Forehand Advice

jodo09

New User
I'd like your general thoughts and opinions.

I'm 16 years old and play varsity singles for my high school. I've played doubles too, but I find that I'm really not that great at it. I've used a classic eastern forehand for most of my experience, but I find that I have lots of trouble hitting very aggressive shots and picking up the pace of my shots. I usually end of hitting a short ball at the service line urt. I also can't get much drive through with my ball, most of the time the ball has an arc to it that I don't like. I've tried transitioning to a semi-western grip, and while the spin is very nice to have, I sometimes find that it's awkward for me and I can't hit low balls very well. Also, I still cannot get much drive with my balls. I'm thinking of meeting in the middle and putting my knuckle in between the two bevel, but I can't decide if I should just stick with the semi-western and get myself used to it, or go back to a more eastern forehand. Not sure if my racquet has anything to do with it, but I use a pure aero 2018 with rpm blast at 55. I'd really prefer to use a more eastern grip because it's what I'm used to and it makes me different than most people, but so many people are very successful with semi-western grips and I feel like using it alone gives so many more immediate advantages.
 

Dragy

Hall of Fame
With your description, struggling to get much drive and hitting arcing balls with eastern grip, means you don’t produce high enough RHS, bunting the ball slowly. If you said you could hit hard, but balls kept flying bast the baseline, moving to SW was to consider.
I’d say work on engaging your torso, bend your knees, coil in prep so that the torso is completely sideways, uncoil to hit so that torso faces the target by contact. Don’t slow down your swing, let the racquet fly though freely past the contact and naturally wrap around. Come back hitting the back fence and seeking for more control.
See a coach or make a video to get any well-addressed feedback, based on your description it’s tough (not even talking our self-perception is wrong more likely than not, until we verify with video).
 

ChaelAZ

Legend
I'd like your general thoughts and opinions.

I'm 16 years old and play varsity singles for my high school. I've played doubles too, but I find that I'm really not that great at it. I've used a classic eastern forehand for most of my experience, but I find that I have lots of trouble hitting very aggressive shots and picking up the pace of my shots. I usually end of hitting a short ball at the service line urt. I also can't get much drive through with my ball, most of the time the ball has an arc to it that I don't like. I've tried transitioning to a semi-western grip, and while the spin is very nice to have, I sometimes find that it's awkward for me and I can't hit low balls very well. Also, I still cannot get much drive with my balls. I'm thinking of meeting in the middle and putting my knuckle in between the two bevel, but I can't decide if I should just stick with the semi-western and get myself used to it, or go back to a more eastern forehand. Not sure if my racquet has anything to do with it, but I use a pure aero 2018 with rpm blast at 55. I'd really prefer to use a more eastern grip because it's what I'm used to and it makes me different than most people, but so many people are very successful with semi-western grips and I feel like using it alone gives so many more immediate advantages.

Racquet won't have nearly the impact on play as plain ol' technique, so good to see you are focusing there.

Grip change is a huge change in play, so you can expect to struggle for a while if that is the route you want to take. You are completely changing the racquet face angle to more closed going from Eastern to semi-western, so getting under low balls is tough. Brady does a good job of talking about it in this video:



Really though, to see where you might be struggling you should shoot some video and post it here for comments. Do you take lessons or have a coach that can look things over too?

I would suspect the power issue has to do with either loading or contact point, but no use guessing.
 

5263

G.O.A.T.
I'd like your general thoughts and opinions.

