Here's my forehand, help me figure out what is wrong with it

dreymon

New User
Hey everyone,

I quit tennis cold turkey at age 18 and I'm coming back to the sport after 10+ years off. My forehand used to be a weapon, now it feels like a wet noodle. Also my 2H backhand is shank city so I've switched to a 1H and it feels a ton better. IDK why though since I always played with a 2H (maybe that's just getting old and lazy).

Here's a YouTube link to my third hitting session back since the break: forehand problems

There are a few moments in which I felt like my old self, specifically the shots at 1:46 (
), 7:10 (
) and 9:49 (
). The last half of the video has a head on view (and by that point I was completely gassed, but it illustrates how ugly my forehand looks.

Overall I notice that I am keeping my arm too close to my body and not getting enough extension which I think is the cause for no pace getting on the ball. Also, on the take back, I'm not extending my right elbow out away from my body which plays into the arm being to close issue.

I've got a tennis ball machine and am ready to hit thousands of balls so any drills or other suggestions are very much appreciated.
 
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Chas Tennis

G.O.A.T.
Sorry, for the quick answer but I am writing on this same flaw multiple times a week and I'm very busy.

Forum Search: forehand separation
Member: Chas Tennis

See recent posts.

Read safety messages about trunk twisting.

This current thread covers forehand separation pretty well but other threads have some other details.
 
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Funbun

Professional
Overall I notice that I am keeping my arm too close to my body and not getting enough extension which I think is the cause for no pace getting on the ball. Also, on the take back, I'm not extending my right elbow out away from my body which plays into the arm being to close issue.

I've got a tennis ball machine and am ready to hit thousands of balls so any drills or other suggestions are very much appreciated.
I think your self assessment is pretty much on point here; your arm doesn't need to be that close to your body on the swing and you're getting jammed as a result. Let it relax and move your feet instead to get the spacing.

I personally think your takeback is perfectly fine due to its simplicity. Lots of good players put the elbow in that position like you do on the takeback, and I wouldn't worry about it.
You may feel rushed on the takeback because your footwork and unit turn is late.

The primary issue is your swing; your swingpath is unnecessarily vertical for a forehand. Think more of hitting across the ball, like a swipe; the topspin and power will come from the racquet head speed and contact point out in front.

Considering you haven't played tennis for over 10 years, you hit very well.
 
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dreymon

New User
I think your self assessment is pretty much on point here; your arm doesn't need to be that close to your body on the swing and you're getting jammed as a result. Let it relax and move your feet instead to get the spacing.

I personally think your takeback is perfectly fine due to its simplicity. Lots of good players put the elbow in that position like you do on the takeback, and I wouldn't worry about it.
You may feel rushed on the takeback because your footwork and unit turn is late.

The primary issue is your swing; your swingpath is unnecessarily vertical for a forehand. Think more of hitting across the ball, like a swipe; the topspin and power will come from the racquet head speed and contact point out in front.

Considering you haven't played tennis for over 10 years, you hit very well.
Thanks for the input. Everytime I try to relax the swing, it becomes wildly inconsistent since I don't have the rhythm down. Think it will just take a good amount of practice before I can comfortably let loose. Wonder if there is anything I can do to make that change go smoother/more intuitive.

Good point about the late unit turn, I'm not really giving myself any time to set up and just hoping for the best with each swing which is counterintuitive since my timing is not there yet.

Also agree about the verticality. Next time I hit I'm going to try to focus on building up my confidence in a more relaxed, horizontal swing. Great feedback, really helpful :D
 

Slicehand

Hall of Fame
i think you miss acceleration, like you are too concious at the lag movement and as a consequence, you slow your whole swing, try not taking the racquet so back until the ball has bounced, do your preparation, but dont do the take back so early, maybe like this you wont think too much in that particular moment and you can accelerate more, you shouldnt think about all the parts of the stroke when hitting, just loading, accelerating, and finishing the stroke
 

dreymon

New User
i think you miss acceleration, like you are too concious at the lag movement and as a consequence, you slow your whole swing, try not taking the racquet so back until the ball has bounced, do your preparation, but dont do the take back so early, maybe like this you wont think too much in that particular moment and you can accelerate more, you shouldnt think about all the parts of the stroke when hitting, just loading, accelerating, and finishing the stroke
Definitely agree, the cautiousness is coming from my lack of timing after such a long break, and the pressure of hitting with others makes me not want to be missing constantly trying to find that rhythm again. I'll be focusing on accelerating the racket head and really swinging through the ball (along with implementing Chas's forehand separation tips) for the next week or so with my ball machine and see were that takes me. Appreciate the feedback
 

