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  • Hi guys, I'm Clay Ballard with Top Speed Tennis, and today we're going to talk about one of

  • the most important aspects to the game. We all know about it, we've all heard about

  • it, and it's creating massive amounts of topspin. I'll bet you've probably watched some of the

  • top pros in the world. Rafael Nadal comes to mind.

  • Their ball is clearing the net by almost four or five feet over the net.

  • They're hitting this ball extremely hard, and then it's turning down into the court

  • for a winner. Very hard hit shots are diving down.

  • In today's video we're going to talk about why we even need all that topspin.

  • We know that slider shots actually produce a little bit more power, so why even bother

  • hitting it so far over the net. Then the second part of the video is to get

  • everybody, even if you're an absolute beginner, you've not played a lot of tennis, I want

  • you to experience what a lot of topspin feels like.

  • I have a series of drills that I'm going to walk you through that will allow you to do

  • that. Let's go ahead and get started.

  • So the first thing we'll talk about is why we even need topspin, what is the real advantage

  • of topspin. Let's go over what happens when we hit topspin.

  • As we're making contact, let's imagine that I'm back at the camera, back at the baseline,

  • and I'm making a swing. As I'm making contact with the ball, my racket

  • is going to be around waist high somewhere. That's about the same height as the net, it's

  • going to be in that general ball park, obviously it's going to matter where the ball is hit.

  • As we're clearing the net though, as I mentioned with Nadal, his ball can be up to four or

  • five feet above this net and hit very, very hard, and it's still going turn down into

  • the court. Now with the topspin is what allows that ball

  • to curve down in the court since the ball is spinning end over end in this direction,

  • but there's more friction on the top of the ball than there is on the bottom of the ball

  • against the air. The felt catches that friction and makes it

  • dive down into the court. Now if we took a beginning player, maybe someone

  • that's never ever touched a racket before, and they still swung at that same speed that

  • Nadal was doing. Now remember his ball was starting out at

  • about waist high and clearing the net by about four or five feet, so that means his ball

  • took off from his racket at about an angle like this.

  • If we took a beginning player with no topspin at all, no experience with how to create topspin,

  • and they and swung with the same speed as Nadal, hit that ball and it took off at that

  • same angle with the same speed, it would clear the net by the same four or five feet.

  • But it would hit the top of the fence past the court, and it would probably land with

  • that same amount of speed, probably somewhere in the ballpark of 40 or 50 feet past the

  • baseline, so way too far out of the court. That's why you'll see a lot of beginning players

  • do that, they'll hit these really crazy shots that fly way past the court, because they

  • haven't learned that topspin yet. What happens is, as we're a beginning player,

  • let's say we're ripping these shots and we know that if we hit one up here, it goes 50

  • feet long, at the top of the fence. As we start to go lower, maybe this is 30

  • feet long, 20 feet long, 10 feet long, as we even hit a shot that clears the net by

  • just an inch if we're hitting it with that kind of speed and no topspin, it's still going

  • to clear long. There's no way we can hit with that amount

  • of speed and still get the ball to go in the court.

  • We have to then slow down our swing, take a lot of power off of it, and then we start

  • to hit it a little bit higher over the next without spin, and it starts to fly in the

  • court. So now maybe we only have a margin for error

  • of six or eight inches, as a beginning player, whereas Nadal has a margin of error of five

  • feet. What it's really about is creating a huge

  • amount of margin for error, and being able to swing hard and still have it go into the

  • court. That's the reason that we want topspin.

  • Now let's go over a series of drill that are going to allow you to do this, so you can

  • start getting this massive margin for error and be able to swing harder and still hit

  • winners.

  • OK, so to create this topspin, there's two things that have to happen from a scientific

  • that have to happen, two things that have to happen.

  • I have to create a difference in the direction my face is pointing and the direction that

  • my racket is moving. So here if I'm making contact square, and

  • for all intents and purposes when we make contact with the ball we want our racket just

  • barely turned down a little bit, probably pointing to the bottom of the net.

  • If I were to draw a laser line from the center of my racket, shooting out from the strings,

  • it would hit roughly at the bottom of the net.

  • Now if my racket is moving in the same direction, I'm not creating any topspin.

  • My racket now has to be moving in an upward direction, so if my racket overall is moving

  • upward in an angle like this, and my strings are pointed downward, that's creating a separation,

  • and that separation is going to cause that ball to have topspin on it.

  • We're going to focus on three individual areas that are going to help us to improve that

  • topspin. The first one is as my arm swings, to get

  • that upward angle, I want my arm to be moving upward as I'm making contact with the ball.

