Teaching forehand

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by tennis_pr0, Oct 30, 2011.

  1. tennis_pr0

    tennis_pr0 Semi-Pro

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    So I was having a conversation with a friend of mine, a teaching pro like myself, and we were talking about teaching the forehand to beginners. This is someone who has never played tennis before. We both agreed that teaching the take back of making a "loop" prior to the wrist being laid back and contact of a ball should not be taught until the student learns how to time the ball and just get a feel for the shot.

    Just laying the wrist right back before hitting the ball I think is a better way to teach the forehand to a beginner, as it keeps it simple and allows the student to easily time the ball as there is very little racquet movement. Once the student feels comfortable with this, then teaching the preparation of making a loop before hitting can be taught. Just wanted to know what some of the other teaching pros think of this. Do you guys teach this the same way?
     
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  2. SoBad

    SoBad Legend

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    I agree with your result-oriented approach. Start him with a compact swing that enables getting the ball over the net and somewhat consistently deep. The loopier takeback should develop naturally going forward as a result of better timing.
     
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  3. tennis_pr0

    tennis_pr0 Semi-Pro

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    Yup that is my exact same feeling on it as well.
     
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  4. Timbo's hopeless slice

    Timbo's hopeless slice Hall of Fame

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    I would agree quite strongly with your approach.

    The loop can come later, or not, just going to complicate hitting the ball for now.
     
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  5. dozu

    dozu Banned

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    FYB is the same - contact first, add loop later.
     
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  6. tennis_balla

    tennis_balla Hall of Fame

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    Contact and proper follow through first, then progress into a backswing gradually. This will make them accelerate their racket head through the contact and not slow down and stop right after the contact like a lot of beginners do who are taught the backswing first.
     
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  7. CoachingMastery

    CoachingMastery Professional

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    In my 35 years teaching, the loop aspect comes naturally to all players (with a few exceptions).

    I've seen were a small group of misguided pros would teach the loop to ALL beginners...and I was astonished at the number of students who NEVER learned to hit up on the ball because they never learned how to get the racquet below the ball to initiate topspin! Over and over, I saw students slice forehands because of this insistance of teaching the loop over teaching a straight back backswing initially to get the students to feel where the racquet needs to be prior to contact.

    Also, the size of the loop was insisted by these few pros. I've found that players develop the loop not only naturally, but that they develop a loop that FITS EACH PARTICULAR PLAYER.

    I've seen how fast players are allowed to develop when pros don't insist on teaching the loop swing. It is very easy to teach the loop later for those very few who may remain mechanical or deliberate on the back swing or don't develop the loop naturally.
     
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  8. Ash_Smith

    Ash_Smith Hall of Fame

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    Contact Point first, then extension and follow through, everything behind the body follows after.

    cheers
     
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  9. rkelley

    rkelley Hall of Fame

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    What do you guys have the students do with their off-racquet arm at these initial stages of teaching? Parallel to the baseline and then swing out, pointing at the ball, just ignore it initially and focus on the racquet arm, other?
     
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  10. tennis_balla

    tennis_balla Hall of Fame

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    Case by case, depends on the situation. Sometimes I won't mention the non-dominant arm for a while until they find their contact point and follow through. A while meaning 2nd lesson, in 20min, 45min later etc. I'm not worried about that, the key thing first for me like Ash said is contact point then follow through. There is no need to add more things for a beginner to think about if they have trouble finding their contact point. Everyone is different, some people do it quicker some slower so theres no set rules or timeline.
     
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  11. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    It is all in the grip.
     
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