The Topspin Pro is the most established topspin training device on the market. It has sold thousands of units throughout the world. Touring Pros use them, regular club pros swear by them and beginning tennis players shadow their strokes with them. The Billy Jean King Eye Coach is also a hugely popular device too, training players eyes to focus on the contact point of their strokes. But as a tennis player who wants to improve their game and has limited budget which one do you go for?
The Eye Coach.
We all know Billy Jean King as one of the best tennis players of all time but she has put her name to this product. I guess you know it has to be good. The Eye Coach develops the point of contact on the groundstrokes and timing of shots. For players who are new to the game this device will improve their strokes. Specifically this device is aimed at players who shift their heads on point of contact. The Eye Coach trains the player to ensure they keep their head still and keep looking at a ball whilst hitting. Timing, accuracy on contact point and balance are all improved. It is portable and very sturdy.
The clue is in the name in this one. This device is designed to help players develop spins and slices on the ball. I have come across many players who have simply given up on trying topspin. They can do it under the watchful eye of a coach but once the coach disappears the bad habits return and the topspin disappears also. As sweeping generalisations go this is a big one but I would guess that most people give up as it is hard. Even in they can impart spin on the ball they lose pace when hitting their shots. The Topspin Pro should solve that issue. Assembly is easy and you can be up and running within minutes. Inside, outside, on court, in your garden The Topspin Pro will fit your lifestyle. ** DISCLAIMER** practice required, lots of it!
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Which to go for?
The Topspin Pro and the Eye Coach are two very different products and depending on what you want to improve will affect this decision. I cannot say with certainty which will improve your game as every player will be different and have different skillsets. The Topspin Pro if practiced carefully and in a disciplined fashion will help you master the topspin action. Topspin will allow any player to hit the ball harder without going out but also rally for longer than they had rallied before. The modern game is all about topspin.
The Eye Coach will assist in developing timing and contact point of the ball. Is this less important than topspin? No absolutely not. It will be hard to generate any topspin if your timing and contact point are off. Both these devices target a different segment of the tennis playing public. As a tennis pro I would recommend both but the reality will be that the price of these devices will prevent you going for a double purchase.
There are other ways of improving your game without purchasing either of these devices. The immediate thought is hook up with a tennis pro and hit lots of balls. The second thought is to try some DIY kit to develop the skills and feel of the Eye Coach and Top Spin Pro. I saw a really innovative video topspin with an upturned bicycle and the tennis player making the wheel spin with the brushing action of topspin. Timing and contact point can be improved with play. It is all about feeling the ball and anticipating when to turn and prepare.
If I wanted one of these devices I think I would chose the Topspin Pro. So much of the modern game is all about topspin. I see countless club players who want more control from rackets and strings but hit the ball as flat as a pancake. Without topspin a player will not maximise their potential in tennis.