Racquetball is A Topspin Game
In a perfect world, every rally ball would be ankle bone low for you to sweep your racquet head smoothly through at the bottom of a shallow contact arc. Like you may have heard it described, an ideal swing image is seeing yourself swinging your racquet head across the top of table thru the ball in an exaggerated, long, low swing arc.
There the idea is you sweep the racquet head back to front, and, as you are making contact with the ball conventional wisdom has it that the racquet face is set perfectly flat or flush pointing at your target wall. Now wouldn’t that be nice? That’s a great image if perhaps…(a) you have a very easy setup off the back wall; or (b) you play a soft lob you can patiently, deliberately let drop extremely low; or (c) you hustle and track down a left up sidewall shot struck by your challenger that you catch up to right as the ball is almost at floor level. But that’s not going to be your racquetball reality all of the time. The game of racquetball is much, much faster than that and you can’t always let the ball drop super low to contact the ball.
Most of the time you’re going to confront a ball that is above ankle height, in fact often much, much higher than even shin high. Still, from a higher contact height, similarly you often want to hit the ball much lower than where you make contact. How do you do that with a flat racquet face?
Versatile High to Low Shooting
Sometimes you want to hit a kill-shot the challenger just can’t scrape back. Other times you want to crank a passing shot that passes them by when placing the ball on the other side of the court from you (and them) deep in the backcourt. Note that a kill-shot is simply a front wall bottom board shot. With your kill-shot, there may be times when you even seek a flat rollout which is a ball simultaneously hitting front wall and floor, as the ball hits the super low and rolls back out. Now wouldn’t that be nice? First, how do you contact a ball that’s up “here” and shoot it so it goes down “there”? One clue is it’s not with an always flat racquet face thru contact.
Good Player Tendency: Be a Shooter
The tendency for you to shoot high to low is a solid one and an attack mode mentality promoted by our highly aggressive, killer instinct sport where we play like the question is being asked of us, “How low can you go?”. (Attack mode play is A-okay as long as you direct your aggression toward the ball and not aim it at your challenger…). A practiced player’s shooting contact range should extend from ankle bone low up to chest high and even as high as eye high when shooting down to as low as bottom-board low on the front wall.
How Do “You” See Yourself Going Bottom-Board?
Now, to shoot from high to low (even when say shooting from knee high down to an even lower spot on the front wall), there are several perspectives on how you may control your racquet face when using your swing mechanics which cause the ball go downwards toward your lower wall target. Here are 3 perspectives…(1) one perspective is you bevel or angle or incline or tilt your racquet forward from back to front so the racquet face points lower on the front wall right as you’re swinging thru the ball; or (2) another point of view is you drop the ball ever so slightly on your racquet face’s *sweet spot as you swing thru, while picturing your racquet face as flat or parallel to your target wall, as you swing thru at contact – although do note that there at contact, on its own, your racquet face may tweak or adjust to angle down slightly due to the ball hitting lower than the center of that sweet spot on your strings; or (c) yet another perspective is that as you swing thru making contact with your judged center of your racquet face intentionally contacting the ball slightly above an imaginary “equator” that splits the ball in half (with that equator parallel to the court). That last perspective causes you to shoot slightly downwards when making contact on the upper half of the ball. The higher you make contact above ankle bone level, theoretically the higher up on the ball you choose to place the center of your sweet spot of the racquet strings, as you’re making contact, to shape your shot to produce a low front wall target.
Is it a Combination of Contacting the Upper Half of the Ball “AND” Closing Your Racquet Face…
Note that both contacting the ball just slightly above the equator and approaching the ball with your racquet head tilting down as you are making contact could be just the dual secret to shooting from chest high to low, medium waist high to low and knee high on down to bottom board low. Ultimately it’s your shooter-controlled manipulation of your racquet head and where you choose to place the strings upside the ball that defines your shot’s initial and paramount flight path and accompanying ball spin.
What is “Your” Sweet Spot on “Your” Racquet Face
Note that the *sweet spot on the racquet face is where you make your most effective contact with the ball to most accurately hit your shots. By using your racquet face control-based swing you make sure you use “your” sweet spot most effectively. The sweet spot is the springiest and truest responding part of your strings. To find “your” sweet spot, along with hitting practice shots and assessing your targeting results, bounce a ball on your strings while searching for its bounciest part. Simply the sweet spot is your power spot on your string bed. If you’re ever test driving a new stick, find its sweet spot and see if you like it and how you swing thru while closing the racquet face and finding targets lower than contact.
