How to Hit Topspin in Pickleball?

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By Jacob Jackson

Are you ready to take your pickleball game to the next level? Look no further than topspin! This technique not only adds flair but also power to your shots. By incorporating topspin into your game, you can add speed, spin, and control to the ball, leaving your opponents scratching their heads in awe.

So, how exactly do you hit topspin in pickleball? Let’s break it down step by step and provide some tips on when to use this game-changing technique.

What is Topspin?

Topspin occurs when you strike the ball with forward rotation, causing it to spin and drop quickly over the net. This type of shot allows you to control your opponent’s return and put them on the defensive. To create topspin, brush your paddle against the back of the ball with a downward motion, resulting in a faster and more dynamic shot.

Mastering Topspin in Pickleball

Using topspin effectively in pickleball requires some practice. When attempting topspin, make sure to keep your wrist loose and relaxed. This will give you the necessary force to generate spin. Additionally, maintaining a slight forward lean while making contact with the ball will help increase the elevation angle, resulting in more topspin potential.

The grip on your paddle is also crucial for hitting topspin shots. Holding your paddle lightly rather than gripping it tightly allows for greater flexibility and consistency in your spins.

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It’s important to establish a consistent body position when hitting topspin. Plant your feet firmly, maintaining an upright posture throughout the swing motion and after making contact with the ball. By doing so, you’ll achieve improved accuracy and consistency when producing topspin shots.

A Drill to Add Topspin

Ready to improve your topspin? Try the “brush up” drill. Stand at the no-volley line and hit softballs with an exaggerated brushing motion upwards over the net. Aim to maximize topspin and have the ball drop close to your opponent’s kitchen or baseline. Gradually increase the speed of your swings as you become more comfortable with the motion. Remember to maintain a relaxed grip and use your wrist to snap through each shot.

Another variation of this drill is practicing cross-court brush-up shots, which will improve your accuracy and spin generation from different angles. Adding these drills to your practice routine will help develop a reliable topspin shot that will give you an edge during games.

When to Use Topspin in Pickleball?

Knowing when to use topspin is key to employing it effectively in pickleball. This shot should be used when you need to add extra power, such as playing against aggressive opponents or when aiming to win points quickly. By hitting high-arcing shots that drop quickly into your opponent’s court, you can also use topspin defensively to keep your opponents on their toes.

Aim for accuracy over pure power to ensure you maintain control of the ball during your topspin shots. With practice, topspin can become a powerful weapon that sets you apart on the pickleball court.

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Here are some frequently asked questions on how to hit topspin shots in pickleball:

What is a topspin shot in pickleball?

A topspin shot imparts forward spin on the ball, resulting in it curving downwards into the court after it bounces over the net. This makes the ball dip faster which reduces reaction time for your opponents.

Why should I try to hit topspin shots?

Adding topspin makes your shots land deeper in the court out of reach of opponents at the non-volley zone. It also causes more erratic bounces which can frustrate your rival returners.

What grip and stance aids in hitting topspin?

Using a semi-western grip and slightly closed stance with the paddle face angled upwards assists putting topspin on pickleball shots. Keep knees bent and transfer body weight into the shot as well.

How can I practice developing consistent topspin shots?

Start slowly by just focusing on angling the paddle face and contacting higher on the ball without worrying about power. Gradually put together the entire kinetic motion required using your whole arm, wrist and stepping into shots for reliable topspin execution.

What common mistakes should I avoid when trying to hit topspin?

Rushing your swing, using a wrist flick only, improper follow through, not enough upward brushing action through ball contact point and making contact late under the ball will reduce potential topspin and cause errors.


Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced player, topspin can elevate your pickleball game. It may take time and patience to master, but with dedication and practice, you’ll notice a significant improvement in your shots and overall game.

Now that you have the knowledge and techniques needed to hit topspin, it’s time to hit the court and put them into action. So grab your paddle, embrace the challenge, and let topspin take your pickleball game to new heights! Happy playing!

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Pablo López plays pickleball and loves animals for charity.

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