In today’s blog we’re going to go over the forehand topspin swinging volley.
Before we get started let’s go over some of the key advantages of the shot.
The key advantages of this shot are:
Number one, it can allow you to attack from below net level.
Number two, it creates topspin which keeps the ball into the court and makes it tough on your opponent as it dips down at their feet.
The third and final key advantage of this shot is that the ball will accelerate as it hits the ground. Because of the topspin it will hit the ground and actually accelerate towards your opponent which makes a harder shot for them.
Before we dive into the breakdown of the stroke we’re going to cover the range of effective grips you can use on the forehand topspin volley.
You can do it out of a continental grip however it’s not typically what we recommend as the best option because with this grip it’s harder and more uncomfortable to get the paddle face closed enough to facilitate a strong topspin motion.
When you lay your wrist back with a continental grip the paddle face is naturally more open which is what makes the grip ideal for slicing and more traditional volleys as opposed to top spin shots.
What we recommend for the topspin volley is a range from an eastern forehand grip or even edging slightly more towards a semi-western forehand grip.
A grip in this range makes it easier to get the paddle face more perpendicular to the ground which is what you need when coming into contact for a topspin shot like this one.
Let’s get into the stroke breakdown.
Let’s say the ball is hit by your opponent and it is going to be descending into your non-volley zone and you’re going to hit it around net level or even a little bit below net level.
The first thing that you want to do is you want to make sure you’re low to the ground.
It’s really hard to execute this shot if you’re standing straight up because of the low to high motion you need to execute.
You want to do your best to get low and stay low.
The second thing you want to do is that while you’re getting low you are going to drop your paddle at the same time. This way you can accelerate up and through the shot.
You’re in an athletic stance, your knees are bent, your chest is forward. You’re very balanced.
As you drop your paddle down you should have a laid back wrist and you’re dropping it around your right knee.
You’re setting it up this way because you’re going to be pushing up and through the ball as you finish the stroke.
The third tip we have for you is the swing path.
We already talked about getting low, dropping your paddle down with a laid back wrist.
Your swing path is going to be from low to high. It starts by your right knee and it’s a smooth motion finishing up near your left shoulder.
As a left hander you’re going finish near your right shoulder.
It’s just a nice smooth swing path. As you accelerate up through the ball you’re going to be hitting the ball out in front and you’re going to be brushing up and accelerating through this ball.
The acceleration from from low to high is what actually creates the spin. So, the faster your swing speed, the more rotation you can get on that ball.
The last tip we have for you is a pro tip. The lower the ball is, and the lower contact that your opponent makes you hit, you’re actually going to want to slow your swing path and your swing speed down.
If your opponent hits a great ball, descending into the kitchen and you hit it really fast, it’s not going to necessarily grip that ball. It could go right to the net.
You’re actually going to slow your swing path down and control that ball over.
If you can get contact with that ball at net level or a little higher that’s when you really want to go for that shot and really drive through it.
It’s the same stroke but you’re just going to kind of slow it down and really feel that ball grip.
Another thing we do want to mention is your stance. It should be an open stance. You’re not changing your feet in any way.
You’re just turning your torso a little bit as well as your shoulders.
So, as you drop your pad near your knee your turning your shoulders a bit and then you’re accelerating from low to high.
Keep in mind that you should not be coming up into a standing position. We see a lot of players trying to get this top spin there’s by moving up to a standing position as they come through the shot. That’s actually going to throw off your shot.
You want to start low and stay low.
It’s the low to high motion with your arm that is going to create the spin. You want to be really stable and balanced.
Remember this is not a beginner shot. This is something that you can pick up as an intermediate and as an advanced player.
This type of shot is going to put a lot of pressure on your opponents and it’s going to make a harder ball for them to handle.
So get out there and drill this with a partner.