Is Racquetball Topspin like Tennis Topspin?
In racquetball there isn’t a 4th perspective where you would contact the ball well “below” the “equator” and brush up and over top the ball from below the middle of the ball in a parabolic, curving swing path to, in turn, produce a parabolic ball trajectory as is seen in a routine tennis “Topspin” swing arc and shot curve. In racquetball, we have neither peach fuzz on a racquetball ball to help us achieve that brushing from below up and over top the ball action nor do we routinely want a decidedly curving ball trajectory for our racquetball shots. Very luckily we don’t have a net impediment or an obstacle that we must clear by hitting over it save perhaps the floor that’s between the ball we’re playing and our wall target, to avoid skips. However, we do want the ball to hit low enough so it definitely bounces twice before the back wall. Topspin helps make that happen.
Downwards Trajectory and Topspin
A racquetball shot that’s struck with pick um…(a) a beveled angled down racquet face; or (b) when contacting the ball with the lower half of your string bed’s sweet spot; or (c) when placing the strategic part of your strings on the upper half of the ball…are all concepts and methods that can potentially create a favored downwards shot trajectory. AND they also have the capacity to impart beneficial overspin or a fast forward spinning over-the-top motion that imparts “Topspin” onto your ball. That good Topspin or “top” causes the ball to turn over or tumble on its way into your wall target. Then, as that Top spinning ball rebounds out off the wall, the top continues as it’s coming off the wall which also causes the ball to rebound off that target wall lower and bounce earlier or closer than a ball hit without spin or a ball hit with under-spin or slice. That top or overspin is retained to, in turn, cause the ball to take its second bounce much sooner and closer to the target wall than a flat ball struck without spin or a ball with under-spin where it bounces further from the target wall, as the sliced ball flutters, tantalizingly further out from the front wall.
Do We Want Either Spin-free or Under-spin?
Almost every ball has some form of spin on it. A ball that will “float” or one that’s hit spin-less is really a myth or a true anomaly if it happens at all. Every swing, even one not intent on imparting spin, adds some minimal forward ball rotation and often another spin that’s a subject for another day, “sidespin”. Worse case under-spin is caused when angling the racquet face backwards or tilting the racquet head back while swinging thru contact. Balls with under-spin react by popping out at the angle they go in and they pop out further and then they bounce and hover; which is a big no-no for rally shots. Under-spin usually indicates you’ve been caught switching grips or perhaps you’re hitting your backhand with a forehand grip. Although do note that “slice” can be a tricky spin for receivers of off speed lobs, and a slicing action can be a very good thing for a carved upwards touch ceiling ball. Although do note that a deeper target ceiling, which rebounds back faster doesn’t use slice and instead is struck with a flatter, spin-free swing.
At times you may want your low ball into the front wall to bounce even earlier right after front wall contact when you want your shot to be irretrievably out of reach of your challenger. That ball they can’t reach that you’re going for is called a “kill-shot”. A kill-shot ideally bounces twice before the first line on the court, which is the service line. At low knee high contact, a straight in Topspin shot that hits the front wall under 6 inches high on the front wall to ideally takes its second bounce before that service line which is 15 feet back from the front wall is a “real” kill-shot. If the ball were to bounce say twice before the short line, that’d be just a left up, retrievable kill-shot.
Passing Shot Definition
A hard-hit Topspin “passing shot” is a ball taken at say waist high and it may contact the front wall as low as 6 inches high up to as high as 3.5 feet high. A passing shot with top takes its first bounce in the middle of the court, and, when struck with overspin, the ball tumbles over, as it’s going backwards in the court to stay down and ideally take its second bounce within the last few feet of the backcourt before it could reach and pop off the back wall.
Why Adding Spin Avoids “Dangerous” Back Wall Setups
A Topspin passing shot bounce is different than how a ball without spin or a ball with under-spin may bounce and carry all the way to the back wall to spring way off as a back wall setup for the too lucky challenger. Note that back wall setups may be THE biggest setup in racquetball because…
(1) with patience, you can let back wall setup drop extra low;
(2) you have more time to play a ball caroming off the back wall; and
(3) a ball projecting off the back wall is already heading in the right direction toward the front wall and –> all you have to do is help the back wall ball along on its way vs. how you must 180 other rally balls or serves that come at you from off the front wall where then the object is to redirect the ball back in the direction from which it came. To redirect a ball in a rally or as a return of serve is like a baseball hitter standing at home plate and hitting a pitch that must go back out in the complete opposite direction from where the pitch is coming to home plate. AND the baseball hitter must keep the baseball between the lines. At least, in racquetball, we have 3-wall shots and splats. Where when a batter hits safely they must keep the baseball inside those foul lines that’s equivalent to restricting the angle to a wider angled near corner pinch.
