hit topspin moonballs that jumped over their heads.

On the issue of whether learning spin is worth it, absolutely. For whatever reason, lower level women struggle with spin. Players used to tell me after matches that my ball jumped off the court. And being able to challenge your opponent’s overheads or their net hugging positioning with a topspin lob is money all day long.

If you’re not already using SW, you should know that you would need to commit to it and never look back. You will lose some matches. You can aid the transition by going out and drop feeding to see what different swing paths and contact points do.

Don’t forget to learn topspin with your 2hbh also.
 

Ronaldo

Talk Tennis Guru
Recall doubles player complaining about his opponent's topspin in a warm-up. The topspin meister never came back to play in that group agin.
 

DailyG&T

Rookie
Keep at it! I'm doing this too -- never taken lessons before (just done clinics but never skill-specific lessons) and specifically want to learn to hit with topspin. One suggestion is to do two half hour lessons instead of 1 hr (if you're doing an hourly lesson) then rent ball machine to practice right after your lesson, and also have some "just for fun" matches with friends where you feel comfortable incorporating your new strokes into your game. I'm just a few weeks in and able to incorporate spin a bit but revert back to hitting super flat for about 80% of the game. My instructor brought in a topspin trainer one day and it was just okay. The most effective thing in our lesson is he just watches me. Also he videos often so I can see specifically cause-->effect.
 

time_fly

Hall of Fame
Are any of the training tools/devices actually helpful for a player wanting to hit with more topspin? I’m taking weekly lessons with a pro and playing frequently with friends, but my progress is very slow and frustrating. I hit almost completely flat.
I’ve amassed a great league record with awful technique and I’ve got to address this pronto!
This is odd. You should head over to the “tennis tips” sub-forum to discuss it in more detail. You need better coaching more than a physical device.

I would say that many of the 3.5 and 4.0 ladies I see hit flatter balls, especially those who started tennis as adults and focused on doubles. I don’t know if you are in this category. But these types of players tend to lack spin because they have shorter, bunt-style strokes designed to place the ball and keep it in play. As a starting point they would need a longer, more aggressive swing to impart spin. No matter what your swing looks like, you can’t generate spin without racquet head speed.
 
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sureshs

Bionic Poster
Stand as close as possible to a wall (or the tennis fence) and try a windshield wiper motion (without ball) without touching the wall (for forehand or backhand).

Then get a ball and do the same, at increasing distances from the wall, and less steeper swing.

Choke up on the racket and then try to graze the ball with it (for topspin serve).

Don't waste money on gadgets (or lessons).
 

RyanRF

Professional
Have you specifically asked: "Hey, can you teach me how to hit with topspin?"

Some things are harder to teach than others....

But I'd say topspin is one of the easiest. If your coach can't help you with that, it's time for a different coach.
 
Stand as close as possible to a wall (or the tennis fence) and try a windshield wiper motion (without ball) without touching the wall (for forehand or backhand).

Then get a ball and do the same, at increasing distances from the wall, and less steeper swing.

Choke up on the racket and then try to graze the ball with it (for topspin serve).

Don't waste money on gadgets (or lessons).
the legend is here....
 
Are any of the training tools/devices actually helpful for a player wanting to hit with more topspin? I’m taking weekly lessons with a pro and playing frequently with friends, but my progress is very slow and frustrating. I hit almost completely flat.
I’ve amassed a great league record with awful technique and I’ve got to address this pronto!
What grip are you using because I get tons of topspin because I have an almost western grip (really close)
 

sovertennis

Professional
There could be numerous reasons why the OP is having trouble hitting with topspin, one of which could be the coach; however, before we take the reflexive TT-poster rationale and blame the coach, perhaps we could explore other details, such as the OP's grip, swing path, type of racket (if it's a wide body OS, it's tough to generate topspin for otherwise flat hitters) and swing speed. The issue may be easy to identify but challenging to change.
 

ChaelAZ

Legend
Are any of the training tools/devices actually helpful for a player wanting to hit with more topspin? I’m taking weekly lessons with a pro and playing frequently with friends, but my progress is very slow and frustrating. I hit almost completely flat.
I’ve amassed a great league record with awful technique and I’ve got to address this pronto!
I've always used the net and drop balls as a way to get extra practice yourself. Like the first part of this video.


You could post video of your swing to see if there are technique tweaks you can do, but your coach should be addressing those.
 

ShaunS

Semi-Pro
Technique is far and above the most important thing, but using a 'Rough' string can provide a nice boost. One of my favorite strings is RPM Blast Rough 17g. I'm able to impart far more spin with it than the regular edition, and it helped me quite a lot.
 

sovertennis

Professional
Please restate it in terms that a simpleton like me can understand.
Dear Tom:
I am writing this slowly because I know a simpleton l like you cannot read fast...

Kidding! My point (if there is one) is that sometimes a player, due to physical or other factors (eg grip, swing path, type of racket, etc) may find it difficult, if not impossible, to hit a particular shot (eg a topspin groundstroke) despite a coach's best efforts, so perhaps some TT posters should not reflexively advise the player (OP) to just find a new coach, which would of course be her prerogative but may not be a solution.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
Stand as close as possible to a wall (or the tennis fence) and try a windshield wiper motion (without ball) without touching the wall (for forehand or backhand).

Then get a ball and do the same, at increasing distances from the wall, and less steeper swing.

Choke up on the racket and then try to graze the ball with it (for topspin serve).

Don't waste money on gadgets (or lessons).
Keep your racket face slightly closed.

One of the biggest problems with beginners is that they instinctively open up the racket face. It is due to years of habit with other activities, like eating with a spoon, which makes us open up the implement face. For topspin, it has to be slightly closed.
 
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