Forehand improvement suggestion

eightdeer

New User
I've been trying to improve my forehand (and get some power in my shots) but I'm having a very hard time. I would appreciate any tips/suggestions what I'm doing wrong and how to add more power.
I'm using Babolat Pure Aero VS 2020 (1/4 grip) with NXT strings at 55lbs.

 

mookmoof

New User
1 - On the backswing your right elbow is staying by your side. Lift your elbow up on the backswing to around shoulder height. This will pull the racquet up and away from your body.
2 - You're not getting a proper unit turn so you can't use your body to generate more power. Keep your left hand on the racquet throat longer when you take your racquet back. This will force your shoulders to turn so they're facing toward the side fence. That is more where they should be.
3 - Weight should be on right foot for beginning of swing and should transfer to left by end
 

Dragy

Hall of Fame
Hey mate! I think you have some good things in your mind like using your body and swinging fully across the ball, but they are dominated by couple of flaws. Power in shots is based on the following:

- Utilizing full body. Basic checkpoints are getting into full (90 deg torso rotation) coil and into full uncoil. You lack full coil as you feel rushed, it seems. So I'll echo @Slowtwitcher and @Curious with preparing much earlier. I'll also add that you'd feel it easier to coil fully with neutral stance - suggest that you work deliberately to hit most your shots neutral for some time. Once you get the feel, you can mix in semi-open stances without loosing the coil.

- Not squandering the power via tight shoulder/arm and collapsing the swing to the left. Extension past the ball is important checkpoint. You are not terrible, but can do better - so some work can be done. Secondary priority though.

- Hitting the sweetspot! You absolutely cannot produce power with contact like this:

You seem to get way too many off-center hits. Watch the ball, don't lift your eyes from contact point until well after ball is gone, and maybe try to deliberately hit closer to the dampener placement area - feel the difference. Ditch the habit of hooking the ball with the tip - you have 98 sq.in. and a sweet zone somewhere in the middle of that.
 
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Lavs

Hall of Fame
1 - On the backswing your right elbow is staying by your side. Lift your elbow up on the backswing to around shoulder height. This will pull the racquet up and away from your body.
2 - You're not getting a proper unit turn so you can't use your body to generate more power. Keep your left hand on the racquet throat longer when you take your racquet back. This will force your shoulders to turn so they're facing toward the side fence. That is more where they should be.
3 - Weight should be on right foot for beginning of swing and should transfer to left by end
These are the key points which I totally agree with.
Just few more:
a) Be relaxed. It looks like your have extreme tension on your whole body. You need to let it go and just try to swing smoothly.
b) Always bend your knee during preparation phase / unit turn
c) You MUST properly finish your swing. Always pay attention on this. Try to make the ball to sit on your string bed as long as possible and then follow through.
d) Try to make more space between your right elbow and body.
 

pencilcheck

Professional
I think you should be more considerate to your friends, your friends has better consistency than you, maybe as a starting point consult your friend about how to hit forehand and backhand??

Also, power is not everything, you should probably look into not power but consistency and better contact point and footwork.
 

Blitzball

Professional
Thank you everyone for these excellent points.
Here's what you're doing right:
-Hitting the ball in front
-Keeping your head with the ball fairly well
-Pretty solid little steps to prepare

Improve on:
-Unit turn (as others have said) using the left arm to help
-Get that hitting elbow up higher for better leverage

Your timing will be weird at first, but you'll notice improvements long term. Good luck!
 
Similar to mookmoof and Blitzball’s comments, a higher backswing. Even though a loop is no longer in fashion you are still achieving the same thing at the elbow if you take it back higher. Currently you are having to create too much forward momentum from scratch and are probably muscling up a bit to start forward.
 

TnsGuru

Professional
Your FH is mostly arm without the use of your other body parts like shoulders and hips. Check out how Agassi keeps his hand on the racket throat and stretches his non-hitting arm to facilitate a full shoulder turn. if you can learn to turn your shoulders properly you can cut that backswing by 50% and get easier power. No more muscling the ball.

