The forehand is a cornerstone stroke in any tennis player’s arsenal. It’s your weapon for power, control, and driving winning shots. Let’s break down the key elements of a good forehand and explore some tips to elevate your game.

The Forehand Breakdown:

  1. Grip: Forehand grips can vary slightly depending on your preference and playing style. A common grip is the Semi-Western Forehand Grip.  You can find this grip by simply putting the racquet down and picking it up with your dominant hand.  

  2. Stance and Preparation: Stand sideways with your dominant shoulder facing the net. As the ball approaches, bend your knees slightly for a stable base, keeping your weight balanced on the balls of your feet. Extend your non-dominant arm out to track the incoming ball.

  3. The Unit Turn: Initiate the swing with a “unit turn” by rotating your shoulders and hips away from the net, coiling your body like a spring. The racquet head drops back behind you.  It’s important to get your non-dominant arm straight across your body for this part of the swing.

  4. The Swing: As you shift your weight forward, the butt of the racquet should start facing towards the ball.  The swing path is forward and up with a full arm extension, keeping your elbow high.

  5. Contact Point: Aim to hit the ball in front of your body at its peak for optimal power and control.  More specifically, your chest and strings should be facing forward on contact point.

  6. The Follow-Through: After contact, continue the swing across your body, finishing with the racquet pointing towards the opposite side of the court.  Your back leg should naturally swing around, indicating a good weight transfer and hip rotation.

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Tips to Elevate Your Tennis Game

  • Focus on Technique First: Before power, prioritize proper swing mechanics for consistency and accuracy.
  • Develop Leg Drive: Push off the ground with your legs to transfer power from your core to the racquet.
  • Maintain Head Positioning: Keep your head steady with your eyes focused on the ball throughout the swing.
  • Brush Up on Footwork: Practice agility drills to improve your footwork and reach for shots effectively.
  • Practice Different Types of Forehands: Master the flat forehand for power, then explore variations like the topspin forehand for better control and aggressive angles.
  • Fundamentals Will Always Be Most Important: Turning with your whole body, staying low and connecting with the ball out in front with a loose grip will be essential to any good forehand.