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gb93433
08-27-2006, 01:46 PM
I have appreciated reading the posts on this board. My tennis has improved because of it.

My daughter went out for tennis at the local high school for the first time this past Spring. This summer we have been hitting the ball so she will get better and it will help her to feel more encouraged about the game.

I have observed that her backhand strokes seem relaxed and look natural with good control and power. Her forehand looks stiff in her arm and she has the most trouble with it. The forehand has less control and less power than her backhand. Often the balls on the backhand are hit low and with a lot of power and control. But the forehand is hit higher with less power and control. The two strokes do not look like they are hit by the same person.

I have hit many balls to her forehand side and that seems to have helped some. But she still looks stiff. It is as though her entire arm is locked in place almost from the shoulder down. Does anyone have any suggestions to help her with her forehand?

andyroddick's mojo
08-27-2006, 01:51 PM
is your daughter a freshmen or sophomore? what level is she? 3.5? 3.0? and does she hit with spin on both sides. maybe just ask her if she feels her arm is stiff when hitting a forehand, and maybe try to get her to bend her elbow while taking back the racket. a forehand can be hit with either an extremely bent elbow or maybe an elbow that doesn't look bent at all (federer). it is always good to be relaxed and have smooth strokes. I believe that once someone masters perfect strokes, then they are on par, physically, with everyone else. after that, what seperates #100 from #1, is just the strategy.

gb93433
08-27-2006, 02:07 PM
is your daughter a freshmen or sophomore? what level is she? 3.5? 3.0? and does she hit with spin on both sides. maybe just ask her if she feels her arm is stiff when hitting a forehand, and maybe try to get her to bend her elbow while taking back the racket. a forehand can be hit with either an extremely bent elbow or maybe an elbow that doesn't look bent at all (federer). it is always good to be relaxed and have smooth strokes. I believe that once someone masters perfect strokes, then they are on par, physically, with everyone else. after that, what seperates #100 from #1, is just the strategy.

Thanks for asking.

She is in her junior year in high school now. I have tried to get her to swing the racquet without a ball and even then she looks stiff. It is to the point where her uppper and lower arm are in a rigid fixed position rotataing at the shoulder. I have taken her to the court and had her wail on the ball and she doesn't seem to be able to do that very well. Her forehand looks much like someone scooping something up when she hits the ball. In contrast her backhand looks great with a very nice flat stroke.

She does not hit with spins well at this time. I am just trying to get her to get better at the basic flat strokes at this time.

Bungalo Bill
08-27-2006, 02:15 PM
I have appreciated reading the posts on this board. My tennis has improved because of it.

My daughter went out for tennis at the local high school for the first time this past Spring. This summer we have been hitting the ball so she will get better and it will help her to feel more encouraged about the game.

I have observed that her backhand strokes seem relaxed and look natural with good control and power. Her forehand looks stiff in her arm and she has the most trouble with it. The forehand has less control and less power than her backhand. Often the balls on the backhand are hit low and with a lot of power and control. But the forehand is hit higher with less power and control. The two strokes do not look like they are hit by the same person.

I have hit many balls to her forehand side and that seems to have helped some. But she still looks stiff. It is as though her entire arm is locked in place almost from the shoulder down. Does anyone have any suggestions to help her with her forehand?

1. What is going on with the non-dominant arm?

When a player has trouble relaxing, the first thing I do is to change the feed to an easy (very easy) speed. Sometimes, I will drop the ball for them as they practice relaxing the arm and learning to feel their hips propel their shoulders and then arm forward.

They will learn to raise the elbow and then lower it as their racquet goes back and then comes forward. Fluidity needs to be developed and you need to do this with balls that are very easy so the brain can focus on relaxing the technique.

With a slower feed they will have a much better chance in relaxing their shoulder and arm to accomplish a fluid motion. Also, check her grip and make sure she is not holding the racquet handle to tight.

gb93433
08-27-2006, 06:50 PM
Thanks for all the input. It made me think more about what was happening. What I did tonight was to have her swing a hose and observe her stroke. It told us right away what was happening. It showed how her stroke was not smooth. I had her try to swing the hose fast and she could not swing it very fast. Then I showed her how I do it and then imitate what I did. I had her swing the hose about 20 times and then we went to the court. What an amazing difference in her forehand. It had a lot more power and control. I have never seen her hit the ball that well.

So again, thanks.