This IMO is an easy FH to emulate. The Federer/Rafa FH is just too wristy for a newer player to try. All good FH's have a pronounced shoulder turn on the preparation and I think this is how you will improve considerably.

Agassi BH if interested.
 

travlerajm

G.O.A.T.
Your FH is mostly arm without the use of your other body parts like shoulders and hips. Check out how Agassi keeps his hand on the racket throat and stretches his non-hitting arm to facilitate a full shoulder turn. if you can learn to turn your shoulders properly you can cut that backswing by 50% and get easier power. No more muscling the ball.

This IMO is an easy FH to emulate. The Federer/Rafa FH is just too wristy for a newer player to try. All good FH's have a pronounced shoulder turn on the preparation and I think this is how you will improve considerably.

Agassi BH if interested.
The 2hb footwork advice is good advice regardless of what style of backhand you hit.
 

TnsGuru

Professional
The 2hb footwork advice is good advice regardless of what style of backhand you hit.
You are right. I have a one-hander, and I experimented with that foot placement, and it was much easier to direct the ball. Pointing the foot towards the ball made it much easier to hit cross-court. Who knew that little change would make a difference.
 

RiverRat

Rookie
It would also help to anchor your feet to the ground. People have a tendency to rise-up when they want to produce power, which is counter-productive. As with throwing a punch, you need to be low and anchored.
 

LeeD

Bionic Poster
Shortjerky swings only work against slow balls.
You need to decide earlier, unit turn your shoulders sideways, get racket head high and back,then swing starting with a fire of your right buttook.
 

basil J

Hall of Fame
Aggassi forehand model is a great FH to try to learn. Also Serena has a great forehand. Great racquet preparation and she also catches her frame on the follow through a lot. Good clean examples of consistent FH hitters
 

jga111

Hall of Fame
Prepare earlier.
Take the ball earlier - not seeing any weight transfer
Don’t forget your unit turn, your balance isn’t quite there yet.
Practice you’ll get there - we’re all trying :)
 

KingBugsy

Rookie
Hi eight deer,

You have the potential to be a very solid player. While there are many technical points to consider, I want to point out the number one issue here:

Slow down! You are swinging too fast and hard for your level. Please notice that every drop feed you hit was a nice controlled ball! (The potential I mentioned) The speed of your drop feed hit, is the speed you should be rallying at. Concentrate on hitting 5 balls in row to your friends with a nice easy pace so they can hit back to you. Try and hit the ball so it will be easy for them to return right back to you. Your drop feed is a nice simple stroke. Do that first!

When you can hit 5 in a row without a miss Go for 10. Then you will start to understand the basics of control.

Start there ... and we can move forward. You have an old school style take back. That’s ok for now. Work on consistency only.

KB
 

pencilcheck

Professional
Your FH is mostly arm without the use of your other body parts like shoulders and hips. Check out how Agassi keeps his hand on the racket throat and stretches his non-hitting arm to facilitate a full shoulder turn. if you can learn to turn your shoulders properly you can cut that backswing by 50% and get easier power. No more muscling the ball.

This IMO is an easy FH to emulate. The Federer/Rafa FH is just too wristy for a newer player to try. All good FH's have a pronounced shoulder turn on the preparation and I think this is how you will improve considerably.

Agassi BH if interested.
I disagree, none of the big 3 strokes are are wristy, they just have different holding grip, contact point and different body type. At high speed, there is no way anyone can manipulate wrist, arm or shoulder.

Agassi's forehand actually is very tight in his stroke, I wouldn't recommend hitting his style either actually there is a reason he has back surgery multiple times in his career if I remember correctly.
 
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StasTs

New User
I've been trying to improve my forehand (and get some power in my shots) but I'm having a very hard time. I would appreciate any tips/suggestions what I'm doing wrong and how to add more power.

