Jena Newgarden

By: Richard McAfee, USATT Certified National Coach

To use the loop as an effective weapon, you need to be able to control the amount of spin and speed you impart to each stroke. Too many loopers are one dimensional, in that they can only produce one speed of loop. Good loopers can vary the speed, spin, and height of their loop strokes depending on the tactics needed to defeat different styles of play. Here is a great drill to aid you in developing your loop skills.

Robot Settings: 
Set your Newgy Robot to deliver a medium speed topspin return to your deep backhand.

Drill Pattern:

  • Make two backhand counters or loops crosscourt
  • Step-round your backhand and execute a series of three forehand loops crosscourt. The first loop should be a safe slow loop with heavy topspin. Build up speed with each loop.
  • Change the direction for the fourth loop to down the line and execute the stroke with maximum power.
  • Repeat the pattern.

Keys for Success: 
For maximum spin, contact the ball as it begins its descent. For maximum speed, contact the ball at the top of the bounce. Remember to reposition your feet (open your stance) to direct the ball down the line.

This one-drill gives you practice on a number of important elements:

  • Controlling the amount of spin and speed that you impart to your loops
  • Step-round movement in using your forehand from your backhand side
  • Combining forehand and backhand strokes
  • Changing the direction of your loops

Special Note:
To work on developing maximum power, use the above drill but set your Newgy Robot to produce chop instead of topspin.

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