April 7, 2020
  • 6:35 am THE REFEREE 2/2
  • 6:35 am Inside the School that Trains Umpires
  • 6:28 am Quinnipiac men’s lacrosse coach no longer with university following student conduct violations
  • 6:28 am how to increase your concentration on ball while batting | Batting Technique | Cricket |
  • 6:28 am How to Play Cricket : How to Throw a Short Distance Ball in Cricket
How to Rip High Tennis Shots Like a Pro!! (Top Speed Tennis)

Hi guys, I’m Clay Ballard with Top Speed
Tennis, and today we’re going to answer a question from a viewer on YouTube. He said that he’s really struggling with
those high shots, especially on the forehand. Get the shot up by his chest or his head,
and really has a difficult time hitting those shots. Said he’d rather have one down by his calf
than up by his chest. Well the good news is, if we do it properly,
hitting a shot up by our chest is actually an advantage. Because now we have a better angle into the
other side of the court. We can hit it harder as long as we’re using
the correct technique. So in today’s video we’re going to talk
about the three simple changes you’re going to need to make to start ripping those high
forehands and even the backhands. Let’s go ahead and get started. All right, so when hitting these high shots
and handling shots up around your chest or even up around your head, it can actually
be fairly simple once we understand the correct technique and we get a little bit of repetition
with that, and practice with that. The first thing that we need to focus on is
when we’re hitting a normal forehand, we use, I recommend using an eastern forehand
grip. Basically what that means is that the knuckle
of the index finger is on bevel number three on the side of the racket. So your racket has eight bevels, the bevel
on the top is number one. The one next to it on the right is number
two, and then one that would be at 3 o’clock would be bevel number three, that’s the
one on the side of the racket here. You want your index finger on that bevel. I also have a video that I can attach a link
to either here or down in the description, you can click there and you can watch more
in detail exactly how to take the perfect grip if you’d like to see that video also. That’s on the website, but if you’re already
comfortable with that, and know the eastern forehand grip, then you won’t need to watch
that video. Here we’re hitting with an eastern forehand,
and this would be our stock high shot. So when we get a shot that’s round waist
high, in that area, that’s when we’re going to be using this eastern forehand grip. What you’ll notice is that if I keep the
relationship between my arm and the racket the same, I don’t move my wrist, don’t
do anything, as I raise my arm, notice what happens to that racket face as I raise the
racket. Right, if I lower it, it closes. If I raise it, it goes higher without me changing
my grip at all. So if I hit a high shot, and I don’t change
my grip, if I just use the same technique and same motion, well now all of a sudden
I’m going to start hitting these balls way too high. They’re going to fly too deep in the court,
and maybe even hit the back fence if I don’t make any adjustments. So the first adjustment we need to make is
instead of using our standard eastern forehand grip. Where our first knuckle here, bottom knuckle
on the index finger is on bevel number three, we’re going to go one more bevel over until
it’s on bevel number four. That’s called a semi-western grip. So now my hand is turned under the racket
more, so you can imagine it like if I was shaking hands. My hand is going to be turned under the racket
more until that knuckle is on bevel number four. And you can see that that closes the face
a little bit more. As I go higher in the shot, now I can square
up this face and it’s much easier to do so. S o when you see a shot coming, it’s a high
ball, you know it’s going to bounce high, that’s when you’re going to be adjusting
your grip to get ready for this shot. After some repetitions you’ll just start
to do this naturally, without even thinking about it, if you practice it correctly first. The second piece I want to mention here, is
as we’re coming into our stock forehand, as we’re making contact about waist high,
I’d like for my racket to be pretty much level with the ground, or just a little bit
down. Because the racket is in the process of kicking
upward to get some topspin on this ball. So with our stock shot, our racket is going
to be right around in this area. Now again, if I raise my arm up, notice what
happens to my racket tip. It starts to go higher than the butt end of
the racket, unless I make some adjustments. By getting that grip a little bit more under,
I also want to turn my hand so that now my racket is more level with the ground. So this is about a head-high shot, head-high
shot. And I’m coming up here, and my hand is now
about head-height, but the racket is still level with the ground. That’s going to allow us to make contact,
and that ball to come with some nice topspin on it. It’s going to dive straight down into the
court. If I let the racket tip upward like this,
well now I’m wiping across the ball, and the ball is going to tend to curve from left
to right. So if you start to hit high shots that curve
left to right, you may be doing that incorrectly and letting the racket, tip of the racket
kind of kick up like this. Those are the first two adjustments. The third adjustment, and probably the most
powerful adjustment is to make sure that we use our lower body. And that’s really important in all your
shots, is that as we’re getting ready we’re going to load up, and then we’re going to
be driving up with our lower body as we’re making contact to this ball. That’s going to help you to get more topspin. It’s especially important in these high
