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Topspin Backhands – Here’s How It’s Done

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Take your game one step further by grabbing this 4 page Action Plan and get Step-by-Step directions that will have you hitting better backhands today.

What if you could accelerate your backhand AND have more safety over the net? Well you really can have it all… and the solution is simple: TOPSPIN. This swing path is used by the best in the game and can help transform your weakness into a weapon.

Our recent VIP student, Jaden, is a 4.0 level player from Las Vegas, Nevada. Jaden has two speeds when she plays tennis: hit HARD or hit HARDER. While her power is a great strength in her game, at some point it will become limiting if she wants to continue improving. Previously, her backhand was erratic – sometimes she would hit amazing winners but Jaden was also hitting far too many errors. She needed a backhand that was more reliable.

Because of this, our team wanted to show her how to hit her backhand with more topspin. There are many benefits to hitting with more topspin. The ultimate goal with topspin is to be able to raise your overall level by increasing the margin of error without having to pull back on aggressiveness. This adds a third dimension into play by exploring vertical space over the net – allowing players to attack vertically and not just laterally.

Our primary technique adjustment to make to achieve this was implementing a different swing path. Jaden excelled at hitting crushing power. Her swing before was very lateral, always swinging straight through the ball that resulted in a ball that was low over the net. However, to create topspin we want the shape of the swing to become more circular with more of a vertical lift and with greater clearance over the net for safety.

Remember that the ball flight always mirrors the shape of the swing path. You’ll know you’re hitting correctly by studying the ball flight. And using this more vertical swing path, you will see that the ball makes more of an arc through its flight path to the other side instead of straight through the court.

To be clear, we are not asking Jaden to completely replace her current swing for the new one. We are simply expanding her toolkit so that she has more options on the court. Sometimes it is the right time to hit a more driving, penetrating ball. However, using more topspin more often will decrease her chances for hitting errors.

We took her through a progression of drills to make her aware of the new technique and to begin the process of cementing it as a habit. Starting with shadow swings, we had her trace a circle with her backhand to practice the new motion. Eventually we were able to start feeding balls to her, and finally we were able to rally with the new technique.

This new swing path will help Jaden become an even bigger threat on the court because she will be able to set up points and attack multidimensionally. Jaden is an extremely talented and kinesthetically aware student and we look forward to seeing her progress!

Take your game one step further by grabbing this 4 page Action Plan and get Step-by-Step directions that will have you hitting better backhands today.

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