Specific responses for Under Spin shots were discussed earlier. Specific finish positions of the racquet that produce Under Spin vary depending on volleying or playing the ball after the bounce, specifically when performing Slice Backhand ground stroke. At the same time they are all variations of the extended forward dominant arm with wrist remaining “cocked.” Also, for the Backhand Slice Finish separating arms apart is a must, in my opinion.
Steady cocked wrist position of the dominant hand throughout the contact or swing on ground strokes keeps the racquet face steady as well. I believe the movement can be described as “punch,” “stab,” or “notch,” which is my favorite for volley application. I also like to use the word “cut” in certain situations and “scrape” for longer swings.
The feel of notching with the cocked wrist comes to me with image of a machete blade used to cut off dry palm tree leaves off the trunk. To stimulate this specific position of the cocked wrist I suggest players to use extended out from the fist index finger. I ask them to pretend that it is a knife with cutting edge on the inside part of the finger that touches the middle finger and to mimic the notching motion. This gives players very strong feed back of keeping wrist in a cocked position and not release it for the contact creating Under Spin.
I believe linear motion forward can be used as a standard finish, keeping in mind, of course, that it can be intuitively modified in the different moments of tennis battle.
“Hold the touch – apply the touch” is a visual advise to the students from me. Later, when confidence in keeping the racquet cocked and “still” grows as well as strength in the wrist and hand, I suggest “Hold the touch – apply the cut” as rhythm setting advise.
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