In today’s blog we’re going to talk about how to hit a side spin return.
This is a return that once it makes its way over the net and bounces it’s going to stay low to the ground and kick out towards the left of your opponent because of the spin.
As a righty this will be a right to left motion with your swing path.
First thing we’re going to start off with is the grip. For this shot you want to use a continental grip which is the easiest and best grip for this shot.
This is a great shot to use in either singles or doubles. For this video specifically we’re talking bout the forehand.
Your arm and paddle will form a type of “L” shape when you’re gripping the paddle with your continental grip. if you hold your arm out and as you hold up your paddle it will be perpendicular to your arm.
You’re going to get into your read position which is typically a few feet back from the baseline.
Normally you would start in you ready return position from behind the baseline towards the right side but you could cheat a little and scoot over the the left a bit. This way you can leave your forehand more open so you have better access to this shot.
The first move you’re going to do as you watch that serve come over is turn both shoulders together to take your paddle back. Do not reach back with just the hitting arm. Your paddle face should be open and be around shoulder height.
From there, it’s a right to left motion where you swing down with a medium paced (speed) swing.
Your swing path should be high to low and right to left.
One thing you want to remember is that you’re not using your wrist or cutting the ball. If you do that you will lose a lot of control. The slice comes from the high to low, right to left motion, where you lead with your shoulders.
Your whole arm and shoulder should work together as you hit the ball.
Take your swing across your body and contact ball out in front and end with paddle face facing almost to the sky.
Also, you won’t be in a closed or open stance.
You’ll have more of a semi-open stance that will range from slightly open to approximately 45 degree open.
At times, your stance may be closed if you are at all reaching or the ball is far off to your right.
As you swing your really want your momentum going forward because after you hit the return you want to crash the net.
You will see the ball will really kick off to the left of your opponent which means the backhand side of a right hander. This is why it’s a really good shot.
Remember to not cut the ball and swing with your wrist. Everything is leading through your arm and your coming through with your forward momentum.
You can take this cross court or down the line depending on where you face your paddle.
For this shot, if the opponent is serving on even side to even side we like to go down the line because it really turns the ball and manipulates it. The ball will bend out towards a right-handers backhand or they often misjudge it and take it with a forehand and end up with a jammed forehand contact.
We want to mention it’s a really good return for when the ball is really short and low. A lot of times if your opponent is not really hitting deep serves and you have to step in for the ball this is a natural shot where you can come in a use your momentum.
If the ball lands deep this is probably not the return you want to hit because it s’ going to be tough unless you step back well behind the baseline as you want to move forward into the shot with your momentum.
You want the contact point low around knee level because it’s hard to get the slice when the ball is too high.
This is going to be a different challenge for your opponents. You’re not just hitting a return and sending a generic ball straight forward. Because of the right to left motion on the swing this ball is going to really bend through the air and kick to the left as it lands. This means your opponents third shot will be tough to handle.
This is another tool you can add to your tool box.
It will be harder for your opponents when you know how to put different spins on the ball. It will make their third shot more difficult.
This will really mess up the timing and spacing of your opponents return.
We hope you enjoyed this blog.