Beginner player, lost my forehand, please critique my technique?

dwalker771

New User
I'm a relatively new player, started january this year, never had coaching and have learned most of my tennis from trial and error and youtube. So about 2 months ago something clicked on my forehand and I was hitting 80% at least of my forehands perfectly, hitting winners feeling like I can hit the ball with as much pace and power as I want and it will still find the court. That carried on for a good month, then after a week or two off for an injury.

Ever since then my forehand has been a liability, miss hitting a tonne of shots badly, literally hitting the frame, having balls sailing long, and flying in the net. I think I must have picked up some bad habits and as I'm a relatively new player probably haven't got that sweet forehand I had engrained into my muscle memory. I've attached a link to a video of me hitting a couple of forehands and if you could take a look that would be great.

I've attached a video below of my current forehand. After watching it myself I think most of my problems are on my take back/ preparation, to be honest it's horrendous! But could some of you more experienced players take a look and give me some tips and criticism? Don't hold back please I want to improve so am not bothered about you ripping into my terrible technique as long as it'll help me!

 

Traffic

Hall of Fame
I'm a relatively new player, started january this year, never had coaching and have learned most of my tennis from trial and error and youtube. So about 2 months ago something clicked on my forehand and I was hitting 80% at least of my forehands perfectly, hitting winners feeling like I can hit the ball with as much pace and power as I want and it will still find the court. That carried on for a good month, then after a week or two off for an injury.

Ever since then my forehand has been a liability, miss hitting a tonne of shots badly, literally hitting the frame, having balls sailing long, and flying in the net. I think I must have picked up some bad habits and as I'm a relatively new player probably haven't got that sweet forehand I had engrained into my muscle memory. I've attached a link to a video of me hitting a couple of forehands and if you could take a look that would be great.

I've attached a video below of my current forehand. After watching it myself I think most of my problems are on my take back/ preparation, to be honest it's horrendous! But could some of you more experienced players take a look and give me some tips and criticism? Don't hold back please I want to improve so am not bothered about you ripping into my terrible technique as long as it'll help me!

I'm sure others will have more detailed insights. But just in general:
1) Work on getting into a ready position after each shot. Your racquet is at your side as the ball is coming over the net or just barely recovering from your stroke with the racquet head by your thighs.

2) Move your feet. This goes along with #1, about the time you see the ball coming your way or about the time your opponent would be striking the ball, you should be on the balls of your feet or lightly hopping to move to the proper position.

I'd also slow down the ball machine so that balls come at you with more time in between. Some of the shots were fired about the time your ball landed in the other court. As you're trying to develop your strokes, think about each hit. Don't just whack away at 200 balls. Make the most of each ball in practice.

3) Set up a target for you to aim at on the other side of the court. I wasn't sure if you knew where you were trying to hit or you were just randomly swinging away just to make contact.

4) Bend your knees and drive up into the ball. But I wouldn't jump. That introduces a lot more variables to refine.

That fact that your hitting seems to have gone down may be that you were able to improve your hitting initially and then started adding power to your strokes which may affect your timing, your swing path, etc. But your preparation may not have improved and thus lagging in development.
 

ChaelAZ

Legend
I'm sure others will have more detailed insights. But just in general:
1) Work on getting into a ready position after each shot.
2) Move your feet. This goes along with #1

I'd also slow down the ball machine so that balls come at you with more time in between.
These. I'd be curious to see how you move and how you setup for shots when you are moving. So maybe set the ball machine to alternate FH and BH with time to recover to middle between.

Generally you look to have good lag and arm movement with decent forward contact, but how you get there looks like you kind stand there then...POP!. Good stuff.

Thanks for posting.
 

dwalker771

New User
I'm sure others will have more detailed insights. But just in general:
1) Work on getting into a ready position after each shot. Your racquet is at your side as the ball is coming over the net or just barely recovering from your stroke with the racquet head by your thighs.

2) Move your feet. This goes along with #1, about the time you see the ball coming your way or about the time your opponent would be striking the ball, you should be on the balls of your feet or lightly hopping to move to the proper position.

I'd also slow down the ball machine so that balls come at you with more time in between. Some of the shots were fired about the time your ball landed in the other court. As you're trying to develop your strokes, think about each hit. Don't just whack away at 200 balls. Make the most of each ball in practice.

3) Set up a target for you to aim at on the other side of the court. I wasn't sure if you knew where you were trying to hit or you were just randomly swinging away just to make contact.

4) Bend your knees and drive up into the ball. But I wouldn't jump. That introduces a lot more variables to refine.

