<b>TO THE TOP</b>
KEEP YOUR HEAD IN PLACE AND TURN YOUR HIPS
The best thing you can do in your backswing is keep your spine tilting away from the target. In every sport where you need speed—a baseball pitch, a tennis stroke, a javelin throw—the body leans away from the target in the windup. It's the first domino in creating snap speed.
To maintain that tilt to your right, you need to turn your hips without letting them sway and keep your head still. A good feel is that your right hip turns behind you and toward the target (left). The center of your hips shouldn't actually move, but to turn them in place, it helps to feel like your right hip pushes toward the target as it rotates. Couple that with a steady head, and your spine will stay tilted to the right.
The spine tilt sets up the other critical position at the top: Your hands need to be "deep," or well to the inside. Not high and over your right shoulder, but more around and behind you. Imagine you're set up with your rear end against a wall. Your hands would go deep enough to bump the wall.
This deep position, which a good hip turn promotes, allows you to swing down in a straight line to the ball. Before any braking, there needs to be acceleration in a straight line. Think of the towel or the Frisbee: You swing forward first, then brake to add speed.