3 Quick tips to improve your forehand:
When it comes to ground strokes, the forehand is used far more than any other shot in tennis; That makes the construction of a solid forehand an absolute must! However, to achieve this we must examine common problems that arise with the forehand, as well as, examine the best solutions to these problems. With these tips and hard work, that dependable forehand could be right around the corner. Lets begin:
- Where do I place my feet? A solid foundation is needed in most areas of life and tennis is no exception. What type of stance are you hitting out of when it comes to your forehand? A open-stance, semi-open, or a closed-stance? All work, but I recommend the semi-open stance most/if not all of the time. There are, however, very few times in tennis where this stance is too difficult or impossible- but not often. Why..? The formation of this stance allows the back foot(right foot) to be placed behind the ball, while the front foot(left foot) steps towards the ball. It is important that the front steps slightly left of the ball when moving forward, not directly towards it. As the ball moves towards my forehand, I will “load” my weight/power onto my back leg; as contact is made with the ball, I will transfer my weight/power to my front leg. This helps to propel the ball towards the intended target.
- What type of grip should I use on my forehand? The most common grips are the Eastern forehand grip, and the Semi-western forehand. It is less common, but not totally surprising, to find the Full western grip. I recommend the Semi-western grip. The placement of the index finger on the grip allows players to get over the top of high balls, or get underneath low balls. This will allow for a larger strike zone, thus more margin for error.
- Can I place my shots with comfort and control? The answer to this question lies in racket preparation( take-back) and follow through. Taking the racket back before the ball bounces, and keeping the racket head higher than the ball is always advised. This allows player to stay on top of the ball and maintain more control. Next, concentrate on making contact with the ball out in front; many teaching pro’s such as myself, recommend using the front knee(left leg in the semi-open stance)as a reference point; this is where you should try to meet the ball. Finally, make sure to follow all the way though the ball before you finish over the shoulder. It is best to elongate your follow through as much as possible as this will give your shots added depth.
Obviously, there is much more than these few tips that go into making a great forehand. These are common areas of concern, as well as, helpful tips to correct them. To get a proper evaluation of your forehand and other areas of your game, contact a Teaching Professional in your area. If you live in the Austin area, you can contact me via Email to setup a lesson.
Thanks for reading,
Coach David Z.