Hi Tom / Dan
As we are now in total lockdown till 10th December I have spent time developing my backhand topspin when dealing with long backspin serves or pushes and have attached a short video to show the stage I have reached to date. The robot has been set to maximum backspin although against an opponent the ball would probably come through faster and closer over the net. However I have attempted to itemise the various stages for my own information in an effort to try and break down the action. Any advice would be appreciated:
1) Get lower down by bending at the waist and legs
2) By turning the right shoulder slightly inwards (right handed) this lowers the bat and gets you get closer to, and under, the ball as well as creating a slight body turn and ensuring the body is forward and not leaning back.
3) Weight moves from right to left leg
4) With heavy backspin the right shoulder turn should be more pronounced and as a result the bat would automatically be lowered even further giving more power on release.
5) Timing: Just before the peak of the bounce, the body bends as described above, the forearm is relaxed and the wrist which is flexible bends inwards towards the body,
6) As the wrist bends the bat angle changes to a more closed angle.
7) There is a slight pause as the body ‘uncoils’ and the wrist ‘explodes’ forward as the bat brushes the back and over the top of the ball to create the necessary topspin to clear the net. After the stroke the ‘ready position’ should be resumed.
8) For heavier backspin from the serve or push the a more upward follow through would be needed.
Hey Alex, this list of key areas to focus on is really good and covers all the main aspect that are important to this shot, so definitely good to keep these in your mind. The only one I would say to look at point 5 on the timing, against backspin I would say the timing is actually best very slightly after the top of the bounce. Only just as the ball starts to drop and no more, this is the ideal timing for most balls against a push because it gives you time to coil the body and then release the energy as you mentioned in other points above.
From the video above it looks good, you have a much more smooth action, it actually looks like you are hitting the ball after the top of the bounce and as its dropped slightly, so focus on this timing point and see how it feels. But the action and contact looks much better than before, I just think it’s a case of keep working and constituting with these areas of focus and also maybe releasing the wrist out in front just a touch more at the end of the stroke. But good work on these improvements so far and anything else on this just get back to me here.
Cheers, Tom 🙂
Thanks for getting back so quickly Tom.
I will try and make the adjustment to the follow through of the wrist you mentioned.
You are right about the timing…after watching the video again I seem to be taking it slightly after the top of the bounce.
Thanks again for your comments..much appreciated.
I will no doubt be in touch again.
No worries at all, that’s great. It’s brilliant to see how much you’ve developed since joining though, that’s what we strive for here at the Academy! Keep up the hard work and we’ll be in touch as you say.