shots. We can imagine if a ball’s up here by my
chest, if I raise up onto my toes, or even get airborne as you’ll see a lot of the
ATP players doing, the professional players doing. What I’m effectively doing is lowering this
in relationship to my body. So even though it’s a higher shot, and I’ve
got a better angle to the court, I’m also accelerating getting higher up with my body
to pull that ball down into my strike zone. So if I get a chest-high ball, I can really
come up, accelerate, get up on my toes or even in the air, to pull that ball down. It’s going to add more power, it’s going
to add more topspin, and it’s going to lower the ball into your strike zone, and you’re
actually going to be able to rip that. That’s where you’ll see, you’ll see
Nadal do this all the time. He’ll get a high ball, he’ll get airborne,
and he’ll just rip a forehand or a backhand. So that’s the forehand. I’ll go over really quickly with the backhand. Same adjustments. Now instead of having your stock backhand
grip where your index finger is on bevel number one, this top bevel. It’s going to turn a little bit more the
opposite direction. So instead of the racket being open here,
we’re going to turn it down to where it would be closer to bevel number eight on these
high shots. You’re going to make the same adjustments
with your racket so that it’s level. And you’re also going to use your lower
body to come up on your toes or even get airborne to start to pull that down into your strike
zone. So those are the three adjustments, let’s
go ahead and ingrain those with a couple of drills, and you’ll be better and better
at those high backhands and forehands. OK, so the first when we’re doing this,
I want you to do some shadow work, and really get comfortable with this before you add the
ball. When we add a ball it gets a lot of distractions
in there. I want you to be comfortable with the motion
before we actually add the ball. So the first thing we’re going to do, we’re
going to take the grip, and I want you to go ahead and set up like you’re ready for
the ball to come. As you turn sideways we’re going to load
down into the ground, and then I’m going to do a shadow drill, planning on hitting
this ball up here around head height. Head to shoulder height, somewhere around
in there. I want to make sure first off, check my grip. I’ve done that before I even start the motion. Number two, that I really get up on my toes,
I get my chest as high as I can as I’m coming through here. And I’ll also want to make sure that this
racket is level with the ground where I’d be making contact. So I’m going to pause there for a couple
seconds, nice and high on my toes, on the balls of my feet. Then I’m going to come all the way around. Do about 100 repetitions of that until you
feel really comfortable, and then we’re going to simply toss a ball up like we do
in a lot of our drills. We’re just going to make sure we toss it
nice and high, and make contact as high as we can. So again, if you even want to get airborne,
and get into that shot and get some power into it, that’s OK. A little more advanced, I recommend for players
just starting out just to say on your toes. That’s a little bit easier, and then you
can start getting airborne as you get more comfortable, and you really want to rip those
shots. So good luck to you guys, good luck with those
high forehands and backhands, and I’ll see you all soon. All right, thanks guys for tuning in for this
video. I hope you really enjoyed it. If you did like the video, click the like
button below. Always remember to subscribe to this channel,
that way when we come out with new videos that have a lot of great information for you
guys, you’ll be able to see the latest content. Post your comments if you have any questions. Finally I have a great bonus for you guys. I’m going to attach a video from the Topspin
Forehand series. And if you want to watch that entire video
that’s about to play in a second, I’m only going to play a preview of that here,
you can click the link that’s popping up in your screen, or down below in the description. You’ll be able to see that entire video
plus the full Topspin Forehand series. We’re going to go over everything you need
to know to start really ripping the cover off that ball and getting a lot of spin on
it. Five-part video series, absolutely free of
charge. So good luck to you guys, I’ll see you all
soon, and good luck with those high shots. …topspin forehand. And in this video we’re going to talk about
how to use the lower body correctly to get some leverage from the ground, really create
a lot of power, so that you start ripping some of those forehands not only with topspin,
with a lot of speed. So let’s go ahead and get started. OK, so this video is about the lower body
as I mentioned, and we’re going to talk about how to leverage the ground for some
power. It’s a motion that I call the Power U. Basically your hips and your body are going
to be making this U-type shape as we’re hitting the shot. It’s going to help you to really transfer
energy from the ground through your body and out to the ball, and result in a lot more
speed. So let’s go ahead and get started on the
basic motion first. So as you’re waiting for the ball to come,
you’re going to be standing fairly tall, and then as you begin your forward momentum,
you always want to be moving forward through the ball as we’re coming into contact if
at all possible. As we start our forward momentum we’re going
to let our hips drop down. So you can imagine my hips are starting to
go down, and they’re making the first half of this U-type shape. Now as I begin the forward swing with my racket,
now my lower body is going to be driving upward…

