Getting Student to hit Topspin!!

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by eeytennis, Jul 14, 2009.

  1. eeytennis

    eeytennis Semi-Pro

    Nov 12, 2008
    OK, here is the issue. i have a student, who is very athletic and LOVES tennis. She has been taking private lessons for about 5 weeks now (she is basically a beginner). i have taught her topspin and hits the ball beautifully when i 1.) drop the ball in front of her, and 2.) toss the ball to her over the net. However, when i feed the ball with my racket, or hit topspin TO her when we rally she struggles so much and her topspin suffers. i know it's because she isn't used to the pace and she hits it late, but i am not quite sure how to fix this problem...

    Any suggestions to make her stronger. With some of my students i have them hit the ball out of the air as hard as they can, and that helps a lot re: their depth and speed of the ball, but are there any other drills i could do?
  2. BU-Tennis

    BU-Tennis Semi-Pro

    Jan 22, 2008
    West Virginia
    This problem is probably due to a lack of footwork. You can setup quite easily when a ball is drop fed or thrown because it is a slow ball with a predictable bounce. This is a drill I use and it works really well...

    First, you have the player put the racquet down. You take opposite ends of the court and then you begin to feed her balls. They need to have the pace of a rally ball (at her level of course) with some topspin, just like the ones she has trouble with currently. It is her goal to get into position and catch the ball at belly button height. its almost like she is trying to catch it with her belly button (if you have an orange cone small enough for her to hold, then holding this with the open end pointed out with the pointed in right at her belly button is the best way to accomplish this drill). this will help her with her lateral movement, but even more importantly this will help her forward and backward movement so she can adjust to make contact with the ball at the correct height; hence, she catches the ball at the optimal contact zone with is about the belly button.

    the next step is to incorporate the split step, and also prepare the shoulders, hips, and feet into the preparation phase of the strokes. This is best done by live feeding again, which is the only way for me to get her to understand the correct spacing needed on her shots (this is where another poster can help better). Make sure that she is contacting at the correct height and using proper footwork, rather than the resulting shot as this simply takes time and patience to be able to hit well. If she resorts back to her old self, use the drill again to help her get the feel back of moving in and out of the court to adjust for the height.

    I hope that helps...
  3. destroyer

    destroyer New User

    Apr 15, 2009
    I teach and take lessons.
    On occasion I have trouble with my topspin.
    Teach her how to hit the classic forehand, topspin is not suitable for all beginners.
  4. Nonentity

    Nonentity Rookie

    Jun 24, 2009
    make sure she is taking the racket back early. Also explain where on the ball she should hit. And of course make sure her footwork is letting her get in good position to hit. Beginners often get too close or too far for the ball to be able to hit the same stroke as they practiced against a tossed ball.

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