I can't use spin!

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by YenNguyen, Oct 14, 2009.

  1. YenNguyen

    YenNguyen New User

    Sep 2, 2009
    I can't use spin on most of my strokes and its starting to annoy me. My only shot that has any good amount of spin is my forehand and the rest are just, well, suckish in terms of spin. My backhand is hit pretty flat, and I can hit it pretty hard, but I can never put any good amount of topspin on the ball. My serve is also pretty flat although I try to do a slice serve, but it always ends up about halfway of what people call a slice serve and a flatserve. I've always had this problem ever since I started. How do you put more spin on the ball?
  2. moroni

    moroni Rookie

    Sep 8, 2009
    what grips are you using?? it always helps to brush the ball more than drive through it you can alter the amount of flat/spin the stroke has by combining the two while addind one more than the other depending on the stroke
  3. xFullCourtTenniSx

    xFullCourtTenniSx Hall of Fame

    Sep 28, 2009
    Don't hit through the ball as much.

    Drop the racket head well below the ball on a groundstroke, then brush up heavily on it. It's kind of like lifting heavily up the back of the ball, but don't open up your racket face.

    For a serve, focus on getting a brushing noise.

    It shouldn't sound like "pok". It should sound more like a "shhhhuk".

    For a serve you should be using a continental grip.

    Note that on your first several thousand attempts at this, you will hit many balls on the frame of your racket. This is natural. But in the end, you don't want to hit the frame.
  4. beneszilo

    beneszilo Rookie

    Jan 11, 2009
    Maybe you should try new grips:
    Try a semi-western forehand, or western. For flat serve use continental, for kick serve, try eastern backhand, or something between continental and eastern backhand.
    Do you hit a 2handed or 1handed backhand?
  5. ronalditop

    ronalditop Hall of Fame

    Jun 2, 2008
    in my room
    Do you use a 1 or 2 handed backhand?
  6. lawrence

    lawrence Hall of Fame

    Feb 14, 2007
    Haha, I don't think I CAN'T hit spin. I fail at flat.

    Watch some Nadal videos, or any pro video for that matter, in slow motion. You'll notice the racket face (the side you make contact with) is usually facing the ground right after take back. If it's in that position, and you swing at the ball, the swingpath is naturally going to create topspin for you. As long as you keep a loose follow through
  7. charliefedererer

    charliefedererer Legend

    Feb 13, 2009
    On your backhand you are swinging too level.

    To produce spin, the racquet head must be moving up at the moment of ball contact.

    So when the racquet is behind you it has to be low, like at your knee level.
    When you strike it at your waist level it is rising.
    When you do your follow through it is still rising up to the level of your head.

    Now to keep the ball from flying long, you've got to keep the face of the racquet perpendicular to the ball, or even tilted forward a little bit.

    I'll bet your biggest problem is not getting your racquet back low. Because this happens in back of you, out of your line of sight when the ball is coming, it's harder to concentrate on than the high follow through that you can see.

    The pros swing so fast, that it's hard to see that after their takeback, they really drop the head of the racquet low just as they start their forward swing. Will Hamilton has some slow motion video of this motion here:
  8. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Dec 28, 2008
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    As said, go to western or SW grips for groundie topspins, and maybe conti or conti with a flavor towards eastern forehand for lots of slice from a swing that goes high to low.
    On serves, keep your grip and swing for a first serve, but learn a topspin/slice second serve with a conti grip maybe twisted a little towards EBH for spin.
    On volleys, pure conti with short punch underspin stroke.
    Try to swing from low to high on topspin, and high to low for slices.
    But keep your flat strokes for ballspeed and penetration while you learn more margin for error with the spins, both topped and sliced.
  9. OverTheHill

    OverTheHill New User

    Sep 13, 2009
    I recently learned a new topspin forehand that is very easy to do. In my case, I switched from a semi-western FH grip to an Eastern FH grip that is about the same as Federer's. I am told the following method will work just as well with a continental grip.

    - As the ball approaches, prepare your racquet by turning your body/shoulders/feet to a neutral or closed stance to the flight of the ball, and as you do so, drop your racquet head down below your waist with an angle on the face of about 45 degrees. Don't bother with all the loopy racquet motions. Just keep it simple and get your racquet low (below the anticipated contact point) and turn the face on a 45 degree angle so that it points towards an imaginary line that crosses near your back foot.

    - With a straight arm (like Federer), strike the ball by swinging your racquet up at the ball on a 45 (approx) degree angle. If you currently hit with a bent elbow and wrist, you may need to stand slightly further away from the ball path than you normally would. As your racquet hits the ball, the face will still be at a downward angle. Adjust the hitting sweep angle as needed, depending on the height of the ball at contact.

    - You may think the ball will be hit downward or into the net because the racquet face is pointed down. Maybe the first few times you use this stroke, that will happen. But because you are swinging upward with your racquet and brushing the back of the ball as you swing through it, the ball will in fact lift upward with lots of topspin. As you strike/brush the ball, imagine you are lifting it up with your racquet. Because of the downward face angle, you will most likely not overhit the ball or send it sailing over the far baseline.

    - Aim 3-4 feet above the net.

    - Don't use wrist snap. You don't need it.

    - Finish your swing with a windshield wiper motion and finish on the opposite side of your chest/shoulder.

    The first time I used this forehand, I immediately started hitting consistent and heavy topspins, though maybe the first few balls hit the net because of the downward angled racquet face.

    It takes a leap of faith to believe the downward angled racquet face can actually cause balls to go over the net with such heavy topspin. This will all happen very quickly and instinctively--at least it did for me.
  10. YenNguyen

    YenNguyen New User

    Sep 2, 2009
    Details on Grip and Form:
    FH- Eastern BH- 2 Handed, Eastern BH Volleys- Continental
    Serve- Continental
    Thanks for the help so far!

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