As of June 17th, both the US Open (August 31-September 13) and the Western & Southern Open (August 19-28) will be played in NY, without fans. The Citi Open in DC is scheduled for August 13-21, also without fans***
Our tennis forehand guide for perfect technique will help you get a clean hit as you focus on how you hit the ball as well as the amount of power you put into your hit. This guide will walk you through the basics of perfecting your forehand technique and help get you a powerful forehand stroke that will improve your hitting skills and overall tennis play.
Tennis Forehand Guide for Perfect Technique
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What is a Forehand Stroke?
Like the one-handed backhand and the two-handed backhand, the forehand stroke is one of the most important techniques a tennis player must master in their career. It is a type of shot made when a player swings the tennis racket across their body with their hand moving palm first. This allows them to strike a powerful, clean hit.
It is one of the primary and most important groundstrokes used in the sport of tennis and requires precision and accuracy for a stroke that hits its target and does damage to an opponent.
1. The Grip
The first thing to work on when perfecting your forehand technique is your grip. To correctly grip your racket, you should spread your fingers and place your index finger under the racket. This will help you easily push the head of the racket upwards, providing support and control.
Your grip plays a huge role in how well you hit the ball, as well as the amount of power you put into it. Your grip will also determine how you feel the ball, which will, in turn, determine whether or not it hits the intended target. An incorrect grip will affect your forehand technique. To ensure you are using the right grip, first, make sure that you do not hold your racket with your hand perpendicular to the handle. This will cause tension in your wrist muscles, resulting in loss of control.
2. Preparation and the “Drop”
When a tennis ball is heading your way, you need to prepare for the hit by turning to the side. Do not pull your hitting hand too far back, but prepare the racket using your off hand. Prepare with your off hand by placing and lifting the racket with your hand and then stepping towards the ball. Turn your body slightly to drive in the hit. Your arm should be slightly bent and your wrist should also be slightly below your shoulder height. While preparing for the hit, you should automatically let your racket drop slightly. This is a technique which will take training and experience to perfect. Gravity will then help you hit the racket with acceleration. The technique for the drop involves dropping back the edge of the racket using the following steps:
- Turn your wrist backward.
- Turn your wrist as you prepare to make contact with the ball.
- Slightly drop the racket as you start to turn your wrist and accelerate.
3. Acceleration for Tennis Forehand Guide for Perfect Technique
After preparing yourself and doing the drop, you will start to accelerate. When your arm starts the drop, you need to make sure that you rotate your hips first, turning them 90 degrees. During this time, you will experience slight wrist lag. This is a natural movement and helps accelerate the racket into the ball. Once your body starts to turn, your wrist will fall into position to hit the ball.
4. The Swing
Once your tennis racket starts to accelerate, you have to steer it in the right direction so that the racket controls the ball. The path of the swing should be a straight line before and after contact with the ball, which will ensure that the ball goes towards its intended target. This will give you an accurate and consistent hit. It is crucial that you follow this straight motion, as any other motion (like a circular motion) can affect where the ball will land. This is because even the smallest change to the angle of the racket can change the path of the ball.
5. The Contact
Once you swing the racket, prepare for contact. To gain control of the ball, you will want to add a little bit of a spin to it. Instead of creating a mental image of hitting the ball, try to picture rolling the ball. Once you do this, try swinging through the ball. This will improve your accuracy. This is also called extension.
After the hitting, the ball, extend after it. This will help your aim and will help you target the area that you want the ball to go. This extension will naturally get the ball to its intended target.
6. The Follow-Through
Once you have hit the ball, you need to finish the stroke. Catch your racket with your other hand over your position. This allows your shoulders to move through the shot, giving you a cleaner hit.
You should also always remember to stay in the right steady position and state as you are playing tennis. This will help you focus on the ball and the upcoming hit while remaining alert and preparing yourself for what is to come. Your ready state should be a state where you are constantly moving as you watch the ball. During play, you should never be standing still. As the ball is moving, you should be moving too. Always have your eye on the ball so you can prepare for the hit once it reaches you.
When you are constantly moving in a steady state, you are able to react faster and stay alert. These steps and tips are the fundamental basics you will have to understand when learning how to develop the right forehand technique. It takes time and patience for a tennis player to perfect their forehand technique, but with practice and effort and a clear understanding of the steps involved, your forehand stroke will soon become a natural movement that only gets better with time.
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