Forehand Woes

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by PhrygianDominant, Aug 26, 2013.

  1. PhrygianDominant

    PhrygianDominant Hall of Fame

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    So my forehand used to be good...

    Like most things with a learning curve, it's all relative. I used to have a forehand and nothing else. Now my forehand falls apart in matches. I can hit a great forehand in warm up, but I back off in match rallies and get tight. Then the errors start flowing, and it's a long way back.

    I can't tell if my opponents have gotten better, or my other strokes have gotten better and I just now notice the huge flaws in my forehand technique. For the record, they are all the same opponents, but we are all improving slowly.

    Before someone recommends the wall, I hit the ball fantastic against the wall, and do it often. I am not sure how to recreate the pace and spin of a real opponent in a wall drill.

    To make things more complicated, I have been switching racquets a lot lately. This troubles my forehand a lot, my serve a bit, and my twohanded backhand not at all.

    I believe it's mental, but how do you fix this? I have a training hour with my pro today, and I will ask him to probe my weaknesses, and also my footwork on that side.
     
  2. Baxter

    Baxter Professional

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    Sounds like your stroke changes when you get tight. Tell your coach that and show him some video of It happening during a match.
     
  3. AYone

    AYone Rookie

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    Recently having the same conniption. My forehand breaks down all of a sudden. An instructor started deconstructing what was going on. I started moving the contact zone too far back so that I was brushing too much without driving the ball. I'm no pro, but I would recommend making it as simple as possible to get back your groove. Namely, move your feet early, set up early, stay loose, keep your eye on the ball, and take a smooth cut through the ball, repeat. The less complicated you make it, the better off you'll be.
     
  4. hawk eye

    hawk eye Hall of Fame

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    A good recepy: take a bottle of sports drink of whatever, and pour out half of it. Then fill up the bottle with wodka.

    When you get tight. try to loosen up. When that doesn't work and you keep having a short arm, then take up the bottle and swallow some. All of a sudden you can let it flow again and you FH will be rejuvinated. Don't be surprised when you hit severals winners in a row.

    Warning: if it works well, you might be tempted to take too much. You'll notice when you see several balls coming at you at the same time and don't know which one to hit.
     
  5. PhrygianDominant

    PhrygianDominant Hall of Fame

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    I had my lesson today. We worked on my forehand a lot, and I have to say I hit it awesome today. It was easily the best thing working, and sometimes the only thing working. Here's what I did:

    -We warmed up in the short court with hand feeds.

    -I kept my momentum moving forward, this is something I can't always do against the wall, because if I were to do this, I wouldn't be able to prepare fast enough for the next ball. For the record, we have clay courts at my club, but the wall has asphalt in front of it.

    -I actually elongated my swing and slowed it down. I started my takeback earlier, looped it more, and swung more smoothly. This is actually a good habit I had from when I first started playing, and I stopped doing it because I thought compact was better. Probably because I felt rushed due to bad foot work. Adding this back in definitely helped my timing today, and I continued to move my feet and set up for the ball while I started my takeback.

    -I have always had more trouble with hitting crosscourt forehands than down the line, inside out, or inside in. Today I started to hit them with depth if I moved through the shot towards the target. Working on this one.


    If I do this, I will have to learn a 1hbh so I can carry the bottle around.
     
  6. newpball

    newpball Legend

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    I know it is hard but basically by not thinking about it too much.

    How about using an ipod listening to Mixolydian organ melodies while practicing? ;)
     
  7. Wilander Fan

    Wilander Fan Hall of Fame

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    Yeah its probably footwork. Mini-tennis before hitting helps alot. Also, if your legs are tired because you ran the day before, you will lost a half step and get lazy. You should spend time drilling the footwork like moving up to get a short ball and then running back to get a deep ball. Its boring and exhausting but worth it.
     
  8. Topspin Shot

    Topspin Shot Legend

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    Could be a lot of things, and there's no way for us to know or theorize beyond wild guesses without seeing a video. Here's my random tip. Read Dave Smith's article on keeping the plane the same. Make sure the racket face is vertical at contact to avoid errors of netting/hitting long.
     
  9. PhrygianDominant

    PhrygianDominant Hall of Fame

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    I-what?!?

    Anyway, I never was one for whole songs in Mixolydian. It just makes the whole thing sound like one big 5 chord, with a permanent sense of waiting for the other shoe to drop.
    ;-)
     
  10. PhrygianDominant

    PhrygianDominant Hall of Fame

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    Yeah. If I cared enough and/or thought it was permanent I might do a video. It seems to be too much trouble at the moment. If you read my follow up post my pro and I fixed a few things. It seems everyday on the Tennis court I fix something, but I get a new hitch too.

    2 steps forward, 1 step back.
     
  11. newpball

    newpball Legend

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    So much more of a distraction away from thinking too much about the forehand. :)

    But I must admit do prefer Lydian myself. :)
     
  12. boramiNYC

    boramiNYC Hall of Fame

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    a lot of it is mental but physical side has huge influence on mental. you definitely need to make your fh much better technically so your mental side won't start doubting your fh capability during a match. it's confidence issue on your fh by yourself. also try to make your fh more versatile. try to hit flat, topspin, short and big backswing, on the rise, low and high contact point, etc. when you have firm idea how to execute your fh for all the different situations you'll have more confidence in your fh.
     
  13. PhrygianDominant

    PhrygianDominant Hall of Fame

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    I agree with you. I do think the answer to my mental forehand problems is a hidden physical problem I am just not aware of yet. I think that the balls I hit against the wall and fed by my trainer are all of a medium to low height, and have little spin. In match play they are definitely screwing up my timing because I am just not used to the pace and spin. My trainer and I are going to be exploring the limits of my forehand comfort zones in the next few sessions to improve variety.
     
  14. Jay_The_Nomad

    Jay_The_Nomad Professional

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    Most people forehand tend to break down because it is usually a less compact shot and therefore more prone to breakdown, timing and changes in racquet etc.

    The backhand is usually more compact with less moving parts.

    So stick with one racquet and string specs and get grooved into that. If you keep jumping from racquet to racquet you are going to mess up your game.
     
  15. Frank Silbermann

    Frank Silbermann Professional

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    It could be that during a match your footwork gets lazy, perhaps due to fatigue or perhaps due to being distracted by the pressure of the score.
     

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