The Secret Answer To How the Ball is Spinning
The ball always spins toward you or has topspin after the bounce and you must consciously see this every time when you play. So if you see a ball coming toward you and it has underspin or sidespin, after the bounce the ball will change to topspin. It doesn’t matter what kind of spin the ball has. What is important is that you consciously see it every time and that takes practice. There are, however, three exceptions.
If you really see the ball spinning after the ball bounces on a first serve, you will notice that the ball is not quite spinning with a true topspin. Because of the force of the sidespin, the ball cannot change itself into a true forward spin.
Also, if you ever play on a very slow court and your opponent hits a really really powerful underspin, the ball again may not be able to change direction to top spin. It may just have no spin on it at all.
Some of the other very rare times that a ball will not have top spin on it after the bounce is if your opponent hits a sidespin shot. If it is hit hard enough the ball will not change to a pure topspin just like the first serve. The only other time will be if the ball has so much underspin and it is hit so that it bounces back ward toward your opponent.
So, There You Have The Secret Answer.
Did You Know This Before I Told You?
Anyway, Don’t Believe Me.
Check It Out For Yourself.
There are two other components to this test and to seeing the ball.
Here is the first one.
If you are really seeing it “all the way” to your racket, you will see the blur of the racket as it hits the ball. Another way of expressing this is to see the “presence” of the racket as it passes the hitting point. When I am giving a lesson on seeing the ball, I can demonstrate what this “blur” looks like but I will try to explain in words what you will see when you watch the ball “all the way” to your racket.
Look at the point where you would actually make contact with the ball when you hit a forehand. Then keeping your eyes on that spot take a slow swing at the ball. You should see your racket as it passes this point of contact. You will not see your racket clearly, you will see the blur of it as it passes the contact point. Can you see this blur now?
This is the Second Component
You will want to keep your focus on the contact point for a short period of time like you will see Roger Federer do. This will mean that you will not be able to see where your ball is going until it has crossed the net. Pretty scary, isn’t it? But it is absolutely critical. And if it is good enough for Federer, it is good enough for us. And, remember, this is to be done absolutely every time you hit the ball including the serve, volleys, drop shots, overheads, etc. For some articles on how Federer keeps his focus on the ball, go here
As you read my book, you will read many references to this blur of the racket. Since I have added the keeping your focus on the contact point for a short time, please add this part every time you read “to the blur”. It is absolutely critical for you to develop these skills as it is a part of seeing the ball the way I believe it needs to be seen in order to play your best.
One last comment. Have you ever seen the ball come to you with no spin whatsoever or after you hit and as it goes over the net with no spin at all? These balls, for me, stick out like a sore thumb. You should not be able to miss these no spin balls because they are so rare.
My point is this. If you have never seen a no spin ball then you are not yet able to focus on the ball completely so keep working on it. The benefits are huge.
One more last comment. In order to get the most benefit from seeing the ball, you must have your body in the proper condition. This means that your breathing must be correct and you must have a very relaxed grip. You will learn about these things in the lessons on breathing and on relaxing.