Top Speed Tennis – Clay Ballard Review
The tennis world has a lot of online coaches, instructors and influencers these days.
With tennis being such a global sport, and the internet being so far reaching, tennis coaches wanting to sell their tips, tricks and philosophies to budding tennis players has never been easier.
This is great for recreational tennis players who are looking to improve their games, but may not have direct access to coaching.
Through online platforms, a player can gain valuable insight into their tennis performance and learn from knowledgeable coaches.
There are so many options to choose from, such as Feel Tennis, Fuzzy Yellow Balls, Tennis Evolution and Essential Tennis.
However, it can sometimes be difficult to tell who knows their stuff and who doesn’t.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at Top Speed Tennis by Clay Ballard.
On the face of it his Youtube channel and website look well presented and insightful. But, let’s find out if that is truly the case.
Who Is Clay Ballard?
Originally a golf teacher, Clay Ballard is an avid tennis player that has studied biomechanics for a number of years.
Clay is not a tennis player through and through, as he freely admits on his website in the ‘About Us’ section.
He mentions that he has played the game for a number of years, but has only recently started to take it more seriously and apply his learnings from golf to tennis.
Now, this may well put some hardcore tennis purists off Clay straight away.
After all, how can a part time tennis player that has a background focussing on golf claim to teach tennis to a high level?
Well, Clay offers a different perspective on things.
His teachings stem from his extensive experience working with golfers and now tennis players to use their biomechanics more effectively and efficiently.
Where most high level online tennis instructors will have played the game to a high level, some even playing on the professional tour for a number of years, Clay comes into tennis instruction from an alternative angle.
He is still learning the game himself, so if anything his videos and online courses are more relatable to a recreational player going through the same issues, as Clay will be dealing with them at the same time.
The key difference however, is that Clay has an in depth understanding of biomechanics and how they can be used to generate a lot of easy power in tennis through racket lag.
Clay refers to himself as the ‘lag doctor’.
This title comes courtesy of years studying anatomy, physiology, biomechanics and neuroscience which have led him to understand body movements in a very different way to other tennis instructors.
Clay’s ground up approach to coaching tennis sees him explain what the correct body motions are at a basic level, so players can understand the optimal way in which their muscles and joints should be moving.
He then builds on this by emphasising how to avoid common mistakes and improve the efficiency of your swings.
The thinking behind this is that more efficient use of the body can generate more power and swing speed, thereby increasing the speed of your forehands and backhands.
So, now we understand the Top Speed Tennis philosophy, let’s take a closer look at their Youtube channel and website.
Top Speed Tennis YouTube Channel
The Top Speed Tennis Youtube channel brings a different edge to online tennis coaching.
With over 118,000 subscribers it is clearly a popular channel, but notably not as popular as Clay’s Top Speed Golf channel that commands over 500,000 subscribers.
Despite the reasonable size of the channel in terms of subscribers, Top Speed Tennis has over 18 million views, meaning the individual videos clearly have an awful lot of reach in the online tennis community.
The Youtube channel itself is well presented, with the video titles and thumbnails being creative yet informative.
There is definitely some artistic licence at play, but the content of the videos stays true to the title which is always good to see.
In terms of the video content itself, Clay is confident and relaxed when he speaks.
He is clearly a well versed presenter, as he is able to identify the issue a player may be having or key detail they may need to focus on.
He is not afraid to challenge conventional wisdom when it comes to tennis tactics and shot production, leaning on his more physiological approach to explaining tennis movements.
Clay likes to keep things simple when he is explaining in depth concepts like adding more topspin to your groundstrokes.
This is a real strength of his, as he is able to break down complex movement patterns and explain them in easy to understand, bitesize chunks.
This makes his content digestible and means you can really grasp what he is trying to say as a viewer.
He does not use as many external props or special effects compared to his contemporaries.
Of course, this aligns to his ‘back to basics’ approach, however it would be nice to see a bit more variety in his content delivery.
One feature that is lacking from the Top Speed Tennis Youtube channel is clear playlisting.
In the introductory video to the channel, Clay offers a free video series from his website that promises to improve your ability to produce topspin on your forehand.
However, his most popular Youtube video with over a million views does the same thing.
It would be really helpful if the channel had clear playlists that categorised the videos by shot.
Nonetheless, the channel’s videos are very informative and delve deep into some key issues that a lot of recreational players face on a daily basis.
So despite the presentation and layout issues, Top Speed Tennis is still a very useful and insightful online tennis resource.
The Top Speed Tennis Website
As we know, many online tennis platforms will use their free Youtube videos to push traffic to their paid for online tennis courses which tend to sit on a dedicated website.
This is a very common tactic used in the industry and it makes a lot of commercial sense.
What we like to see however, is an effort by the content creator to provide some alternative forms of free content on their website, as well as offering their online courses and coaching products.
In the case of Top Speed Tennis this is a bit of a mixed bag. It is clear that they mainly focus their attention on video production, as there is little else on the website!
They do however offer a range of free instructional videos (if you provide them with your email address).
These do actually add more value compared to the videos you’ll find on their Youtube channel, so you do get some benefit for providing them with your email address.
The free video series focuses on adding more topspin to your forehand and more power to your serve, while there is also a teaser for an additional bonus series.
In terms of the paid for video courses themselves, they are very well priced compared to a lot of other online tennis courses on the market.
Clay offers his premium services for just $47 per year, or $4.97 per month.
There is also a 365 day money back guarantee, so you have complete peace of mind that you can cancel any time.
Whilst the website is certainly not littered with useful information, the FAQs section does offer some much needed clarity.
However, this is almost entirely geared towards the online payments and course information, rather than actual tennis tips.
There are other websites out there that offer a lot more free content in a range of media formats, such as podcasts, free e-books and blog posts.
From this perspective, Top Speed Tennis is somewhat lacking.
Their Youtube videos and free online courses are direct and to the point, offering very straightforward and applicable tennis advice.
However, it seems they do not go above and beyond to provide additional content to their audience, since they rely on the quality of their videos.
Conclusion – Top Speed Tennis – Clay Ballard
Overall, Top Speed Tennis by Clay Ballard offers a unique perspective on online tennis instruction.
Clay’s limited background in tennis does not work to his detriment, as he is able to offer insightful teaching from an entirely different perspective.
His extensive background in biomechanics, physiology and neuroscience translate across all sports, which can be seen through his popular golf Youtube channel.
Whilst the website could do with some additional content to provide even more value to customers, it is clear to use and is ideal if you are looking just to get started with the paid for online courses.
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