I see following to improve:
1) Already mentioned above, you're too late on backswing/unit turn.
2) Over open stance. You're staying frontal, then making step with right foot ahead and start swing. Because of this step, there is no stable balance transfer between feet (right to left during FH). You have to jump every time and if you look carefully, it's very often your left foot landed further from net as your right foot. Basically you take power away from your stroke. There are plenty other repercussions of this over open stance and bad foot work, like limited kinetic chain, limited unit turn, limited forward movement...
3) Because of 1 and 2, your shots are very error prone. There are just too many errors. If you look at whole video, there was 1 or 2 ball exchanges where 4 or more shots has been done. If I would be at your place, adding more power to FH would be my last priority. First would be to found stable repeatable FH shot at 60-70% of current power and better placement of the balls and being able to do it 10-15 times.
 

Jake Speeed

Rookie
You're making the same mistakes everyone makes.

You over hit and try for more topspin than what is needed. You can't hit two balls the same with consistency and you have no ball placement control. You cannot hit a ball to the same place twice.

This means you have no shot making ability and poor ground strokes.

I can fix all that but I find no one wants to listen to or take good advice? Players ask for help, post videos and would rather have a pep talk about the good than honest criticism. You cannot be "thinned skinned" if you wish to improve.

You're buddies can't hit two balls the same either, which adds to your correction problems.

The fix is easy but no one wants to do it. I just told another guy how to fix his poor hitting ability and his reply was, at best, foolish.

Here's what I told him and I suggest you do the same for a period of time and DON'T Play points or sets. Here's the advice I give many players. This type of discipline really works.

Try this. Both of you stand 5 feet or more behind the baseline. Hit only to each other without having to move sideways. Yes, a foot or two but not much more. This means you are hitting right down the center of the court aiming at the center mark every time.

Short balls? Let them bounce twice or three times, do not leave your position to chase them. If the ball doesn't bounce high enough to hit after a bounce or so, simply catch it and put it in your pocket then start this sequence again.

STAY PUT. Never move more than a few feet in either direction. If you do this correctly, you can walk to the ball.

Never, never hit an out ball even if it's only an inch out. Discipline. Stop it with your racket and put it in your pocket.

Take your racket back sooner and hit "flatter," less topspin, but hit low to high. The ball should, if hit correctly, clear the net by 8 to 10 feet. This will allow the "drive" you hit to travel the "entire" length of the court. EVERY ball you hit should look the same, if you do this correctly, over and over. Yes, it's difficult but master this slowly. Eventually you'll have long rallies and can only then move each other around a bit, not corner to corner.

Do this every time you hit with each other with no variation.

If you don't follow the above discipline, you'll never learn quality stroke production. Ever.
 

Keendog

Professional
You hold the left hand on the racquet too long as a result you are very late and rushed. This guy had the same issue and this is how Simon fixed it: (yes another video but you can ignore the others :))

 

Chas Tennis

G.O.A.T.
I've been trying to improve my forehand (and get some power in my shots) but I'm having a very hard time. I would appreciate any tips/suggestions what I'm doing wrong and how to add more power.
I'm using Babolat Pure Aero VS 2020 (1/4 grip) with NXT strings at 55lbs.
Compare frame-by-frame one above the other in this post. To single frame on Youtube use the period & arrow keys. Always use Alt + Left Mouse Click, otherwise the video starts playing. Start at impacts and go back and forth.


Not enough body turn back and forward, as pointed out. Not enough twisting or separation - the line between the shoulders turns back farther than the line between the two hips. They turn forward with the hips line leading and with timing before the forward stroke, etc as in the video. Take care with twisting your trunk and spine, especially if you have had back issues. Djokovic is very flexible and does separation, good for an example, but his range of motion is too much for many.