I'm 16 years old and play varsity singles for my high school. I've played doubles too, but I find that I'm really not that great at it. I've used a classic eastern forehand for most of my experience, but I find that I have lots of trouble hitting very aggressive shots and picking up the pace of my shots. I usually end of hitting a short ball at the service line urt. I also can't get much drive through with my ball, most of the time the ball has an arc to it that I don't like. I've tried transitioning to a semi-western grip, and while the spin is very nice to have, I sometimes find that it's awkward for me and I can't hit low balls very well. Also, I still cannot get much drive with my balls. I'm thinking of meeting in the middle and putting my knuckle in between the two bevel, but I can't decide if I should just stick with the semi-western and get myself used to it, or go back to a more eastern forehand. Not sure if my racquet has anything to do with it, but I use a pure aero 2018 with rpm blast at 55. I'd really prefer to use a more eastern grip because it's what I'm used to and it makes me different than most people, but so many people are very successful with semi-western grips and I feel like using it alone gives so many more immediate advantages.
My guess is that you fit the common situation where you don't know how to accelerate the racket properly, to combine power with spin, along with helping your shot trajectory control. If you use the Phd Gordon's documented, Modern tennis swing, that goes very direct towards contact, then use a stronger arc (or change of direction) to accel the racket, then you can have lots of control as you add both power and spin to your shots.
 

FiReFTW

Legend
Changing grip is the hardest and slowest process to get used to in tennis.
A junior I know needed 2 months to get acustomed to it.
 

xFullCourtTenniSx

Hall of Fame
Two things that need to happen:
1) Use your whole body to generate racket head speed. Load the legs, turn the hips, twist the core, and turn the shoulders.
2) Hit the ball more cleanly. Smooth, quick, and clean >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Jerky, hard, and maybe clean; in all important aspects: consistency, control, and power.
 

tennishabit

Hall of Fame
I'd like your general thoughts and opinions.

I'm 16 years old and play varsity singles for my high school. I've played doubles too, but I find that I'm really not that great at it. I've used a classic eastern forehand for most of my experience, but I find that I have lots of trouble hitting very aggressive shots and picking up the pace of my shots. I usually end of hitting a short ball at the service line urt. I also can't get much drive through with my ball, most of the time the ball has an arc to it that I don't like. I've tried transitioning to a semi-western grip, and while the spin is very nice to have, I sometimes find that it's awkward for me and I can't hit low balls very well. Also, I still cannot get much drive with my balls. I'm thinking of meeting in the middle and putting my knuckle in between the two bevel, but I can't decide if I should just stick with the semi-western and get myself used to it, or go back to a more eastern forehand. Not sure if my racquet has anything to do with it, but I use a pure aero 2018 with rpm blast at 55. I'd really prefer to use a more eastern grip because it's what I'm used to and it makes me different than most people, but so many people are very successful with semi-western grips and I feel like using it alone gives so many more immediate advantages.
no need vid i know ur prob, youman. too many 14 15 16 kids i came acorss all same probs n 3 things:
1. footwork
2. as above
3. as above
:-D:-D:-D:-D:-D:-D:-D:-D...................

also let ur peers know when next time staying away from schl w/ excuses like 'global warming protest' ask themselves if can avoid parents driving 500m to pk u up instead of walking/running/biking as much as u can:?)))........good for ur footwork n 'gw' issues too................n don't miss schl anymore as math/physics/chemistry/etcetcetc r crucial to solve those issues n much much..........n(n+1)much better than protesting on the middle of street to block traffic making all the cars running on 1st 2nd producing 10x more pollution.

send this message to that 16 yo autistic idiot from somewhere in europe having fun n making herself feel so important in ny+un. thnx:-D:-D:-D:-D:-D:-D:-D:-D:-D.........................
 

blablavla

Professional
With your description, struggling to get much drive and hitting arcing balls with eastern grip, means you don’t produce high enough RHS, bunting the ball slowly. If you said you could hit hard, but balls kept flying bast the baseline, moving to SW was to consider.
I’d say work on engaging your torso, bend your knees, coil in prep so that the torso is completely sideways, uncoil to hit so that torso faces the target by contact. Don’t slow down your swing, let the racquet fly though freely past the contact and naturally wrap around. Come back hitting the back fence and seeking for more control.
See a coach or make a video to get any well-addressed feedback, based on your description it’s tough (not even talking our self-perception is wrong more likely than not, until we verify with video).
exactly.
Eastern grip allows for easier pace generation, but less spin.
SW and then Western grip allow for easier spin + arc generation, which obviously decreases the pace, at the same RHS.