  • So the overall path of my arm needs to be up. You can imagine my arm is swinging as

  • a circle. As my arm moves farther and farther forward,

  • now my hand is naturally going to move farther forward.

  • I want to make sure that I'm making contact as my arm is moving up as I'm doing this.

  • The second piece in order to be able to do that, if I'm making contact late, where's

  • my arm going to be? It's going to be at the bottom of its arc.

  • I need to make contact with that ball early well out in front of my body so my arm is

  • naturally moving up and I don't have to try to create so much topspin.

  • If you're making contact late here, now your arm isn't moving up naturally, and you're

  • going to have to feel like you're doing all this stuff with your shoulder and your wrist

  • to make up for that. So piece number one, arm naturally coming

  • up by letting it swing from the shoulder socket, down and up.

  • Piece number two, making contact out in front so it's going to be coming up all on its own,

  • it's naturally going to happen. The third piece is my wrist. If you imagine

  • my hand here, as I'm making contact. If I take my fingertips and point them down

  • to the ground, and then I want to flick those wrist upward like this.

  • So as I'm coming into contact, I want to have my wrist flick up, where that's called the

  • windshield wiper. It looks something like this when you're making

  • the contact with the racket, it's going to naturally slip on over.

  • It's the same way you'd turn a doorknob to the left, same motion there.

  • Imagine this is a doorknob I have a hold of, and I'm going to turn that to the left.

  • That's extreme, we're talking about getting a lot of topspin on that ball, but that's

  • how you're going to do it, to get that to really kick up.

  • So those three pieces, arm coming up, contact out in front, and then we're going to have

  • that wrist flick up to add that last little bit.

  • Now let's go ahead and go over a several-part drill that's going to help you to feel this.

  • Now I have you a four-part drill that's going to help you to do this motion.

  • It may take a little bit of time for those of you who are beginnings.

  • But I really want you to work through these drills, make sure you do them correctly, so

  • you can experience in a short period of time, what all that topspin is really going to feel

  • like. From there, you can go onto my topspin forehand

  • series which is really going to teach you these moves in much more detail.

  • So we're going to kind of fake it, we're going to cheat to get a little bit more topspin

  • on there. Just so you can feel it today, then you're

  • going to go to that series and watch that so that you can learn how to do it correctly,

  • and learn how to do those motions properly. To start out we're going to use a continental

  • grip. You can imagine that as if I were going to

  • grab this racket, and I was going to hit this racket and I was going to hit this like a

  • hammer, straight down into the ground, that would be my continental grip.

  • Also my index finger knuckle, my bottom knuckle on my index finger here, is going to be on

  • the second bevel. Bevel number one is going to be the top bevel

  • if my racket is up and down. The next bevel over to the right is bevel

  • number two, and my index finger is going to be on that.

  • That's your hammer grip, your continental grip.

  • From here, this is a very difficult grip to create spin.

  • I want to make sure I'm using this grip so I'm making as tough as possible, and I have

  • to manufacture the spin my using my arm correctly, and using my wrist correctly.

  • So again, I'm going to make a couple practice swings here, and I'm going to feel like I'm

  • letting this racket come back high, and I'm letting it loop down under, and I'm making

  • contact out in front when my racket hand is moving up.

  • As I'm coming back, my hands are high. Watch my right hand, it turns under, and then

  • I'm making contact as it's coming back up. If I add the racket, it's going to look something

  • like this. Coming back high, looping down, so I'm making

  • a loop, and then I'm coming back up to contact. Now we're not getting really detailed on the

  • biomechanics, I get much more into that in the topspin forehand series.

  • But here we're just going over the general idea. So hand goes down and then back up.

  • Check that grip, make sure you have that correct, and now I'm going to do that same thing, where

  • I'm letting it loop back up. That ball just kind of floated on me, didn't

  • have a lot of topspin. Now I really want to focus on getting that

  • racket to kick up with the wrist, and that's going to add that second little boost of topspin

  • on there, so that that racket is really moving upward as the face is still pointing downward.

  • We're really trying to get a lot of topspin on here by doing so.

  • I'm going to stand four, five feet behind the baseline, toss a couple balls up, focus

  • on those three keys to try and manufacture as much topspin as I can on there.

  • Now one that I want you to keep in mind, is make sure that you keep this continental grip.

  • The second thing I want you to keep in mind is this is very difficult to create topspin

  • this way. Very, very difficult drill.

  • The reason that we're doing this to start out is because I want to make it as difficult

  • as possible for you to create topspin so that you have to use the arm moving up, and you

  • have to use the wrist kicking up, and we don't simply just turn the grip right away, and

  • start to try to manufacture it, or cheat into it.

