One important weapon required in any tennis player’s arsenal is modern forehand technique. In this lesson we will be using ‘a wall’ to develop modern forehand technique. This enables you to have a much simpler shorter backswing but you will be able to generate a lot more pace and spin. This method was designed by Rick Macci, who has coached the William sisters and many more professionals and is followed by most professional coaches. There are other unique ideas I have added to make things easier for you which I am going to tell in this lesson.
Let’s start by understanding the grip first. Most of the time semi western grip comes very handy in forehand shot. Here are 3 simple steps for you to make things easier-
- Drop the racquet on the ground.
- Pick it up and hold it like a frying pan.
- As you get in to the ready position to return the serve hold the racquet with it facing straight towards the ground.
Lots of players like Rafael Nadal prefer this ready position with semi western grip for forehand shots. You don’t have to flip the whole racquet if you are on semi western to change the grip, you can make a very quick change. Some people worry that you have to make a big move or flip the racquet to change the grip but if you are at semi western grip all you have to do is make a slight change and you are there!
Here is a step by step instruction and few important things to remember as follows-
- Take a unit turn and elevate the elbow, just like if some one is behind you and you want to nudge him.
- Do not separate the arms and hold on to the racquet.
- Remember to keep the frame of the racquet forward; this will help in building the momentum.
- As you get ready for forehand shot remember not to use your arm or swing it back too much.
- Try to pivot your feet and twist your upper body only and get into the position.
- It is important that the strings of the racquet face the ground during the swing because if you don’t do that chances are that ball will fly out of the court.
- Rick Macci suggests an interesting move he calls as ‘good dog move’, in which you have to take a basket of ball (about the height of you waist) and place it on your side. After you swing your body and nudge the elbow up to move the racquet bring it to tap the basket after you separate your hands. You still want the wrist to be up and not drop else you will lose the power.
- In the next move your wrist needs to be laid back or bent back so that you get the power to hit the ball as your hand swing racquet to hit the forward shot .
- In the follow through the racquet should go to rest on the shoulder.
While practicing the forehand with the wall, just throw the ball on the wall once your racquet is on the basket as mention in step 7 and hit the shot, the more you practice the better it gets. If you want to practice for topspin shots there is a tool called ‘topspin pro’ which you can get and follow the same routine as above, however you just have to brush the ball. But if you don’t have the tool you can practice by rubbing the ball on the wall with the racquet and practice the top spin.
So this was a step by step guide for modern forehand technique, just remember the more you practice the perfect it gets, until next time this is Peter Freeman signing-off.