The off arm should be held straight out, accelerated up to speed in the forward direction and then pulled in suddenly to help speed up the uppermost body. See off arms of ATP players when they want to hit pace. Federer is a very good example. Don't watch low intensity practice or warm up shots, just higher pace forehands. This is the principle of the ice skater spin, but the forehand uses only one arm where the ice skater uses two arms and one leg. The principle is conservation of angular momentum.
 
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I've been trying to improve my forehand (and get some power in my shots) but I'm having a very hard time. I would appreciate any tips/suggestions what I'm doing wrong and how to add more power.
I'm using Babolat Pure Aero VS 2020 (1/4 grip) with NXT strings at 55lbs.

It seems very compact for a ball that is hit slow to you. Watch a Roger Federer forehand video in slow motion and try to mimic him. Then go back to your video and rewatch it.
 

mcs1970

Hall of Fame
Have specific measures on consistency. Usually it come from your finish point. These are two videos I like. You might be a bit robotic at first trying to focus more on the finishing point, but as time goes on, you will become more consistent and stop consciously thinking about the finishing point.

Both these videos talk about the finish point. The 2nd also talks about driving the ball around the 6:05 mark than whipping the arm too close to the body. Both might be old school but would work well. for a lot of rec adults like me and you.



 
Have specific measures on consistency. Usually it come from your finish point. These are two videos I like. You might be a bit robotic at first trying to focus more on the finishing point, but as time goes on, you will become more consistent and stop consciously thinking about the finishing point.

Both these videos talk about the finish point. The 2nd also talks about driving the ball around the 6:05 mark than whipping the arm too close to the body. Both might be old school but would work well. for a lot of rec adults like me and you.



I only watched the first one but that has to be among the worst advice ever. Do pros hit the ball in a manner that gives them a certain finish point? Or, do they drive the ball in a way that makes them have to finish a certain way? Nadal doesn’t just lariat the racquet over his head and ridiculous winners are the result, he finishes over his head because of the way he drives through contact and he can’t help but finish that way. Regardless of how one feels about this analogy, it is true. I doubt Lewis Hamilton’s mentors told him to just drive around the track until he crosses the finish line. “Great Lewis you got there, but you’re going to have to get there faster than averaging 25mph per lap.” That guy was basically instructing to focus on what happens after the hit. You could get to that finish a million different ways. It can trick an absolute beginner to not totally suck, but not much more.
 

mcs1970

Hall of Fame
I only watched the first one but that has to be among the worst advice ever. Do pros hit the ball in a manner that gives them a certain finish point? Or, do they drive the ball in a way that makes them have to finish a certain way? Nadal doesn’t just lariat the racquet over his head and ridiculous winners are the result, he finishes over his head because of the way he drives through contact and he can’t help but finish that way. Regardless of how one feels about this analogy, it is true. I doubt Lewis Hamilton’s mentors told him to just drive around the track until he crosses the finish line. “Great Lewis you got there, but you’re going to have to get there faster than averaging 25mph per lap.” That guy was basically instructing to focus on what happens after the hit. You could get to that finish a million different ways. It can trick an absolute beginner to not totally suck, but not much more.
We are not pros. They have got to where they are through years of practice that a lot of things are second nature to them. A relatively raw rec adult trying to look at a pro and figure out consistency is like a baby trying to run an Olympics before it has learned to crawl.

Does it mean every shot on the run, every slice will ultimately have the same finishing point. Of course not. Try to understand what a specific drill is trying to do than just making arguments against it for the sake of it. These drills helped me a lot. Much more than watching Federer or Nadal and apply it to my raw game. Maybe it will help others. Maybe it won’t.
 
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Sweets3450

New User
There is some not so great advice here. You need to point your left arm at the fence on the right and reach out with your left shoulder, that's it. This will turn your shoulders back much further and point your toes naturally also to the fence to your right. I recommend finding a quality coach, these are easy and quick fundamentals which will make a huge difference to your forehand!
 
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