Drill to Learn to Topspin Your Kill-shots
To drill and impart Topspin, first drop and hit by starting from a spot just behind the short line that’s 20 feet back from the front wall. There bounce the ball so it rises up to about waist high. At first let the ball drop slightly to make contact with the ball at about upper thigh high. From there, experiment going bottom-board as you (pick from your preferred method to swing as you…)…
(a) angle your racquet face pointing it slightly downward while swinging thru the ball…or
(b) swing thru placing the ball lower on your strings than your center sweet spot…or
(c) as you sweep your racquet head straight thru the ball and swing on toward your low wall target, make contact with the upper half of the ball on the center cut of your racquet face’s sweet spot. In any case, the object is to create a self-controlled downwards angled trajectory toward your very low kill-shot target on the front wall. First, start with straight in kill-shots. After you learn how to control your low shot height and this straight in angle, then work on angling kill-shots both cross-court to the far, rear corner and angling the ball back toward the nearest rear corner. Note that to hit that near, rear corner, as a “cursive “i” shot”, shoot for a target on the front wall just under halfway between where you make ball contact and the near sidewall to place the ball deep in the corner on your side. As you become adept at shooting from this thigh level to those 3 angles, shoot by letting the ball drop even lower to knee high and lower. Note that lower contact requires you “step up” into a lower, wider, optimally staggered, ideally slightly closed or optionally partially open ball striking stance. There your low contact swing is powered by bending, turning leg drive and hip up through core and upper torso body spin that finishes with your most pronounced sweeping, wide forward swing. As low to low shooting becomes easier, also bounce the ball a little bit higher to shoot from waist high down. There you must swing much more over top the ball from a strong and now more narrow and turnable striking stance. As waist high contact gets easier, also bounce the ball a little harder and higher and swing over and thru the ball at your belly button on up to chest high. Once mid level contact is doable, even swing up to eye high down to your very low kill-shot front wall target. For those very high contact heights, at chest high or higher, you’ll swing up and over top the ball by using an even more exaggerated bell shaped swing arc. There flow the racquet head from below chest high up, over, and thru the ball, as you close your racquet face thru contact. Post contact flow will then be down slightly and across in front of your body to find your much lower than contact wall target, with top.
Drill by Hitting Sideways
A drilling trick to speed up your progress and chase the ball much less as you work on producing top at multiple contact heights (and shooting to different angles) is to turn and hit balls into the sidewall when standing on one end of the court. Work on your low kill-shot shotmaking when taking the ball at your developing full range of contact heights from even eye high on down to ankle bone low, while imparting Topspin, which coincidentally produces extra ball speed, too. Also, to perfect your side to side angling for kill-shot shooting, have extra balls in your pockets, especially when you’re shooting from away the closest corner. With the sideways drill you learn the value of developing and owning your racquet arm swing arc and gluing your eyes on the ball swinging thru the ball.
Practice Topspin Passing Shots, too
Once you’ve increased your contact range so it spans from ankle bone low up to chest high and even up to eye high for your kill-shot shooting then back up a little deeper in the court. You can practice your kill-shots there, but initially drop and shoot passes from there at the dashed line which is 25 feet back from the front wall. As you learn to make your straight and then angled passes that bounce twice before the back wall, back up to a deeper spot at say 30 feet. Keep backing up to different spots and practicing your Topspin passing shots. Ultimately back up until you’re all that way back at 38 feet which is just in front of the back wall. Work on higher front wall passing shot targeting from spots as low as 6 inches high, with searing swing pace and all the way up to over 3 feet high for more finesse or touch passing shots, while swinging over top of the ball to produce the Topspin that makes ALL of your passes bounce in mid court and then take their second and final bounce very close to the back wall. The main objective for your initial shot angle for your Topspin passing shots is keeping the ball low on your target wall so the ball bounces first in the mid court and retains that “top” on the ball so it ensures the ball takes its second bounce before it can make contact with the back wall. From those different spots, after getting down the straight in passes, also work on your cross-courts to your far, rear corner and your DTL’s, as near, rear passing shot angles.