That fact that your hitting seems to have gone down may be that you were able to improve your hitting initially and then started adding power to your strokes which may affect your timing, your swing path, etc. But your preparation may not have improved and thus lagging in development.
Thanks for the reply! I'll definitely try your suggestions next time I'm practicing. I definitely have the bad habit of just whacking balls instead of aiming for a specific area you're correct!
I'm not sure the adding power would have affected my shot much because before I lost my forehand I was hitting well with pretty much the same power, but I think your points on foot movement getting ready earlier and improving my preparation will help greatly!
Was wondering to me it seemed by take back is too low? Would you agree with that?
 

FiReFTW

Legend
You are way too late in your preparation, thats why you rush it and not consistent. Tou need to turn ur upper body as soon as you see where the ball is going (fh or bh). Currently ur doing that the last second before hitting.
 

Limpinhitter

G.O.A.T.
I'm a relatively new player, started january this year, never had coaching and have learned most of my tennis from trial and error and youtube. So about 2 months ago something clicked on my forehand and I was hitting 80% at least of my forehands perfectly, hitting winners feeling like I can hit the ball with as much pace and power as I want and it will still find the court. That carried on for a good month, then after a week or two off for an injury.

Ever since then my forehand has been a liability, miss hitting a tonne of shots badly, literally hitting the frame, having balls sailing long, and flying in the net. I think I must have picked up some bad habits and as I'm a relatively new player probably haven't got that sweet forehand I had engrained into my muscle memory. I've attached a link to a video of me hitting a couple of forehands and if you could take a look that would be great.

I've attached a video below of my current forehand. After watching it myself I think most of my problems are on my take back/ preparation, to be honest it's horrendous! But could some of you more experienced players take a look and give me some tips and criticism? Don't hold back please I want to improve so am not bothered about you ripping into my terrible technique as long as it'll help me!

First, you are doing very well for someone who has only been playing for 7 months. Second, understand that, as a general rule, the initial direction of any shot is determined by the direction (angle) that the racquet face is facing at contact. If you hit long, your racquet face was too far open at contact. If you hit into the net, your racquet face was too closed at contact.

Having said that, although I am an advocate of an open stance and a short backswing, I think your stance is a bit too open, and your backswing is a bit too short. You need a bit more unit turn (upper body rotation back), to give you more of a swing path to GRADUALLY accelerate the racquet to contact. You don't want to abruptly accelerate from the set up position which leads to muscle tension and inconsistent timing and contact. I think a longer unit turn will allow you a more gradual acceleration to contact, will help your arm and grip stay loose and relaxed, and will improve your feel for the ball and your consistency.
 
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dwalker771

New User
You are way too late in your preparation, thats why you rush it and not consistent. Tou need to turn ur upper body as soon as you see where the ball is going (fh or bh). Currently ur doing that the last second before hitting.
Thanks! When I watched the footage myself I was shocked how late my preparation is! Definitely going to work on preparing early
 

steve s

Professional
Your are a very quick learner.

Get in the habit of doing a split step just when the ball is coming out of the machine, Then anticipate you are going to hit a ground stroke.
 
@dwalker771

- Watch some slo-mo footage of any pro and compare it against what you're doing. It will give you something to visualize.
- Stop jumping; high-level players typically do this when they get a short sitter and are moving in to attack, not from behind the BL. Sometimes they do it to account for a high bounce, especially on their BH. Rarely, someone will do it with a FH [ie Monfils] and crush a winner.
- Split-step; your "ready" position is standing straight up with no knee bend, which is not a good balanced position
- You are practically motionless until the ball bounces on your side and then you try to do all of your prep in that compressed time
- The vast majority of your errors were into the net; try for more clearance over the net and at least make half of your errors long so you can recalibrate your muscles
- If you are still making a lot of errors, ease back on the power to maybe 70%. A lot of your errors looked to be the result of trying to hit a winner
- You gave up on a few: I suggest being purposeful and trying for every one. It will carry over into match play

Having said all that, your game is great for having only played 8 months! All of your issues can be addressed with purposeful practice and patience. Just don't try to solve everything at once.
 

time_fly

Hall of Fame
Two things that jumped out at me were (a) the late preparation, and (b) the swing looks very vertical, which I believe is why you are having trouble controlling the depth. The contact zone is very small. I'd like to see more forward extension in the swing as well as the upward topspin movement. You can accomplish this by making sure you really pivot and load into that open stance forehand, then make sure the back hip rotates forward during your swing.
 

dennis

Rookie
Try saying right or left as soon as you're able to recognise the incoming ball, this should coincide with your shoulders beginning to turn and your feet moving. Do this as early as possible ie before the ball has crossed the net. Don't be afraid to take lots of steps to the ball in order to get the most comfortable contact point possible. Big steps to cover the ground then little adjustment ones if required
 
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