David Frank



  1. Edward Grunder Posted on October 10, 2014 at 1:33 pm

    Are you telling me roger federer changes his grip from eastern to semi western on high balls? I don't think so..

  2. hondus brahms Posted on October 10, 2014 at 3:54 pm

    That's it  Р great stuff.   Those high balls really require a different stroke РI was using my regular stroke.  Thanks РI'll try it.

  3. Orlando Orlando Posted on October 10, 2014 at 4:11 pm

    Hello Clay:
    The information you are providing in your video, is kind of misleading or I am misinterpreting it. Some instructors advise instead to hit those balls, using the semi-western, with a horizontal swing. You do not need to come below the ball like you do with a regular shot when the incoming ball is in you hitting zone. When the racquet is swung horizontally at chest level and, at the end, across your chest and finishing above your shoulder, this would impart enough topspin to put the ball in the court. If instead you try to come below the ball path at an incoming ball at chest level you must likely would finishing ruining the shot.
    Best regards,


  4. Sz Ki Posted on October 10, 2014 at 8:46 pm

    A couple of things I would add that are crucial for this challenging shot. Head super still on contact. Its very easy for people to move their head and rotate their shoulders too soon prior to the contact zone because you automatically feel that if you don't have a violent motion on this ball that is outside your strike zone you won't get enough racket head speed and, you will not get any power and infact the extra movement causes loss of power and control. Lastly , I think it appears to most people that Fed and Rafa hit this ball at its highest point when infact I don't think that's the case at all. They both hit it on a slight drop. Its the smallest of a drop like maybe a couple of inches so its not visible in real time but the only way to get power is to use the gravity of the ball drop and leg drive up.

  5. John Dean Posted on October 13, 2014 at 2:50 am

    Well explain, simple and really useful. Thank you again!

  6. TNToncourt Posted on October 14, 2014 at 12:47 pm

    Roger #2 in the world,eat your heart out Jeff Salzenstein!

  7. Joao Felipe Rodrigues Posted on October 15, 2014 at 12:46 pm

    Thanks man, I hate these balls but your tip helped me.

  8. Aki79 Posted on October 15, 2014 at 4:14 pm

    Great video, but Eastern grip is standard?  Maybe back in 1990 it was.  Players today are using semi and full western.  Federer is a rare gem.  

  9. subhash madireddy Posted on October 18, 2014 at 1:07 pm

    Very good video. Can you also advice on handling low slices. Should we be using opposite of what you suggested here. Use continental grip?