Federer and Del Potro are examples of "killing" FH with Eastern Grip.
Nadal on the other side is an example of arch + spin that will force you to make a tactical mistake.

if you are getting too much of arch, and the balls keep landing short, I can only think of what @Dragy mentioned, the RHS is slow, or alternatively, you are not hitting through the ball, but trying to create some massive spin a-la Nadal, which results in waste of the RHS.
but difficult to say something without seeing a video.
other things to take into account: frame, strings, tension, though they will be secondary to your forehand technique.
 

FiReFTW

Legend
exactly.
Eastern grip allows for easier pace generation, but less spin.
SW and then Western grip allow for easier spin + arc generation, which obviously decreases the pace, at the same RHS.

Federer and Del Potro are examples of "killing" FH with Eastern Grip.
Nadal on the other side is an example of arch + spin that will force you to make a tactical mistake.

if you are getting too much of arch, and the balls keep landing short, I can only think of what @Dragy mentioned, the RHS is slow, or alternatively, you are not hitting through the ball, but trying to create some massive spin a-la Nadal, which results in waste of the RHS.
but difficult to say something without seeing a video.
other things to take into account: frame, strings, tension, though they will be secondary to your forehand technique.
You can spin the heck out of the ball with eastern and you can drive it like heck with semiwestern or even western. You just naturally get more drive with eastern and more spin with semiwestern, and even more with western, but you can spin or drive with both.
 

Dragy

Hall of Fame
You can spin the heck out of the ball with eastern and you can drive it like heck with semiwestern or even western. You just naturally get more drive with eastern and more spin with semiwestern, and even more with western, but you can spin or drive with both.
Still there’s some optimal balance with each grip. And more important, there’s OP’s case where he struggles to produce pace and considers moving to SW to solve. Unless his lack of pace is a byproduct of toning down the swing due to lack of spin, switching to SW won’t give him more pop, the cure is elsewhere, most likely associated with improvement of basic techniques.
 

blablavla

Professional
You can spin the heck out of the ball with eastern and you can drive it like heck with semiwestern or even western. You just naturally get more drive with eastern and more spin with semiwestern, and even more with western, but you can spin or drive with both.
that's exactly what I said.
easier access to drive / easier access to spin + arch

I guess it is not a secret that Federer average RPM is close to Nadal.
And I guess it is not a secret that once Nadal prepares his "killer" forehand, the speed often clocks at around 100 mph, and I don't think he changes the grip.
So easier access simply means easier access.

yet, everything else being equal, applying similar RHS, more pace will result in less RPM, while more RPM will result in less pace.
and on average, SW and Western are designed to provide an easier access to RPM + arch as opposed to Eastern.
 

Curiosity

Professional
I'd like your general thoughts and opinions.

I'm 16 years old and play varsity singles for my high school. I've played doubles too, but I find that I'm really not that great at it. I've used a classic eastern forehand for most of my experience, but I find that I have lots of trouble hitting very aggressive shots and picking up the pace of my shots. I usually end of hitting a short ball at the service line urt. I also can't get much drive through with my ball, most of the time the ball has an arc to it that I don't like. I've tried transitioning to a semi-western grip, and while the spin is very nice to have, I sometimes find that it's awkward for me and I can't hit low balls very well. Also, I still cannot get much drive with my balls. I'm thinking of meeting in the middle and putting my knuckle in between the two bevel, but I can't decide if I should just stick with the semi-western and get myself used to it, or go back to a more eastern forehand. Not sure if my racquet has anything to do with it, but I use a pure aero 2018 with rpm blast at 55. I'd really prefer to use a more eastern grip because it's what I'm used to and it makes me different than most people, but so many people are very successful with semi-western grips and I feel like using it alone gives so many more immediate advantages.

