Coach CornerTechniquesTop sheet vs sponge
Sweetiele asked 3 years ago

Hey Tom and Dan! I have been thinking about some of the shots that require only a smooth scrape from top sheet of the rubber, for example the serve that become more spinny if you hold the ball on the top surface as long as possible, and shots that require activating the sponge of the rubber as well.
I am curious to know about some strokes and shots that require more top sheet contact or more active engagement of the sponge or a proportionate combination of both. Thanks and regards!

1 Answers
TomTom Academy Coach answered 3 years ago

Hey sweetiele,

You’re right, different shots require different contacts and also varying amounts of use of the top sheet and sponge. As you said one shot that requires a smooth brushing across the ball would be a heavy backspin serve, another would be a forehand or backhand open up against backspin, these shots require good use of the top sheet to brush across the ball for a light contact to achieve maximum spin.

When doing a forehand drive against a topspin ball it still needs to have a brushing contact but also slightly more engagement of the sponge (A proportion of both) to get more forward momentum and speed through the ball. Lastly, an example of a shot that would need the most engagement of the sponge would be a smash from a high ball. In this situation you’re not looking for a brushing contact you need to achieve maximum power and when the ball is high you don’t require the spin to give you safety over the net, so when hitting the ball on these shots you can allow a thicker contact to hit through the ball without focusing on using the top sheet to create spin.

usually as you said the shots which need more spin should feel as though you are holing the ball on the bat longer and when less spin is needed its a quicker shorter contact on the bat.

Let us know if you’d like any more information or specific tips on this area!

replied 3 years ago

Thanks for the reply Tom!
I’ll practice and let you know if I have some doubts.😊

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