Why Topspin Passes vs. No Spin Passes
Consider that when hitting a heavy, flat, spin-free ball where you swing through the ball to make contact on the ball at very much center mass or the very middle of the back of the ball you produce an unspinning, flat ball that will bounce and carry farther to very possibly careen off the back wall as a hot setup for your grateful challenger. That flat ball is not ideal nor recommended for your racquetball passing shots (or kill-shots, serves or sidewall shots). Even a minimal amount of top causes the ball to stay lower as it’s comes off the front wall to take its first bounce sooner or closer to the front wall. And then the spin causes the ball to also takes its second bounce sooner within a few feet of the back wall. Also, as another benefit of Topspin, a topped ball carries to your front wall target better due to the spin adding extra pace to your pass due to less air resistance. Therefore, considering the controlled bounces and faster spin, it’s optimal to develop strokes that add lots of overspin to all of your passing shots and serves, too…
Topspin Your Rear Corner Bound Drive Serves, too
Along with your passing shots and kill-shots, practice adding Topspin to your drive serves, too. Factor in that an optimum drive serve barely crawls past the short line, as it’s dipping and optimally bouncing just past 20 feet or a little bit deeper than that, when it’s an especially well struck, low drive serve. Note that a drive serve is actually powered at contact by an initial inclining ball trajectory, as the ball angles slightly upward into its front wall target (that’s an unseen, though felt target by you as the server; although do not even look before you serve because, if you do, you’re helping tell your receiver, “There’s my target!”). Continuing now…there on the front wall your drive serve hits its slightly higher than ball contact spot…then, as the Topspin drive serve rebounds back out, it reverses its angle, by now assuming a downwards trajectory toward the serve’s first bounce beyond the short line, while continuing to angle on toward your server chosen rear corner. Carrying with it invaluable overspin, a Topspin drive serve is more likely to take its first bounce further forward and then follow up by bouncing for a second time before the back wall than a serve hit with zero spin as a result of its flat contact from a strictly side to side swing motion. Even if a drive serve with top were to bounce and hit the back wall, the overspin would continue and serve to keep the ball lower as it caroms off the back wall. Compare that to how a spin-free drive serve will bounce and carry to fly well off the back wall much further and higher than even an overhit Topspin ball.
Stroking Form to Produce Top
Forearm and wrist dual action produces Topspin. That action is prompted by the very key pre-contact portion of your forward swing, as the racquet head flows thru the ball and on to your wall target. The pre-contact phase starts right where you begin to arc the racquet arm out while extending your bent arm to achieve reaching contact. This key phase occurs as the racquet swings from the racquet head pointing back, with the racquet butt cap pointing at the target wall, to swing thru making ball contact, as the racquet head passes thru both pointing at the sidewall and the butt cap pointing at the sidewall behind you. Then continue the swing arc well after contact until the racquet head points toward your wall target and the racquet butt cap points behind you at the back wall. For a really big, huge, full racquet swing, the racquet even points at the back wall and the butt cap toward the front court.
Full Range of Motion for Top
The back to front motion of the racquet head or the full range of motion swing is also characterized by turning over or spiraling your forearm, as the arm extends by spinning at the elbow. Right before contact, the last, most integral part, the rolling wrist overlaps with the turning over forearm to spiral together, along with spiraling the racquet head, as the racquet face closes or turns over thru contact, too. You time that racquet head spiral by how you unfurl your swing. You do that as you flow your racquet head thru the ball (and on beyond contact). Your swing-controlled racquet flow to your selected ball contact, again, is based on one or more of…
(a) how you bevel or angle or close your racquet face while you’re swinging thru the ball; or
(b) how you drop the ball slightly on your string bed from its center; or
(c) how you place the part of the racquet head you feeling on the upper half of the ball right as you swinging thru the ball. As a result of how your racquet head spins or spirals thru the ball, the swing motion defines the most critical initial line your shot takes as the ball leaves your strings to angle towards your wall target. Your player-controlled racquet head swing motion and how you make ball contact also has the potential to create key action or English or spin to be imparted on the ball in the form of Topspin (and vertical angle control). The more top, the more downwards trajectory on the ball, the more shot pace and the more overspin that is retained after target wall contact which keeps the ball lower as it’s coming off that wall. Also that top is translated into an earlier, closer first bounce on the court and a sooner second bounce, too. Those Topspin bounces are closer than a ball struck without spin produced by a flat stroke. When you become adept at timing the turning over of your racquet face for both your forehand and backhand strokes, both spin control and height control is yours which allows you to select your shot’s court depth as either a pass or as a very low kill-shot winner.
