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How to DESTROY Slow High Balls

Updated: Oct 2, 2023

One of the most difficult and frustrating issues for most recreational players is how to really attack high balls on the forehand.

High balls that have floated into easy positions obviously present the opportunity to end the points outright.

It's an opportunity that you see taken by almost every professional player. Yet for the vast majority of recreational players, these balls are simply a source of frustration as they are rarely, if ever put away with force and power.

In this article, I want to show you why you have a problem in exploiting this chance and opportunity and then I'm going to show you a great solution.

A solution so complete that you will be capable of hammering these frustrating balls and put them away for winners with incredible power every single time.

When playing a high ball it appears that we have three obvious possibilities.

Topspin - Flat - Slice

The first one is topspin.

The topspin swing path is from low to high.

The problem is that if you are going to play the ball at head height, You can't really go any higher.

You are not going to get any acceleration going from high to high.

And there's also the added problem that the arm is weak when it's above the plane of the shoulder.

Therefore You simply don't have enough leverage or sufficient physical strength to really create sufficient racket speed.

Playing topspin on the high balls results in the problem of a limited trajectory swinging from high to high and a lack of racket speed.

So topspin does not really provide a solution.

The slice option is probably what you do right now to handle

these high-floating balls.

But when you slice a high ball into the corner, you still leave your opponent the

opportunity to counterattack or lob.

You might win the point this way but it doesn't make you feel good.

It's kind of frustrating that we're having to play these balls in a compromised

and careful manner instead of actually demolishing

them the way we see every professional player do over and over again.

So slice, it can work some of the time, but is far from perfect

and it's not what you want to do.

So that leaves us with flat.

But the problem is if you hit the ball flat, then the control of the ball is extremely difficult.

We use two component parts to control the tennis ball.

The angle of the racket face and the swing path of the racket.

When you combine the two, controlling a tennis ball is not that difficult.

But if we hit the ball flat, then we remove the swing path and we're left only with the angle of the racket.

Now to put that in perspective if I strike a ball with the racket head at 90 degrees from the ground and strike the next ball at an angle of 89 degrees from the ground.

A variation of only one single degree, it makes a difference of almost one meter, as to where the ball arrives on the baseline.

So hitting the ball flat with no controlling spin means you have to be absolutely perfect.

This is not really a solution. You'll already know that when you try to hit the ball flat it feels very unsafe.

You will have experienced so many failures already that you won't want to hit the ball that way.

So we've discounted topspin we have discounted slice we have discounted flat

What other option is there?

The fourth option involves the use of a basic principle of physics “The Magnus Effect

You will have seen examples of the Magnus Effect many times.

It's how airplanes often land.

We all have seen videos of airplanes caught in a crosswind when attempting a landing.

The plane can be at a seemingly disastrous 45-degree angle and it seems that they are about to crash land. Then miraculously the plane straightens up, the pilot lands the airplane and everybody applauds the pilot who comes out looking good.

But don't they ever get it wrong?

Why do you never see a plane where that angle does not get corrected?

If you look in the cockpit of that airplane, the pilot will be steering the airplane and watching the speedometer and nothing else. It won't be on autopilot.

He’ll be watching the speed and making sure that it's fast enough to create a Magnus Effect.

And the Magnus effect will actually take the plane from that angle and convert sidespin into topspin and the plane will land safely.

We're going to try and hit the forehand exactly the same way.

How to apply this essential principle of physics to your Forehand;

First. We must make contact with the ball at head height.

Do not let the ball go down to a familiar and comfortable waist level.

The second difference is that we've got to swing fast.

Remember that pilot. He or she is looking at the speed of the plane because without speed the “Magnus Effect” does not apply.

And the third difference (and maybe the biggest one) is that we are going to put as much side spin onto the ball as we can.

We're going to swing from right to left as rapidly as possible.

The technique is pretty much the same as a normal forehand, except that the take-back is a little bit higher.

Then the swing path is from right to left with as much power as possible.

What happens to the ball is it begins with side spin, and then, the “Magnus Effect” will then take hold of the ball and convert the sidespin into topspin and the ball will drop like a stone.

It drops faster than normal topspin.

The “Magnus Effect”, is a phenomenon intricately woven into the fabric of physics.

At its core, the Magnus Effect is the manifestation of fluid dynamics and Bernoulli's principle.

When a tennis ball is struck with sidespin, it induces a pressure difference between the two sides of the ball.

This pressure difference causes the ball to deviate from its trajectory, resulting in the characteristic curve observed in flight.

In the context of tennis, applying sidespin strategically and understanding the aerodynamic forces involved enables us to control the ball's descent dramatically, transforming high balls into opportunities for an aggressive and accurate stroke.

Swinging the racket violently from right to left across the ball, we get a heavy, high-topspin ball that is safe and truly reliable.

When you watch professional tennis players, you'll see that;

Nope, they're not using topspin.

Nope, they're not hitting with slice.

Nope, they're not hitting flat.

They're using this basic principle of physics.

And they trust it just the same way that the pilots do when they land those planes.

Just the same way that you do when you get into a plane

Trust the “Magnus Effect on your Forehand” It is amazing and it really works.

Use this forehand stroke.

Make sure that you swing as fast as you can from the outside to the inside, from right to left. You'll enjoy tremendous success on high balls and you can be aggressive, accurate, and consistent.

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