  10. karl spring Posted on October 20, 2014 at 7:10 pm

    Your other tips in forehand,backhand and serving have made great improvements in my game-so i will be trying this one out next,,,,,thankyou

  11. mindaugas slivinskas Posted on October 20, 2014 at 10:01 pm

    The video is not bad by itself, and what is said might make sense for those who understand, although it is not clearly explained, but for a regular tennis amateur trying to rip a high forehand and trying to go on his toes… it is a disaster. May be it is worth to mention that it needs perfect timing.

  12. Mark Davis Posted on October 27, 2014 at 8:46 pm

    really like your teaching.  Any suggestions on the short low shot (front third) of the court.  I have a very difficult time not hitting these shots long.  In addition I don't get much depth or pace on these shots.  After missing several I revert back to a slice on both the forehand and backhand sides.

  13. Bence P Posted on October 29, 2014 at 9:11 pm

    How about backhand

  14. stockton350 Posted on November 5, 2014 at 10:01 pm

    Very helpful tips and clearly explained. Thank you. It'd be great if you could show some examples where you're actually hitting to help pull it altogether. 

  15. Hung Phan Posted on November 10, 2014 at 3:26 pm

    I have not seen any amateur can go airbone. The easier way is hitting high shot using western grip with wind-shield wiper motion.

  16. riquered Posted on December 11, 2014 at 4:23 pm

    http://youtu.be/nmtkSzhB8GI this video shows how Fed hits low, waist, chest and head high balls and he never changes his grip, i will post another video where he is only hitting high balls amd he never changes his grip either and also there is another video where he talks about how he never changes his grip when hitting a forehand, all pros just close the face of the racquet by moving the angle of their hand…

  17. riquered Posted on December 11, 2014 at 4:31 pm

    http://youtu.be/hqgTVttYTNs not one time he changes his grip, he just closes de face of the raquet by moving his hand a bit

  18. Michael Sabia Posted on January 8, 2015 at 4:35 pm

    Finally, I understand how to hit this shot.  I see this shot a lot, especially on serves.

  19. Jake Ortiz Posted on February 6, 2015 at 6:29 pm

    Starting watching your videos. I really like your detail, but I think they could be better if you took a few shots to demonstrate what you have been teaching. 

  20. DK Ang Posted on February 9, 2015 at 9:14 am

    I revisited this video after watching Monfils just rip a FH drive off of a high bouncing ball by elevating maybe 33 inches to get what might have been a neck high ball right at hip height (In a team doubles set when he was teamed with Federer). Impressive athletic feat, but it certainly demonstrated the principle of adjusting your body up or down to manage the height of the contact point.

  21. Steve Swendler Posted on February 17, 2015 at 3:24 pm

    I have had a lot of teaching to swing high & level/flat and let gravity bring the ball down on both the backhand and forehand sides. Why is switching the grip a more efficient stroke?

  22. Joeolson Posted on February 18, 2015 at 2:45 am

    Hi I have been watching your u tube and they are the best training on the sites. The problem when I click on the bottom as u say , and I have tried everything it just does not react to any touch . So I czn not sign up for any programs , thus must' be happening to everyone , help .

    Joe OLSON

  23. AJ Chhabra Posted on February 20, 2015 at 1:54 am

    Thanks for the outstanding videos.. Your shot breakdowns have really helped me with the concepts and associated mechanics.. Appreciate it!!!
    Wondering if you are planning to also post stuff about game strategy, shot selections, court positioning etc.

  24. Paul Russo Posted on February 20, 2015 at 5:40 pm

    Is this the same guy who teaches golf also???

  25. BTomdaHandsomeBomb Posted on February 23, 2015 at 2:43 pm

    Hey Clay, for the high balls, I heard some advice that I should hit the ball in a flatter motion where the racquet is actually slightly diagonal. He also mentioned that my racquet should start out higher to help with the flatter shot. Any thoughts on this?