Biomechanics of the Final Contact Phase
A low front wall target and Topspin swing mechanics to hit that spot optimally cause your kill-shot ball to bounce twice before the service line. A Slightly higher front wall target and adding Topspin produces a pass that bounces twice right before the back wall. What are those top swing mechanics? For the forehand, the final contact phase of the swing flows from forearm and hand being palm up and elbow flexed (in the racquet butt cap to target interim phase) to swing thru and turn the forearm and hand over to palm down as you’ve swung fully thru contact. For the backhand, swing from palm down and racquet butt cap to target to palm out to the sidewall and even all the way to palm up for your most exaggerated high to low Topspin, backhand stroking.
Drill Topspin Serves for Trophies
In addition to practicing your Topspin kill-shots and passing shots, drill your Topspin serves with both your forehand AND backhand strokes. Note that a drive serve is very much like a drop and hit (or a toss and hit) drill in the service box. Drilling serving is invaluable practice time spent working on your strokes, too. And drilling your serves increases your serving accuracy and it builds trust in your deep corner serve placements that you can then count upon at crunch-time in a match.
Roll Wrist into Snap vs. Side to Side Wrist Pop
Note that turning over the forearm and wrist is a free-flowing motion. It’s NOT only a side to side unnatural, braking wrist pop motion which, when done only sideways, could shock your elbow and wrist, with its jarring, attendant recoil action which sends vibrations traveling up your arm. Instead learn to flow and spin your elbow (where the elbow points forward before contact and it points backwards after contact) as you extend your arm, while turning your forearm over so the arm straightens right before contact when you interweave with your wrist to both snap and roll over and thru the ball producing Topspin and precise downwards shot angling. After contact, continue to swing on unfettered, with your full, flowing, follow-through until your racquet head points at the sidewall behind you or even until the racquet head points at the back wall behind you for your biggest, flourishing, flowing swings.
Developing Topspin; Why and How to Impart Topspin
Effects of Racquet Size Changes
The amount of Topspin that you can impart on the ball depends on several factors. One big factor is the change from the original shorter racquets and their small racquet heads to first the medium sized racquets of the 1990’s and their slightly larger heads to now both those earlier head sizes being dwarfed dramatically by today’s 22″ long racquet frames with their massive racquet heads and much longer frames. A major factor is the larger racquet face allows you to hit with more topspin for one reason because you are less likely to clip your frame should you miss your key strings’ spot when making Topspin contact.
Larger Frame = Bigger Stick…or Club
Second, the bigger racquet head also allows you to simply hit the ball harder. As a result of hitting the ball harder, the game today is played at a much faster pace than in the small and medium sized racquet eras. That’s not because today’s players are much more powerful or even that the racquet making materials have changed or drastically improved. It’s due to the racquet heads now being about two inches longer and wider, which allows players to potentially hit the ball with much more swing pace AND Topspin.
Sweet Spot Further Out = Longer Swing Lever
That swing pace is due in part to the racquet head designs of today’s longer frames, as both the quadriform and teardrop racquet heads set the sweet spot now much further out on the string bed than on the small and medium sized frames where the routine sweet spot was in center of the string bed or racquet face. For Quads, the sweet spot is well up above the old center sweet spot, as it’s set set about halfway between the center and the top of the frame. For Teardrop frames, the sweet spot is even further out closer to the top of the frame (and flirting with the ball contacting the frame). With the sweet spots being further out, it naturally creates more leverage or reach, as you swing. That extra reach allows for potentially more swinging power because you have a longer lever or longer swing radius. It’s like your arm grew a few inches! And further out = faster potential racquet head speed.
Optimally…Full Body Turn to Swing Thru and Close Racquet Face Thru Contact for Topspin
Third, to extract as much topspin as humanly possible from a stroke, players have learned…pivot body via leg drive –> hip flip –> core crunch –> shoulder/chest spin –> when combining with leverage or reach –> optimizes arm and wrist whip climax –> when snapping both forearm AND wrist –> explosively, spiraling and closing racquet face brushing strings up over ball by…
How to Impart Topspin
To hit with Topspin, brush the racquet strings upwards against the back of the ball and swing over top the ball with your racquet face.