  • We're going to get into a little bit of that later.

  • The first thing I want to do, is I want to make sure I make it as difficult as possible,

  • so that I have to use the arm and the wrist to try to force myself to create that topspin.

  • I'll go ahead and hit a couple more here, and again, as I mentioned, I'm going to even

  • mess up on these, because I'm not used to having this grip at all.

  • But you're going to try to create as much topspin as you can.

  • So I didn't really create a ton on those, you probably won't either because of that

  • grip, but I want to try to get as much as I can as I'm starting out.

  • Now the second piece to this, I'm going to turn it one bevel to the right.

  • So bevel number two is the first one to the right, the second one which is on the flat

  • side, bevel number three, I'm now going to put my index finger knuckle on bevel number

  • three. Essentially what I'm doing is turning down

  • the face a little bit. Now it's easier for me to swing up and get

  • that level face, and the difference between that angle and my racket is moving the angle

  • that the face is pointing. It's going to be a lot easier to create spin.

  • This is your stock forehand grip. I'm going to focus on those same three things.

  • Another 20, 25 shots, getting more topspin, you can see those are diving down a little

  • bit more as I'm starting to hit with those. Again, I want to make sure that I make contact

  • in front of my body out here, really extend out in front so that my arm is naturally going

  • to move up. After we've done about 20, 25 of those, you're

  • really trying to create as much spin as you can.

  • Now we're going to move it even farther over to bevel number four.

  • Now we move it over to bevel number four, that's going to be called a semi-western grip,

  • so really turning this racket face down. Now I can really hit up on this thing very

  • easily, and create a lot of topspin. You'll see Nadal using a semi-western a lot

  • of times. I'm going to do the same 20 to 25 swings,

  • trying to get as much topspin as I can and really get comfortable with that curving down.

  • I'm going to swing hard, I'm going to try to really get this ball to turn down, and

  • you'll see it's much easier. I'm just tossing these balls, I'm not worrying

  • about hitting them with a partner or any of that kind of stuff yet.

  • Focusing on arm moving up, contact in front, making that wrist really turn up.

  • The final piece here, and this is where I think everybody's going to feel the topspin,

  • we're going to go all the way over to bevel number five which is at the bottom of the

  • racket, way down here. Your hand is going to turn completely underneath

  • the racket, and now the knuckle of your index finger is going to be no other choice with

  • this grip but to swing up on the ball. Because if you swing level at all, what's

  • going to happen if I swing level, that ball is going to go right down into the ground

  • because I've closed this space so much. So I'm going to have to really swing up on

  • this ball a lot, and this is kind of a cheater's way of getting topspin.

  • The disadvantage with this long-term is you're not going to be able to create enough speed

  • doing this, so it's going to be very difficult to create speed.

  • You're going to have to swing extremely hard to get any pace on the ball.

  • But for now, to feel this topspin, we're going to try this out, and we're going to see again

  • this is very hard, that ball turned down a lot!

  • But it is very hard for me not playing with an eastern most of the time, very hard to

  • get a feel for how to do that. But you can see that that ball is definitely

  • turning down a lot, and almost no way to swing without getting a lot of topspin.

  • So 25 good shots creating as much topspin as you can, first starting out with a continental

  • and then going stronger, and stronger, and stronger.

  • I guarantee you by the time you get to a full western grip at the bottom, not what I would

  • recommend for regular play, but you will feel the topspin today and you'll start to get

  • that feel of getting that ball to turn down. So good luck to you guys, and good luck with

  • that topspin forehand. All right, so now that we've experienced how

  • to get this ball to really turn down, we've cheated it a little bit by getting the hand

  • way underneath the racket. You started to feel that topspin, now it's

  • time to go ahead and learn how to do it the correct way, with the correct technique.

  • I have a bonus with you guys, here in a second a video is going to pop up from the topspin

  • forehand series. It's going to be a preview of the full video.

  • If you want to see the entire video plus the entire series free of charge.

  • It's going to talk about how to use the legs, how to use the proper arm motion in much more

  • detail. It's going to go into detail of three different

  • positions of how to get that snapping motion through contact.

  • You're going to learn a lot of great information for that.

  • That's going to pop up here in a second, just click the link in the bottom of your screen

  • or down below in the description if you're on a mobile device.

  • You'll be able to see that entire video, entire series free of charge.

  • Also if you liked this video, be sure to click the like button below, that really helps me

  • to grow the channel. If you have any question post them in the

  • comments, and also remember to subscribe so you'll see our latest content.

  • Good luck to you guys, good luck with that topspin, I look forward to hearing from you

  • soon.