I assume you can find 30 minutes to try a few things. I can tell you how to settle your grips and generate good power. To be brief, though, I must be doctrinaire and blunt, and also refer you to YouTube videos of your choice of pro player to see a reasonable combination of footwork, timing, etc.: Many of the points made above seem good to me. I'm suggesting specific things to try that work. To fix a slow forehand. Settle the grips first. Copy mine if that's the only way you can immediately settle your grip form. Eastern is what you'll get. Then move swiftly to the meat of the suggestions....if you want to bother.

See my comment under the previous topic, "How do you feel/find your forehand grip?" Copy my description of my (slightly extreme) eastern forehand grip, butt cap corner right side, bevel 1, into the hand the heel and thumb pad, thumb first joint on bevel eight. There. Use his for a few days.

Stroke and power: Work your feet as you move to the ball (talking baseline hitting here). While your getting into position do the usual unit turn with two hands on the racquet. When the hands get about even with your hitting shoulder, let go with the non-hitting hand. Both hands independently continue back briefly, then the off-side arm extends toward the sideline. The hitting upper arm goes to about 40 degrees next to, but up from, your right side, and pulls back briefly into tension. Then, continuous motion, your hitting forearm begins back a bit and down.

The simplest complimentary leg work under the above is to achieve a (roughly) semi-open stance, knees flexed, after all the adjustment steps.

(If any of the above seems vague, go watch a YouTube hit, say Fed "Federer hits with two guys." It's a long relaxed hit viewed from behind Fed. It is easier to see and copy/absorb motions from behind, and at a slower pace. If you have another pro in mind, fine.)

As you lower your racquet, face closed or a bit open, not more than 30º, and your arm is about to hit completely straight (and your off-arm has swung leftward till nearly even with your shoulder line....do three simple things together: Straight your legs a bit to start your torso rotating; pull in your off-arm elbow to transfer the arm's motion to your torso (boosting rotation, also it's a timing device); as your torso rotation starts, very briefly push your grip outward into transition (your torso rotation will make this happen)

KEY: Then (and take no argument or criticism from anyone!!) squeeze your wrist (small forearm muscles) and immediately the larger forearm muscles. Experiment with this. Your racquet will automatically rotate back and down ("into lag"). Keep these muscles flexed, but expecially the large forearm muscles. You should find that your hitting hand speeds forward out to the ball, supported by torso rotation at first, then taking over. Let your hitting shoulder extend forward toward the hit. Keep the forearm flex (which will also hold the wrist in extension) to and through contact.

Of all these bits, the transformative one is the intentional flexing of the small and large forearm muscles. You will get a fairly optimal racquet orientation and a fast arm acceleration on top of your torso rotation powering. Holding that flex all the way through contact (with shoulder extension) you should find good directional control.

There are many details to consider once you have that working. I won't belabor them here. ISR up into contact is one, written about elsewhere. It can wait until you've got torso rotation and the big squeeze working for you. All of this becomes automatic soon engough. Try these things!!
 

toth

Semi-Pro
With the strong semi-western the racket face is very much closed, if i want to hit flat, it will be net...
I schould modify with the wrist, or what is the secret to hit flat like Nadal?
 

blablavla

Professional
With the strong semi-western the racket face is very much closed, if i want to hit flat, it will be net...
I schould modify with the wrist, or what is the secret to hit flat like Nadal?
by flat you probably mean the relatively flat trajectory of the ball, don't you?
as those "flat" shots still have solid top spin attached to them, to make the ball land inside the court.
 

FiReFTW

Legend
With the strong semi-western the racket face is very much closed, if i want to hit flat, it will be net...
I schould modify with the wrist, or what is the secret to hit flat like Nadal?
Flat balls from Nadal or even Federer who has eastern or even Khachanov who has western are only flat in the trajectory, the ball has a ton of topspin. And theres no secret, you just go more through the ball and less low to high.

