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Inside and Outside spin?

Published: 23 Oct 2007 - 00:11 by shib

Updated: 24 Sep 2008 - 17:19

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I was watching JP's video and in it he mentioned the inside spin and outside spin. However, Im still not too clear on what they are- the inside spin seemed like a topspin drive and the outside spin seemed like a backspin drive? Can someone explain these to me? Thanks!

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From rippa rit - 07 Nov 2007 - 07:39

Adz I agree with you.  If you cannot play a good basic game leave the low percentage/rare shots alone. Spend time solo practising experimenting with spin on court by all means, especially drop shots, as that would be my recommended starting point; and it can break up the boredom a bit too to try something different.

Douglas from your post I wondered if you are referring to an open racket as spin? And also if hitting the outside of the ball (as in volley) you are referring to as spin?

Opening the racket face does not necessarily impart spin (using a lob as an example).

If you hit a ball with lots of spin you will probably only need to contact a slither of the base of the ball, or the side of the ball, or the top of the ball, and have quite a force into the swinging movement.  The control required to do this stuff is a very advanced skill.

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From Adz - 07 Nov 2007 - 03:50


The "golden rules" only really apply when learning the basics of play. Once those basics have been mastered everything goes out of the window! It's kind of like learning to walk before you can run. Using an open face when learning it important in getting your timing and swing correct. As your skill levels progress then you can begin to experiment with more difficult swing styles (see vertical swing thread), and more difficult shots (see corkscrew thread). The imprtant thing is to be able to fall back on your basic swing like second nature. Let the spins and the corkscrews and the between the legs stuff be as few and far between as you can get away with unless you're in an exhibition match where anything goes.

It's here I guess that spin becomes an exception to the rule. The use of spin at the right time can greatly improve your shot play, but use it incorrectly and you could be in a whole world of trouble on court by pulling the ball loose for your opponent to finish off.

I always teach the people I coach that you need to be able to play every type of shot so that you can understand what the ball is doing (think about the first time you saw a corkscrew bounce off the side wall!). Without experiencing this you can get caught out. Spin is another one. It needs to be learnt and mastered before it can be applied effectively.

Good luck with it!


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From dougm - 07 Nov 2007 - 01:09

Just to labour this a bit more, sorry..... I'm a relative newbie and understand one of the golden rules is to hit the ball with an open racquet face. With "outside" spin is this rule by-passed? If I'm picturing it correctly, it reminds me of how I used to play the game, putting a high percentage of my shots into the tin! I guess it's one of those more advanced techniques not recommended until you've mastered the basics.

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From edmpnd1961 - 24 Oct 2007 - 02:33

Hi shib,

JP spins the ball both sides of the racket that means 2different fore hand and 2 different back hand , total of 4 different shots in total........... duh

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From shib - 23 Oct 2007 - 20:35   -   Updated: 23 Oct 2007 - 20:36

Thanks for the answers everyone! ok i think im a little clearer on this now: inside spin means you hit the ball in the portion where its closer to you and outside spin you hit the ball further away from you. As for the execution of the shot is it just like a normal drive  albeit the different position where you strike the ball? please correct me if im wrong. Thanks once again!

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From edmpnd1961 - 23 Oct 2007 - 12:36

It's baiscally the face or yr racket, the front and back which JP uses inside face / open racket face like a tennis top spin and as for the out side means the reverse as JP regularly uses both face of the racket to do trick shots as he fancies

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From nickhitter - 23 Oct 2007 - 08:03   -   Updated: 23 Oct 2007 - 08:10

I've done a lot more experimentation with spin over the last year, and now include many spin shots in my game.

anyway to sum up what I found....

underspin (cut) keeps the ball lower, and helps with accuracy of the shot, as the direction of the ball is less reliant on which way your racket face is facing and more reliant on which direction your swing is going. This is the open racket face, and is a spin most good squash players use without knowing it.

top spin makes the ball come out less from the front wall. i.e the ball slows down on hitting the wall. Which makes the ball land shorter.

inside spin makes the ball spin away from the sidewall ( useful on attacking boasts to get more angle)

outside spin makes the ball glue to the sidewall ( great for returning a tight length even tighter)

When learning spin it's important that the effects of each type are learnt when hitting the ball at a 'medium slow' pace. This is the speed at which spin is most effective, as too slow and the ball doesn't grip into the wall enough, and too hard and ball flattens out against the wall which cancels out the spin. I have found spin to just simply not work when hitting the ball too hard.

I actually find that I combine spins too. My favorite spin drop shot is a forehand combination top spin/outside spin ( which can actually happen quite naturally together and is not too difficult to pull off) which makes the ball stick very close to the front wall aswell as staying tight if I get it to hit the sidewall. (However a few of my regular opponents have mentioned it's quite easy to read now, so maybe I need to modify my preparation with it)

Above all though the biggest mistake is to think that the ball requires a LOT of spin to make it work. This is not the case and if you end up trying to do loopy tennis style top spin forehands then you will just hit the balls in the tin. A good spin shot in squash is achieved with a only a subtle racket movement change coupled with perfect timing on the ball, hit at the correct pace. only then will spin shots be effective.


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From rippa rit - 23 Oct 2007 - 07:28   -   Updated: 23 Oct 2007 - 07:30

shib - I think table tennis demonstrates spin being used on the ball better than squash or tennis shows. 

Squash uses side spin and underspin most of the time; while tennis adds topspin to its armoury as well. 

It is all about the use of the racket face when contacting the ball, including the inside-out shots....give it a try yourself.  It looks impressive, and I think generally in squash (since there is always the front wall for the rebound which will alter the effect of the spin) stick to the under-cut and side-spin for consistency.  For fun, and flashy, try the lot.

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From hamburglar - 23 Oct 2007 - 05:46

Think sidespin. Imagine hitting down the right wall with forehands. If you cut around the outside of the ball, the ball on hitting the wall will be drawn closer to the wall. This can help draw volleys into the nick. If you cut on the inside of the ball, it will draw the ball away from the wall, however if you're hitting into the corner, the ball may come out straight down the wall. You might be able to get a loose ball tighter by doing this.

You can also use sidespin on boasts, drops, etc. as it will cause the ball to jump off the side or front wall more.

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