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How do you learn/improve topspin?

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Michelle Malkin
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So other than playing ping pong, I don't have any other racquet sports background. I can put topspin on the ball when dinking cross-court, but have trouble figuring out how to drill/practice topspin volleys or other "roll shots." Watching videos of the pros do it, alas, doesn't seem to help.

Anyone with racquet backgrounds have advice for those of us without that foundation on how to get better at topspin? Are there pickleball tutor/lobster/machine drills that would help?

 

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Rich V
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Ive played tennis for most of my life and have never hit a top spin volley (in the true sense of the word volley) in my life.  It can be done with short hops and mid-depth shots taken from the air, but I will stick to slicing and "punching" my volleys.  I know...no help.....but if you're determined; I'd probably work on top spin ground strokes and get VERY comfortable there and then play around closer to the net.

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JWN
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Top spin ground strokes is fairly easy to learn but tough to get consistent.  I use a super Western grip and strik up and forward on the ball.  This creates topsin. The problem with this shot is that it effectively reduces my sweetspot on the paddle.  So when I hit it well, it looks and feels great.  But when playing better players, its harder to get balls that give me enough time for this shot. Its why I been stuck at low level 4.0.  But I will keep trying because its my normal tennis style and too late for me to change at this point.

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Jeb Stuart
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I would think a slice would be more effective...more shots hit into the net by your enemies (oops, I mean opponents). 😋 

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nmark
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Posted by: @jeb

I would think a slice would be more effective...more shots hit into the net by your enemies (oops, I mean opponents). 😋 

Slice is no better as it slow, the only advantage is that you can drop the ball into the kitchen with the same paddle angle.
Topspin volley can be fast, reliable, you can attack bellow the net balls too. With strong spin (especially with added some sidespin) it close to unreturnable even at the highest level because of hard to predict bounce.
I'm advanced table tennis player, so for me it's probably easy to say, but using a wheel from a kids bike one can learn pretty good topspin volley.

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RandyIdaho
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@jeb   "The NET is your enemy." Scott Moore at clinic several years ago.

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Michael Kinnear
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I learned against wall, paddle going low to high, no wrist. If you have time, bend the knees and rise thru the shot.

Or volley across from someone cooperatively.  Also no racquet background, took a lot of practice but it’s a great shot.

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Michelle Malkin
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@michael-kinnear thanks - i will try this!

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RandyIdaho
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@michelle-malkin      The shots you mention are somewhat different in the implementation of top spin (over-spin). My experience would suggest the following - leave the spin shots alone until you are a solid 3.5 level player, e.g. always great court position, proper implementation of strategy, good coordination with partner in doubles, reliable deep serves, reliable deep returns, good percentage on drop shots, not too many pop-ups, not playing "out" balls, and solid "flat" ball dinking game. In my opinion, only at this point will adding spin to shots actually gain you additional advantage in competitive play. My opinion, YMMV. One-on-one coaching from a good one will get you the most benefit in the shortest amount of time (combined with regular, proper practice).

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