Why Spin? (Two)

Here is the basic “take” on spin.

  1. Topspin creates drag on the ball bringing the ball down to the court earlier (and at a sharper angle). As a result, you can hit higher over the net (with greater net clearance, margin for error and safety).
  2. Spin is the best way to manage pace (both to take pace off the ball and to add pace to the ball). Managing pace provides better control, rhythm, and accuracy. Changing pace can also disrupt rhythm (particularly for an opponent whose tendency and preference is to hit hard and flat).
  3. Spin is the best way to control the angle of incidence, bounce and path (trajectory) of the ball both before and after the bounce. Spin (topspin, backspin, and sidespin) can be used to make the ball bounce higher or lower, “hang up/drop” or “carry” and veer right or left. Utilizing these options definitely expands your arsenal and repertoire.
  4. Spin is the best way to successfully hit angled targets (particularly with groundstrokes and serves). Sharp angles (hit with any kind of pace) require spin. Plus, spin accentuates the bite and kick on the ball to further open up the court with angles.
  5. For singles, working spin in conjunction with hitting the three basic service targets in starting the point and then the hitting the four basic targets following the serve is the best way to open up the court and make your opponent move. Spin creates more openings for doubles as well (particularly with volleys and the return of serve).
  6. Spin helps to buy time by lifting the ball with topspin. You can gain time with the high trajectory and loop of the ball in flight to your target and again with the high bounce off the court. Spin helps to buy time by cutting the ball with slice.
  7. Spin also helps to take time away by allowing you to take the ball earlier on the rise. The best way to take the ball early on the rise (while still maintaining control) is to hit with a relaxed and fluid low to high (topspin based) stroke pattern utilizing a quick hand and radial flexion of the wrist.
  8. Taking the ball earlier allows you to play closer to the baseline which in turns provides positional advantage particularly if you can push your opponent(s) back with heavy and deep balls.
  9. Spin is the best response in taking balls above, below and outside of your strike zone.  Dig low balls out with slice or exaggerated topspin. Kick back and take high balls with heavy topspin. Use slice in stretching out wide not only to hit the ball but also to assist in the recovery after the shot.
  10. Spin can help to disguise intention (particularly if you can effectively vary the type and degree of spin).

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