Spin in to Front Wall = Spin Out + Lower Rebound
Note that a Topspin ball going into and caroming off the front wall retains that Topspin as it rebounds back out. That Topspin ball dives down more sharply onto the court after making contact with the front wall than a ball struck without Topspin. Also a topped ball take its first bounce earlier and closer up in the court. The Topspin ball also optimally takes its second bounce earlier and before the ball reaches the back wall. That earlier first bounce closer to the front wall is a major objective of Topspin stroking. A Topspin ball’s early bounce is much closer than a ball hit with zero spin. And it’s definitely much earlier than a ball struck with slice or under-spin. A sliced ball reacts by bouncing first deeper in the court. There a sliced ball bounds up higher to float and carry very vulnerably deeper into the court. Note that less effective racquet handle grips often are the culprit for slicing the ball.
Optimize Topspin by Swinging Up and Over Ball
To extract as much topspin as possible from your stroke, it’s useful to learn to swing up slightly at the ball, while tilting the racquet head forward when swinging thru and making contact with the ball. To accomplish that up and over the ball motion, at the bottom of your down arc (in your downswing that starts from your lifted loop backswing), start your contact phase with your racquet arm elbow arcing in just trailing your shoulder the racquet head now slightly below and behind the ball in the key racquet butt to target interim swing phase. That is right before your racquet head is about to enter the impact zone and –> THWACK! complete its final back to front arm and wrist rolling action. There you extend your arm via forearm turnover and overlapping wrist roll, as your snap reaches its crescendo when turning and setting your racquet face optimally slightly closing. There, as you’re swinging thru the ball, ideally brush over top the ball imparting Topspin. Due to both that spin and swing snap this flowing stroke significantly increases ball speed throughout your shot’s ball flight.
A Topspin Ball Has Less Drag
Four, a Topspin ball cuts thru the air much better due to its overspin creating airfoil, as air under it creates less drag or air resistance which causes a topped ball to fly thru the air much faster than a flat spin-less or sliced under-spin ball. That speed holds for both your Topspin ball’s inward flight to the front wall, as well as its return trip when rebounding back off the front wall. And that goes for Topspin kill-shots, passes, serves and even back wall saves struck with top.
Key Factors to Add Topspin
Note that the total amount of spin you place on a ball depends on a whole bunch of factors; they include:
(a) the incoming ball’s speed, spin, and angle;
(b) your racquet head’s speed, approach swing angle in to contact, and tilting of your racquet head as you swing thru the ball.
String Tension Quandary
The type of string you use factors in to how you apply Topspin plus how tightly your racquet is strung. Note that a looser string job creates more of a trampoline effect for longer ball to string contact which can produce more ball pace, but that’s at the risk of less control. A tighter string pattern keeps the ball in contact for less time on the harder string surface allowing for more pinpoint shot placement. So there you have a tradeoff, pace for placement. Since our topic here is Topspin and how it helps you control the ball better while providing ball speed, use string that you test out and see will work to contribute to your shotmaking accuracy. Generally closer to your manufacturer’s top end string tension is best.
Topping a Dropping Ball is Easier Than Topping a Ball On-the-Rise
Note that more topspin will be generated when you strike the ball while the ball is falling or dropping after the peak of its bounce, rather than when trying to impart Topspin on an incoming ball which is rising or on the rise. However, even when contacting a rising ball, it is doable to add Topspin to your shot. It’s a matter of controlling the ball’s angle. To add top to a rising ball, time your racquet face closing as you brush quickly over top of the ball, but add margin. What that means is there, at contact, consciously control your racquet swing path to control your shot angle so your shot does NOT dip too much, too fast which could end up in your skipping your high to too low shot. Here don’t go too low. Let the Topspin keep the rising ball down, not your overcompensating, overzealous low targeting.
Answer Low Top with Top of Your Own
Note that a low ball that bounces off the court coming toward you carrying with it topspin can be likewise returned with topspin. Although, to do that, the spin direction of the ball coming back toward you from off the front wall (or sidewall) that is turning over toward you must be reversed or redirected, again, by decidedly brushing up on the back of the ball when swinging very solidly thru contact to impart Topspin which counters (or removes and replaces) that incoming Topspin with Topspin of your own. Do that by slightly drawing the incoming ball in on your strings and turn over and spin the ball back toward your visualized front wall target. The final closing or shutting of the racquet face achieves that counter-spin. To dampen that incoming spin, draw the ball a little in on your strings while you still brush up and over top the ball. The objective is develop Topspin of your own; because, recall, racquetball is, at its very best, a “Topspin game”!!!!