Introduction: How to Hit a Topspin Forehand

Picture of How to Hit a Topspin Forehand

Whether your brand new to tennis or have played recreationally and want to get better, learning a topspin forehand is a great place to start. A topspin or forward spin forehand allows you to hit a lot harder as the topspin causes the ball to dive down quicker than gravity alone. This allows control with power which should be the goal of every tennis player!

Step 1: Materials

Tennis balls, a tennis racquet, a tennis court and a friend to practice with.

Step 2: Parts of the Racquet

Picture of Parts of the Racquet

I will reference a few parts of the racquet throughout the instructions, use the above photo as a reference when needed.

Step 3: Grip

Picture of Grip

Take the racquet and face the grip end of it towards you. Counting from the top of the grip, as seen in the above photo, find the side labeled 4. Now take your hand and place the knuckle of your index finger on the side labeled 4. It is best to hold the end of the grip as seen in the photos above. The racquet face should point somewhere between parallel with the net and down towards the ground.

Note: It may seem counterintuitive to have a somewhat downward facing racquet to get the ball up and over the net but it is necessary to hit a topspin shot.

Step 4: Set Up

Picture of Set Up

Set up to the ball with your feet close to perpendicular to the target line and your shoulders facing the general direction of the target. Hold the racquet in front of your body between hip and chest high.

Step 5: Backswing

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Take the racquet backwards so it looks like you are holding a sign, seen above. Notice how the body is turned as a unit rather than the arm moving independent of the torso.

Step 6: Forward Swing

Picture of Forward Swing

Let the racquet drop below the ball in a loop like fashion so you are primed to hit the ball in an upwards sweeping motion.

Step 7: Impact

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In order to get topspin, the racquet must travel in an upwards trajectory through the hitting area. A good image to have in your head is the racquet travelling at a 30 degree angle upward from the ground through the ball

Note: If the ball is flying way too high in the air, check your grip; the racquet face might be facing upwards.

Step 8: Follow-Through

Picture of Follow-Through

Let the racquet fly loosely, continuing the upwards trajectory of the racquet. The racquet should end up high approximately in front of your face halfway through the follow through. The follow through is a byproduct of doing all the previous steps correctly. In order to get a lot of topspin, perhaps try to make a rainbow across your body as seen in the picture attached.

Step 9: Summary

The above instructions break down the tennis stroke into separate parts but the goal is to blend these parts into a single fluid motion. This takes a lot of practice so do not be discouraged if it takes a while to feel normal. Everyone’s swing is different, so by no means should you try to one-hundred percent copy mine. The written directions are meant to outline the fundamental things all good tennis players do!

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