What Style is Your Tennis Forehand Technique?

There are various tennis forehand technique styles in today’s game. The high take back allows one to build momentum in the swing. The rotation of the swing from right to left (for right-handers) is initiated by the core and upper body. When done correctly, the a ball is produced that can make things difficult for your opponent. It'll jump off the court.

Watch Roger Federer hit his forehand in slow motion. Then go out and imitate what you see. He uses his unique technique and core strength to generate a lot of his power.

Some forehands are hit using an open stance. Others use a semi-open, neutral, or even closed stance. The stance is determined by the type of ball that is coming toward you, i.e., deep, short, or to the side.

Most players bend the arm at contact and a few have more a a straight arm. The important thing is to watch the ball through contact and extend away from the body like the old classical style forehand. Then come around to the ending through the upper torso rotation.

Believe it or not, the classical style can still be incorporated into your game. So all those years of hitting with the old traditional form are not wasted. When the ball is coming fast like when returning a serve, a straight, short take back and linear follow through is most effective. There’s no time to start high and get a full body rotation.

So can you execute both styles? Many of the strokes we discuss have several variations. You need to adapt to the situation with the best stroke option. I have to remind my young players that it’s not just one style fits all. In other words, sometimes you have to get “creative” with your form to dig out a low ball or to chase down a ball that has gone over your head when at the net.

We do drills that force the player to scrape the ball back any way possible. He has to get in a certain number of balls going full speed just to win one point. This can be grueling. So if you find yourself hacking away at the ball just to eek it over the net, it’s not all bad. You may lose the point with a weak shot but at least you’re fighting.

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