And also, the racquet face is not more closed on more extreme grips, you can hit the ball with the same racquet face when contacting the ball, the contact point to have such a racquet face angle will just be in different parts of the swing (more forward, more back etc..)
 

toth

Semi-Pro
Could you exatly this point clear to me?
If i want to hit my fh with lesser topspin, schould i meet the ball with the racket more infront, or something else?
I am very much interessed on that point!
 

Dragy

Hall of Fame
More in front - closer to end of forward reach - arm moves low to high more. At the same time, RF tends to open more. With eastern grip tougher to keep just-closed RF. Unless the ball is low and needs quite a bit of lift to clear the net.
More to the side - more range for more horizontal swing. RF has not opened that much yet, so with SW and further grip wrist/elbow manipulation is required... unless it’s a high ball.

These items: forward/side contact, swing angle, grip, height of contact, closing action (arm rotation or wrist manipulation - extension) are all mutually related and combined to produce final result.
 

FiReFTW

Legend
Could you exatly this point clear to me?
If i want to hit my fh with lesser topspin, schould i meet the ball with the racket more infront, or something else?
I am very much interessed on that point!
No your swingpath should be through the court with not much low to high, more topspin u want more low to high you swing.

Its just the more extreme ur grip is the more forward ur ideal contact point is, if u want a vertical angle with eastern grip ur contact point is slightly sooner and more behind than if u want a vertical angle with a semo western grip.
 

5263

G.O.A.T.
by flat you probably mean the relatively flat trajectory of the ball, don't you?
as those "flat" shots still have solid top spin attached to them, to make the ball land inside the court.
this comment is so key to understand...
 

5263

G.O.A.T.
Could you exatly this point clear to me?
If i want to hit my fh with lesser topspin, schould i meet the ball with the racket more infront, or something else?
I am very much interessed on that point!
why hit lesser topspin? You may get less topspin with certain techniques, but should that be the goal? Imo, ideally even when you flatten out your trajectory, I'd like the topspin to be massive, but that isn't what will normally happen. But my point is that you should want to maintain as much of the topspin as you can as you make adjustments to add power.
 

toth

Semi-Pro
Essential Tennis head coach explains all to do is to swing horizontal.
He does not say anything about opening the racket face, schould it happen automiaticly?

(For me the horizontal swing is already difficoult enough, i used to drop the racket head well below the contact point.)
 

Dragy

Hall of Fame
He does not say anything about opening the racket face, schould it happen automiaticly?
You can just go experiment. Come to net, swing at it with your FH grip, observe racquet face angle at contact when hit from different distance: your default distance, as far as you can reach, closer to the net (farther to the side) contact.
 

toth

Semi-Pro
You can just go experiment. Come to net, swing at it with your FH grip, observe racquet face angle at contact when hit from different distance: your default distance, as far as you can reach, closer to the net (farther to the side) contact.
I am interessed on more experimented players advice very much.
(In this days i have very limited time to be on the court.)
 

tennishabit

Hall of Fame
I am interessed on more experimented players advice very much.
(In this days i have very limited time to be on the court.)
lolololololol manohman............i hit 1200 fh/bh daily, well, my experience's mine n might or might not suit u though. every1's different only need to avoid 2 things which can be called 'death trap of tennis'.
1. tight grip ie death grip
2. don't arm-wrestle the ball/shot, use legs as much as possible

anyway 1/2 of worldwide tennisers fell into it n sososo hard to get out of the 'death trap':eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek:..........also u might have already experienced the 'death trap' as whenever come across rec-ers on/off court, 50% chance te/ge-ers:-D:-D:-D:-D:-D:-D:-D:-D.................

as long as u can avoid injuries n keep going, finding the right answers by urself will be only matter of time. ie no matter how bad the car u'r driving n how slow u'r driving as long as u can keep going u'll eventually find way out of the desert:laughing::laughing::laughing::laughing::laughing::laughing::laughing::laughing:.....................
 

Dragy

Hall of Fame
I am interessed on more experimented players advice very much.
(In this days i have very limited time to be on the court.)
Well you can only go so far collecting data. You’ve got some general ideas, but those are only applicable through your personal experience.
 
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