Slicehand

Hall of Fame
Definitely agree, the cautiousness is coming from my lack of timing after such a long break, and the pressure of hitting with others makes me not want to be missing constantly trying to find that rhythm again. I'll be focusing on accelerating the racket head and really swinging through the ball (along with implementing Chas's forehand separation tips) for the next week or so with my ball machine and see were that takes me. Appreciate the feedback
Of course, the best feelings always come when you train more, theres not way around that, the more sessions you put in the more regular are the good sensations gonna be
 

vex

Legend
Hey everyone,

I quit tennis cold turkey at age 18 and I'm coming back to the sport after 10+ years off. My forehand used to be a weapon, now it feels like a wet noodle. Also my 2H backhand is shank city so I've switched to a 1H and it feels a ton better. IDK why though since I always played with a 2H (maybe that's just getting old and lazy).

Here's a YouTube link to my third hitting session back since the break: forehand problems

There are a few moments in which I felt like my old self, specifically the shots at 1:46 (
), 7:10 (
) and 9:49 (
). The last half of the video has a head on view (and by that point I was completely gassed, but it illustrates how ugly my forehand looks.

Overall I notice that I am keeping my arm too close to my body and not getting enough extension which I think is the cause for no pace getting on the ball. Also, on the take back, I'm not extending my right elbow out away from my body which plays into the arm being to close issue.

I've got a tennis ball machine and am ready to hit thousands of balls so any drills or other suggestions are very much appreciated.
1) Do NOT switch from a 2H to a 1H good lord…

2) Your FH - it’s hard to have a weapon when you’re clearing the net by 10 feet… also, your racket head speed needs to dramatically increase.
 

dreymon

New User
1) Do NOT switch from a 2H to a 1H good lord…

2) Your FH - it’s hard to have a weapon when you’re clearing the net by 10 feet… also, your racket head speed needs to dramatically increase.
1. why
2. yes, this was noted above
 

Slicehand

Hall of Fame
1HBH: 13 out of the top 100 with 8 of them being players 30 and older. Results don’t lie.
because they started as kids with no strength. thats the only reason pros use the two hander more, so they dont lose a lot in th early years, if they had to start as adults, im sure those numbers would be the opposite
 

vex

Legend
because they started as kids with no strength. thats the only reason pros use the two hander more, so they dont lose a lot in th early years, if they had to start as adults, im sure those numbers would be the opposite
K

lol
 

dreymon

New User
You already have the technique for the superior stroke, why would you switch to the inferior one?
My coach back in the day wouldn’t let any of the students use a one hander. He developed my 2H to be pretty good (better than my FH) and I do see it’s value in being consistent and dependable. I will probably stick with it in competitive play. But man, 1H just feels so nice to hit, it’s fun and no one’s gonna tell me what to do anymore :p. I’d like to see where I can take it
 

optic yellow

Hall of Fame
My coach back in the day wouldn’t let any of the students use a one hander. He developed my 2H to be pretty good (better than my FH) and I do see it’s value in being consistent and dependable. I will probably stick with it in competitive play. But man, 1H just feels so nice to hit, it’s fun and no one’s gonna tell me what to do anymore :p. I’d like to see where I can take it
1HBH: 13 out of the top 100 with 8 of them being players 30 and older. Results don’t lie.
:unsure:
 

jimmy8

Professional
I think you're brushing the ball too much. I think you need to hit more and brush less. And lengthen your swing more to get more power. And I saw you stepping away from the ball as you hit a lot. Get your feet in position earlier and set them where you can step into the ball, this provides a lot of the power.
 

vex

Legend
My coach back in the day wouldn’t let any of the students use a one hander. He developed my 2H to be pretty good (better than my FH) and I do see it’s value in being consistent and dependable. I will probably stick with it in competitive play. But man, 1H just feels so nice to hit, it’s fun and no one’s gonna tell me what to do anymore :p. I’d like to see where I can take it
Go for it then. You came asking for TTW feedback.

