Coach CornerTechniquesDifferent movement of FH Topspin?
Ingvar asked 6 years ago

Hi! Coach does not distinguish FH movement details when we do topspin drills, for him it is good as long as a solid rotation of the ball presents. I found myself doing ‘chicken wing’ movements most of the time of these drills. It is when the bat ends up at the level of upper chest, below the chin level. In your videos of FH topspins bat ends up more close to the forehead level. Are these lower, ‘chicken wing’ FH topspin movements valid, or better to change the technique?

1 Answers
Dan Academy Coach answered 6 years ago

Hi Ingvar,

Thanks for your question. I understand exactly what you’re saying and it’s quite common for players to have this technique. Perhaps right now your coach is getting you to focus on grasping the spin production of the shot and not worrying to much about your technique for now. I would suggest to try and follow through towards your forehead, this will help with the spin in your strokes long term.

When you’re playing your forehand topspin make sure to be on the balls of your feet and move into position. If you have the ‘chicken wing’ style of forehand I think you will struggle to play from the middle when you are out of position.

If you can, post a video of your forehand via a YouTube link here. It will be nice to check it out and give you some further guidance.

replied 6 years ago

Hi Dan,
Many thanks for your insights! Will apply your suggestion during next training session.
I don’t have my video yet, just couple examples from YouTube to illustrate this shot:
1) Player with headband several shots since 0:57.
2) Pro player in blue makes shots against backspin which resemble what I mean at 3:53, 13:12, 18:21 (but not all the time, though).

Coach Dan
Academy Coach replied 6 years ago

Hi Ingvar, how did your next training session go?

Thanks for the video, yes that makes clear sense now, I know what you mean with the stroke. Everyone’s technique will be slightly different, there are actually a few pro players with this style of stroke. If you apply the right fundamentals and work with what is comfortable for you that will excel you quickly. Try to focus on timing and recovery, that will help with your efficiency in the shot ?

Of course tweak your shot as you go. Do lots of video analysis and think about where your follow through is when finishing. Another key point to think about is the placement of your elbow in the stroke, you want to keep space between your elbow and body. If your elbow is to close to your body you are likely to do the “chicken wing” style of stroke.

replied 6 years ago

Hi Dan,
At today’s 2hrs training I focused on performing the stroke the way you do in the videos.
Seems that I’ve succeeded to repeat the movement most of the time and, frankly, had no desire to revert back to ‘chiken wing’ at all. The shot with the ‘forehead’ ending feels more stable and somehow ‘right’.
So, I will adopt this adjusted technique and practice it further. Thank you very much again!
How many hours of training you think might be needed to develop the level of stroke performance so, that, let’s say, to keep on a table 20+ shots in one rally (talking not only about FH topspin)?

Coach Dan
Academy Coach replied 6 years ago

HI Ingvar,

That’s great news you’re feeling more confident with your strokes. I find the exact same feeling when I follow through towards my forward and in front of the body I feel better contact on the ball. Some players will have a different opinion on this but you need to find what works for you. I’m glad its working 🙂

Firstly I would say to increase your consistency slow down your shot slightly and work on recovering at the top of the bounce, use your footwork to get behind the ball. Focus on brushing the ball and not hitting flat, this will also help with the safety in the shot. Practice this for 20 minutes a session, after around 3-5 quality sessions you will notice the improvement right away.

Keep us posted how you get on 🙂

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