Taking the ball on the rise
Backstory: I'm a freshman in high school. Last fall, I played #2 singles JV for our high school team. I'm really focusing on working as hard as I can to improve my game and make varsity.
Something that I've noticed is that I fare extremely poorly against people who consistently hit the ball very deep with lots of top spin. My natural stroke is a lefty forehand with a slightly exaggerated backswing that produces quite a lot of top spin and power, and a backhand that is a little flatter (with a quicker backswing) but generally the same idea. So a coach that I was talking to said I needed to work on taking the ball on the rise, and it sounded sensible to me. I realized that I never actually do this- when the ball comes very deep with top spin, instead of stepping into my shot, I just back up until it settles into my target area, causing me to lose tons of power and control, as well as giving my opponent considerably more time to react.
However, I've been trying to consistently take deep balls on the rise lately and it's really just not coming at all. It's almost humiliating, haha. When I try and do this I've whiffed balls entirely, often shanking them, and the shot is consistently...well, awful. I'm not really sure what I'm doing wrong. Anyone have any tips on improving this, or other methods for dealing with these deep, heavy balls?
Thanks in advance.