Advice on improving forehand (VIDEO)

Cherlos

New User
I'm trying to learn proper forehand technique and looking for advice. I snapped this video of practicing with a ball machine the other day, alternating between cross court and down the line shots.

Of course not a optimal camera angle since you can't see the resulting ball trajectory, but will hopefully give an idea of my current forehand. Any input on what I should change or improve?

 

Dragy

Legend
Hey mate, props for sharing and striving to improve! (y)
Couple of things without much text:
1. Ramp up the feed rate, don’t focus too much on every single stroke - hit ‘em like you don’t care much, hit bunch of them within the same flow. Then adjust based on many tries.
2. Relax a bit. Let it go, smack the ball freely - don’t guide your racquet with full control.
3. One major “technical” tip - as you swing freely through/across the ball, aim for good extension before you let your arm wrap/go over shoulder. “Release” your racquet and hand through the ball towards this position:

3.1. As you relax more, let your hand drop lower and closer to the hip as you start uncoiling - before it’s pushed out and towards the ball. Don’t try to get exactly behind the ball.

Lol without much text:X3:
 

Cherlos

New User
Thanks for great input! Regarding tips 2 and 3:

When I think about extension of the arm, my idea is that I need to “guide and straighten my arm outwards” to make the extension happen which would make it difficult to achieve the relaxation mentioned point 2 in order to hit the ball freely.

Is there another way to think about arm extension without putting tension on the hitting arm, in other words, what should extension feel like in the arm?
 

Dragy

Legend
Thanks for great input! Regarding tips 2 and 3:

When I think about extension of the arm, my idea is that I need to “guide and straighten my arm outwards” to make the extension happen which would make it difficult to achieve the relaxation mentioned point 2 in order to hit the ball freely.

Is there another way to think about arm extension without putting tension on the hitting arm, in other words, what should extension feel like in the arm?
You don’t focus on all things at a time. You do them as drills first, with exaggeration. You can start with hitting short feeds calmly - actually freezing at the extension point. And find a way to fluidly get there.

Then you go farther back and accelerate your arm more in your swing - and let it fly towards the extension point. It’s quite natural actually and no need for much of guidance.

What you need to get rid of is “snatching” your racquet from contact to carry it over the shoulder. By doing so you counteract your previous effort to speed up the racquet.

If you don’t resist your created racquet head speed and make a good contact, ball goes fast and far without much effort. If you repeat it low-to-high controlling racquet face angle - you get great topspin drive. No need to manufacture some complicated swing. Prepare in time, adjust to the ball, swing freely, make clean contact, extend - and let it wrap into whatever finish happens. You’ll be good(y)
 

Fintft

Legend
Thanks for great input! Regarding tips 2 and 3:

When I think about extension of the arm, my idea is that I need to “guide and straighten my arm outwards” to make the extension happen which would make it difficult to achieve the relaxation mentioned point 2 in order to hit the ball freely.

Is there another way to think about arm extension without putting tension on the hitting arm, in other words, what should extension feel like in the arm?
Don't guide, slap the ball.

In other words this:

At the extension point. And find a way to fluidly get there.

Then you go farther back and accelerate your arm more in your swing - and let it fly towards the extension point. It’s quite natural actually and no need for much of guidance.

Prepare in time, adjust to the ball, swing freely, make clean contact, extend - and let it wrap into whatever finish happens. You’ll be good(y)
 

Chas Tennis

G.O.A.T.
Search
Forum separation forehand Chas

Look at the line between the two shoulders and the line between the two hips. The trunk twists in a high level forehand and that stretches muscles. Look at ATP forehands.

That twisting that results in separation appears minimal in your forehand. Trunk twisting might stress some backs, take care.

Post the video of your forehand right above that of a model forehand. View on a computer and follow directions that I've posted to compare Youtubes single frame and one above the other.
 

Cherlos

New User
Thanks, some great tips here I will try to start implementing next practice session
• More relaxation when hitting to achieve more of a smack the ball
• More extension in front swing before release
• Let the racket drop lower and closer to the hip before uncoiling
• Try with more shoulder/hip separation and twisting for more speed

Question on racket take back and racket drop
In my racket takeback before the racket drop, my racket is pointing towards the sky whereas for example Djokovic has his racket pointed perpendicular to his upper body, which of course for him creates a need to have more rotation before hitting the ball and thus racket head speed.