  26. TooleyPeter Posted on March 1, 2015 at 11:11 am

    Where's the part where you rip a high ball like a pro?  Can you actually execute the shots you are teaching?

  27. flyamil Posted on March 13, 2015 at 2:54 am

    I agree pros adjust grips for high balls, but I don't see regular players able to do that reliably. I think the best tips for high contact ground strokes are keep elbow high – as high as shoulder starting unit turn, get more distance from the ball to extend the arm and hit flat through the ball. On balls above the head, having the racket not parallel to the ground is good, but it requires early preparation and practice.

  28. Chandran Muthiah Posted on March 13, 2015 at 3:56 am

    Good lesson and I am finding it easy to hit my fore and backhand better, still learning and drive the balls better.

  29. NoReason2Bbored Posted on March 14, 2015 at 9:58 pm

    I like your channel Clay, I have learned a lot.  Thanks for making it.  2 small requests, you will be awesome if you can do them. I heard of a twist kick serve, if you could show how to do that, that would be awesome!!  Also, it would be cool to watch a set or 2 of you actually playing with a friend and then going over the footage explaining what made you choose the shots you did (good and bad)  Thank you, I will continue to subscribe and watch your videos!!  You have an excellent teaching style.

  30. Richard D Posted on March 21, 2015 at 9:44 pm

    I think you said sh*t at 3:57…shame on you sir!!!¬† jk…big fan

  31. Ravi San Jose Posted on April 5, 2015 at 8:11 am

    Excellent video. Explains the adjustments that must be made  for the high ball.   I am using Eastern grip and struggling with the high forehand. Pretty consistent with waist high balls but shoulder-to-head high shots are going ~3 feet long.

    ¬†It has been clearly established, from thousands of video clips (on low and high balls) that Federer does not vary his Eastern grip. Search YouTube¬† for "Federer forehand grip"… So maybe the other option, instead of switching from Eastern to SW for the high ball, is to maintain the Eastern grip but close the racquet face?

    I will also try what is recommended in the video (switching grips for high balls) but this might be confusing in terms of muscle memory? And the evidence clearly shows that  Federer is not switching to SW for high balls.

  32. Hung Phan Posted on April 27, 2015 at 3:32 pm

    When you release your wrist correctly it will counter the upward rotation of racquet face and keep the face angle the same also it  adds extra speed to the racket head.

  33. poida smith Posted on May 1, 2015 at 9:19 pm

    May need to do a video focusing on how to use the big muscles, legs, hips, shoulders and explaining how to use them correctly to accelerate the racket. So much confusion out there on rotational and linear power. If you accelerate shoulders (don't decelerate) into contact and through , how will this affect racket head speed?

  34. shanmukh rao Posted on October 8, 2015 at 4:47 pm

    Works like magic ………love from India

  35. M Foster Posted on October 11, 2015 at 9:25 pm

    Do you still have to hit the green dot on the ball as you did in your topspin video?

  36. Michael Perine Posted on October 12, 2015 at 9:41 pm

    I hit my normal forehand with a semi-western.  So, should I change to a full western for high balls?

  37. John Boon Posted on October 20, 2015 at 3:33 pm

    I enjoyed your videos. They contained many pointers for me esp the high tennis shots. Thank you.

  38. Mustafa Topal Posted on November 29, 2015 at 3:07 pm

    Tanks Clay! Really great video.

  39. The Question Posted on April 20, 2016 at 11:19 pm

    isnt it bad to use 2 different grips on your forehand

  40. Dante Kim Posted on April 26, 2016 at 11:36 pm

    So when a highball is coming change your grip as fast as you can from a 3 bevel to a 4?

  41. patatota Posted on June 29, 2016 at 6:30 pm

    The best I have seen on this subject. I still struggle with the follow trhrough. Some hint?

