I am struggling to get results on court
So you’re doing well practising with the TopspinPro but it’s not translating when you’re out on court playing?
If you are struggling to transfer your technique from the TopspinPro try this series of progressions. It is important to master the topspin in a variety of progressive situations before you can apply it under pressure in a rally or match.
Step 1 (learning the topspin):
- Position the TopspinPro on the service line (in the middle of the court)
- Have a spare ball in your hand
- Take one or two swings at the TopspinPro ensuring the correct swing path
- Step to the side of the TopspinPro, drop a ball and hit with the same swing path. Your objective is to get the ball to bounce inside the service boxes with controlled topspin. If it is landing beyond the service line then there is not enough spin or you are swinging too far forward with your shape.
- Repeat the sequence of 1 shot on the TopspinPro and one drop feed for as many as needed to feel consistent. A minimum of 20 is advised.
- If you have a partner, have them feed you approx 20 balls allowing you to practice the same shot with a real incoming ball.
- Now with your partner spend a good 10-20 minutes rallying from the service line and control the ball into the boxes. If you are managing to control the ball with topspin then you could even try playing a few mini points in the service boxes (anything outside the service boxes is out). This is a great workout and as well as practicing topspin also helps develop feel. You can probably find your favorite pro player doing this drill on youtube (worth a watch).
Step 2 (controlling depth):
It is important to be able to understand the feel of swing and once we understand the technique it is easier to apply it. You have already learned how to hit severe topspin with a shorter flight path (the kind of technique we use in a game to hit a wide angled shot or a dipping ball down low at someone’s feet), but now we need to know how to apply the topspin to a deeper ball and the kind of rally ball you would hit at the back of the court. Controlling depth using topspin is a crucial skill to have in your repertoire.
- Keep TopspinPro on the service line. You will keep using it as a reference point.
- Drop a ball and hit, but now we want it to land in the back of the court beyond the service line (deeper). To do this you will keep the same level of topspin with the upwards windshield wiper shape but you will extend your swing forwards at the same time (extend it towards where you would like the ball to land). If the ball now goes too far you are either hitting too flat or extending too far forward with your swing.
- Repeat until consistent. A minimum of 20 is advised.
Step 3 (mastering depth):
Now we want to be able to control that topspin and depth from anywhere on the court so that you can move forward and use it in a rally and live point play.
- Move back to ¾ (half way between the service line and baseline).
- Drop feed a ball and hit. Alternated objective between: 1 landing in the service boxes, one landing in the back of the court. We want to build up that ability to adjust our placement using topspin.
- Repeat the same drill from the baseline.
- If you have a partner, have them feed you some real incoming balls.
Step 4 (topspin rallies);
- With a partner try hitting topspin rallies from a variety of positions. Start on the service line and graduate back to ¾ and then the baseline. Maybe even try a few crosscourt. Once you feel confident applying it in your rallies you are ready to apply it under pressure during some points!
Your feedback and opinions are valuable and appreciated.