I've chosen a simpler take back with less lag and snap, because according to timelinked section of the clip blow, more rotation and lag and snap comes at a cost of making it harder to get good timing on the ball hit.

Should I keep with my simplified takeback to have easier to time the ball hit, or am I doing it too easy for myself and missing out on too much speed and should find somewhere in between?
 
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user92626

G.O.A.T.
This guy offers a wealth of knowledge. Everything is right on.

Interestingly, before yesterday when I discovered a couple things on my own, I wouldn't have understood half of his points. His stuff would have sounded "common sense" and begged viewers to tune out. But after you have realized the small fundamental nuances, verified against pro clips, you begins to understand his instructions much better. Weird!!!!
 

FiddlerDog

Hall of Fame
There is zero intensity in your swing.
You look like you could play in a business suit.
Swing hard enough that it forces you to grunt.
 

Wheelz

Professional
There is zero intensity in your swing.
You look like you could play in a business suit.
Swing hard enough that it forces you to grunt.
Good point. there’s was a point last year where I realized I play bad when I don’t grunt (hold my breath mostly under tense situation). It’s good to release air but it’s also a great timing tool. Those are the two reasons the pro do that. I don’t know how long you have been playing but it looks like you have good elements in your swing.

how about a classic focus on saying”bounce hit”? It might help you tie together your good elements and be more focus on the ball then the swing. Say it loud if you want, it’ll sound like a grunt and be a good timing and releasing Tool
 
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pencilcheck

Hall of Fame
too many steps, good I see you stay up right but too open stances, and even with open stances using the wrong way to stay balance so swing is awkward.
 

pencilcheck

Hall of Fame
I'm trying to learn proper forehand technique and looking for advice. I snapped this video of practicing with a ball machine the other day, alternating between cross court and down the line shots.

Of course not a optimal camera angle since you can't see the resulting ball trajectory, but will hopefully give an idea of my current forehand. Any input on what I should change or improve?

probably better to have someone that talks and corrects you on the spot with slower reps. right now you are trying to hit too fast for your level when you are trying to get better.

Another thing I noticed is how tight your arms are. Be relax, let your arm completely loose and drop (means it becomes striaght), but don't lean sideways. See if that helps.
 

Bagumbawalla

G.O.A.T.
Checked out your video

1. Is your form great? No, not at all.

2. Is your form horrible? No. Your are definitely on the right track.

3. Lots of good suggestions up above- what should you do? Let's try to narrow down your focus.
If you do certain things right, a lot of the rest will fall into place.

A. Get into proper position. Do a few practice strokes with no ball. Find the stroke/position that feel the best.
Now, try, every time, to get into position so that you can hit the ball there- every time.
The way you are hitting the ball, in the video, seems too high- chest high or higher.

B. Watch the ball. Some of your strokes sound solid, some not. Watching the ball will increase your chances of hitting it solidly.

C. Loosen up your wrist just a bit. Think of it as a hinge between your arm and the racket. Any forcing of what should be a free and easy action will detract from its effectiveness.

D. As you hit the ball imagine the arc that you want to impart to the ball- and the direction.

E. And if that doesn't work for you...
Try something else.
 

slipgrip93

Semi-Pro
I happened on these videos on yt recently, enjoyed and was impressed by them, and thought these might possibly also help, and on the topic in general.

("Semi-open stance tennis forehand" - Meike Babel tennis)
("Open stance forehand" - Meike Babel tennis)
("Timing on the forehand" - playyourcourtdot com)
("Increase topspin on forehand to hit heavy and deep") - Meike Babel tennis)
("Handling low, hard, deep balls on forehand" - Meike Babel tennis)
("High midcourt tennis forehand" - Meike Babel tennis)
("Strike zone with great contact point" - Meike Babel tennis)
 
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sovertennis

Professional
Try to get the strings through the ball faster, ie swing like there is no ball there. Try to avoid so much "aiming" and do more stroking. Loosen up your arm, esp between elbow and knuckles, and release your hand all the way through the stoke. This will take some time and many, many mishits.

OTOH, your footwork and set up for the shot looks very good, so you have a good basis to improve.
 
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