  42. frank Clempson Posted on July 29, 2016 at 7:28 pm

    Love this video I used to struggle with these shots aswell. ThanksūüĎćūüŹĺ

  43. The Magic Farmer Posted on August 21, 2016 at 1:07 pm

    I am super frustrated with high balls, and I make lots of mistakes returning them. I hit with a friend who has this ridiculous defensive shot that just float high and land very close to the baseline. I am hesitant to hit a drive volley because the ball is really deep and there's a big room for errors. On the other hand, I don't want to step back and lose my attacking advantages either. So, can I use this technique and catch the ball on the rise? or do I have to drive it in the air?

  44. Omar Abu-Wishah Posted on September 25, 2016 at 1:19 am

    You can actually make contact with the racquet head pointed up with an eastern. That's the grip I hit with, and anything above the bellybutton area can be hit with the head pointed upwards. On high shots, it's effective to get closer to the ball laterally, hit out farther in front, and almost pull the ball down. I finish between my deltoid and waist on every shot, even higher shots. It may not work for everyone, but if you are playing eastern and dont want to switch grips, that's how I handle high balls, and I can really rip the crap out of them that way, even on my back foot. Its also a good idea to move in and take slower balls on the rise to take time away from your opponent.

  45. ncave Posted on October 10, 2016 at 3:42 am

    Great easy to follow and useful instruction

  46. Salsainglesa Posted on May 3, 2017 at 10:01 pm

    two different grips sounds like a recipe for inconsistent technique. pick one, both can be used, there are pros and cons to each. but that's life

  47. John Posted on May 4, 2017 at 3:07 am

    This is good advice for players who have the classic as opposed to the modern forehand. But anyone who watches junior boys tennis knows that no kids these days hit this kind of forehand anymore. They have western grips on bevel 5 (not 3!) and a completely different mechanism for hitting forehands, including high forehands. The instructor mentions Nadal, but Nadal's forehand is completely different from what he is recommending The mechanism is a whipping, windshield-wiper action, not a plough through. All the young players, especially boys, do it as second nature. For a player like me, however, with the old plough through style this is useful. The plough through is not so bad, though. Just look at Del Potro's forehand!

  48. willkittwk Posted on May 16, 2017 at 9:05 pm

    always good to be able to hit balls a lot of different ways. experiment for yourself with many many balls. you'll probably find a few different ways to hit a different type shot for the same ball. watch how Conners hit a high ball flattened and straight down usually making a deeper ball that skidded‚Äč for a tough return shot. Rafa hits a ton of top on all his forehand but his backhand looks mostly pretty flat. I think it throws opponents off . I'm not the last word but I think these videos teach a lot of good techniques. but take a good blueprint and see how you adapt. then modify slightly to your own peculiarity of movement and body control.

  49. Heuerfan Posted on July 19, 2017 at 5:14 pm

    Great tips, thanks!

  50. Keegan Andersson Posted on July 27, 2017 at 2:59 am

    I've heard from other YouTube tennis teachers that you're supposed to hit high balls diagonally and brush across. And it's consistent with what you see with pros, as they have an outside side spin on their high shots.

  51. its you Posted on December 24, 2017 at 8:50 pm

    The racket path is more parallel with the baseline. This will impart topspin and sidespin.

  52. Nouman khan Posted on July 14, 2018 at 11:45 am

    I reaallllly loveeeee you broooo you are helping me alot!!!!!!!!

  53. Armand Gallanosa Posted on August 20, 2018 at 1:27 pm

    Simple and direct, best way to correct nuances

  54. Jemand Posted on November 28, 2018 at 9:26 pm

    Sorry but using two different grips is the worst idea I've found here on youtube! That doesn'T make any sense, especially because you never have only 2 groups of balls: high and low balls. It's a continuum. So when exactly do you decide to switch grips?
    Answer: NEVER EVER!!!!

  55. elbilly ota Posted on May 16, 2019 at 5:43 pm

    very clear and useful! if possible talk the lessons a little more slow, my english needs to improve! best regards guille

  56. DeeCee Dubya Posted on June 21, 2019 at 8:38 pm

    Clay – great advice on using the western grip, tipping the wrist to square up the strings, and making contact high and in front.