In today’s blog we’re going to talk about how to hit with topspin.
Maybe you just started the game of pickleball or maybe you just don’t have any racket experience and you don’t know where to start when it comes to topspin.
In this blog we’re going to break it down and we’re going to describe the basic steps to begin to learn how to hit with topspin.
The first thing we want to talk about is – what is topspin?
Topspin is when you hit with a low to high motion and it’s going to help you get the ball down into the court. It allows you to hit harder and keep the ball in.
By doing this low to high acceleration you will see that as you come up on the ball it will cause the ball to turn and rotate which leads it to drop down more quickly.
You will see many players hit the ball significantly hard and also keep the ball in the court.
Topspin is a really good thing to add to your aresenal.
There’s a whole bunch of ways you can hit topspin but in this blog we’re just going to go over the basics.
The first thing we want to start off with is probably the most important and that’s the grip.
We do recommend the continental grip for a variety of shots but for this specific shot you really want to be in a range of grip from an eastern to a semi-western grip.
The reason for that is because you when you are hitting this shot, if you have a continental grip you can see your paddle face will be pretty open.
If you change it to more of an eastern to semi-western grip you will see how that paddle face closes a bit. This is what you want.
You want the paddle to be more perpendicular to the net than you would if you had a continental grip.
So, the first thing you need to do is to change your grip to eastern or semi-western.
If you’ve never experienced topspin before or you just don’t know how to do that, a great thing that you can do is go out there with a basket of balls and you can try this following drill out.
You’ll stand a couple feet back from the non-volley zone and what you’re going to do is you’re going to drop fee the ball in front of you and practice this topspin stroke.
Let’s talk about the stance you will need. There are different stances you can use when you hit topspin. For example, you can use a closed stance or an open stance. But, for this practice scenario, because you are just starting out, you what to start off in a semi-open stance.
Your feet are in a 45 degree angle from the non-volley zone. You won’t be all the way open and you won’t be all the way closed.
The very first move you’ll do, which will call “position A”,is that you’re going to drop your paddle head down below your wrist as well as have a laid back wrist.
Your paddle will be below the point of contact that you will have with the ball. As you accelerate up on the ball that’s where you’re going to get that topspin.
The other thing you will do is turn your left shoulder.
You can hit topspin without turning your shoulders but this initiation of the shoulder turn is going to help when you are learning more advanced topspin strokes. For example, baseline drives.
Turning your shoulders will also allow you to use body rotation to generate power.
So, you want to draw your paddle head down lower than your right knee or around your right knee and turn your shoulder.
Next you’re gong to start your stroke and you’re going to brush up on the ball and accelerate in a low to high motion. You’ll hit up and through the ball an end by your left shoulder. We’ll call this “Position B”.
With this practice drill you’ll be starting in “Position A” and finishing in “Position B”.
You want to get a visual of your stroke. Imagine a brushing, forward, upward motion.
Try to hit the bottom back of the ball.
Practice with some drop feeds so you can get the feel of this shot.
This is not a natural shot for most people.
If you’re coming from other racket sports it could become really natural but if you haven’t played any other racket sports this motion could be challenging. However, it’s something that you can develop over time.
Going back to the drill, you’ll start a couple feet back from the non-volley zone and you’re going to drop feed to yourself. Make sure you’re dropping it low and then brushing up and then through.
You don’t need to swing hard. When you start out you should ease your way in and start with a slow paddle head speed so that you can get the feel of this brushing motion.
You want to experiment until you get more comfortable.
You’ll notice the ball coming down quickly with the topspin.You’ll also notice the big arc of the ball trajectory.
When you become more comfortable you can start hitting harder through the ball as well as up. You’ll see the difference. The pace will be a little bit faster but you’re still going to get that topspin on the ball.
You’ll notice the ball will travel with a good pace and still land in the court.
Try aiming to different areas of the court so you can experiment.
Go to the even side and hit a couple to the outside and visa versa.
With this foundation you can take it to the baseline and then in another blog we’ll go over a full topspin ground stroke.
If you don’t know how to hit with spin this is a great way that you can learn it. Start with drop feeding yourself. Make sure you get that paddle down below your contact point, make sure your shoulders turned and then you come up, brush up on that ball from “Position A” and finish around your opposite shoulder in “Position B”.
We hope you really enjoyed this blog.
If you are looking to really improve your game go ahead and try to do this topspin. It’s a really great shot that you can add to your arsenal and as you move up further in levels you will see how much topspin is a big role in the advanced level of play.