The Forehand

When attempting the forehand stroke consider racquet preparation first. As soon as your opponent has struck the ball, you should begin to move the racquet back. This allows for a smooth stroke with lots of time. If the racquet is not back early the stroke is hurried and leaves many more chances for error. A straight back or a loop backswing are both used and both are acceptable. You should experiment with both to determine which is most comfortable for you.

A Traditional forehand can be used with any of the three grips and either backswing. Let’s talk about this forehand first.

Following your opponent’s shot to your forehand pivot on the right foot so that it is parallel to the net. The left leg should turn approximately forty five degrees to the right with the shoulders sideways to the net.

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When starting your swing move the racquet with a low to high motion, always keep the head of the racquet vertical to the ground. As you begin your low to high swing step onto your left leg leaving half your weight on the stable back right leg. If at contact there a slight bend in the right knee you will ensure proper balance. The follow through should go toward your target and continue over your shoulder. Remember, a full finish will determine how much Topspin is created. Topspin is your controlling agent for your shots.

tennis forehand

The Traditional forehand is basically broken down to Turn/Step/Hit

tennis forehand

With tennis players around the world getting bigger, stronger and faster the game is evolving. The ever improving technology has also brought more power to the game. This leads to the more Modern forehand. We broke the Traditional down to Turn/Step/Hit the Modern is Load/Explode/Land. This forehand is generally hit with the Western grip. The Traditional is hit in more of a closed stance, that is, the left leg stepping toward the ball and net. The Modern uses a loop backswing to generate more power and spin while in an open stance.

tennis forehand

The first part of the Modern forehand is the preparation or Load. There is a loop backswing, an open stance and most importantly the weight on the bent right leg. The weight and bending on the right leg will generate the upward swing power at contact or the Explode part of the swing, when the ball arrives there is an upward push off the right leg brushing up the backside of the ball creating topspin. The trunk of the body continues rotating until the shoulders have completely turned around and the follow through complete with the racquet over the shoulder, the Land.

tennis follow through

Players just starting out should start with the Traditional forehand. Intermediates may want to begin learning the Modern since the Traditional is already comfortable. The more Advanced, Competitive and Tournament players will want the Traditional and definitely the Modern.

I recommend that players using the closed stance learn to hit in an open stance when pulled to the corner for a forehand. The open stance will give you a faster recovery back to the center of the court.

Good Luck-Have Fun!!

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