The problem with the 1H isn’t that you can’t hit cool shots with it, you can, I’ve hit plenty of beautiful winners with it. The problem is that as competition ramps up, your opponents will test it relentlessly. They’ll make you hit it on the run. Its inferior at that. They’ll make you hit heavy moonballs over shoulder height with it. Massively inferior. They’ll relentlessly spot serve at it in doubles testing your ability to neutralize a powerful serve and find the return window without getting poached, or without missing the timing. Again, it’s inferior at that.
 

Slicehand

Hall of Fame
My coach back in the day wouldn’t let any of the students use a one hander. He developed my 2H to be pretty good (better than my FH) and I do see it’s value in being consistent and dependable. I will probably stick with it in competitive play. But man, 1H just feels so nice to hit, it’s fun and no one’s gonna tell me what to do anymore :p. I’d like to see where I can take it
thats not good, you have to respect whats more natural for each players body, but i guess he just wanted to make things easy as its easier to be consistent witha two hander at first, you have to really do drills for the one hander in order for your body to "get it"
 

optic yellow

Hall of Fame
@vex It's not that the 1HBH is manlier its just that its more versatile. I use two hands on returns and high rally balls sometimes where the advantages are obvious. But aside from cases of amazing redirects all the proactive 2HBH shots I see from pros can be achieved by the 1HBH, whereas the 2HBH is incapable of generating winners such as this:

I am not sure how you can say the 1HBH is inferior to the 2HBH on the run after seeing a shot such as this.
 
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dreymon

New User
Go for it then. You came asking for TTW feedback.

The problem with the 1H isn’t that you can’t hit cool shots with it, you can, I’ve hit plenty of beautiful winners with it. The problem is that as competition ramps up, your opponents will test it relentlessly. They’ll make you hit it on the run. Its inferior at that. They’ll make you hit heavy moonballs over shoulder height with it. Massively inferior. They’ll relentlessly spot serve at it in doubles testing your ability to neutralize a powerful serve and find the return window without getting poached, or without missing the timing. Again, it’s inferior at that.
1H for flashy winners and 2H for everything else then. You bring up some good points
 

optic yellow

Hall of Fame
1H for flashy winners and 2H for everything else then. You bring up some good points
Yes this is correct. Use 2H to return (at least first) serves and deal with heavy rally balls where you need stability more than pace generation, otherwise use the 1H.
 

Slicehand

Hall of Fame
Go for it then. You came asking for TTW feedback.

The problem with the 1H isn’t that you can’t hit cool shots with it, you can, I’ve hit plenty of beautiful winners with it. The problem is that as competition ramps up, your opponents will test it relentlessly. They’ll make you hit it on the run. Its inferior at that. They’ll make you hit heavy moonballs over shoulder height with it. Massively inferior. They’ll relentlessly spot serve at it in doubles testing your ability to neutralize a powerful serve and find the return window without getting poached, or without missing the timing. Again, it’s inferior at that.
you have to know your stroke to compete with it, joking aside, i dont think its inferior, you just have to do things differently with it, some things are easier with the two hander, but for example, even if somebody tries to hit high balls to my backhand, i just know i have to go and take it early, or if the bounce allows for it, go back and wait till it drops a bit, you need good footwork, but from a neutral ball i feel its much easier to attack since you have much more leverage with the swing in your one hander, i dont care much about flashyness, i care about tennis, in all honesty, i tough at one point to switch to a two hander, but then irealised how much i would have to train to get it to the level of my one hander, it paid off to stay with it, now my one hander almost never gets bullied, i learnt to live with it, my best stroke is still my forehand, but i atack with the backhand too, its just that sometimes its hard to get as much depth as the forehand from defensive positions, but i developed a slice and good footwork to run around my backhand, i wouldnt say is a weakness of mine, just a different kind of weapon, one that takes a little more time than the forehand so you have to be careful not to be rushed on it
 

vex

Legend
I’ve come off much too harsh in this thread. I respect people’s ability to adapt their preferred strokes and make them work. That’s the fun part of tennis, no two players are identical. Everyone has some unique technical twist. My feelings are crudely set out above :p
 

dreymon

New User
I think you're brushing the ball too much. I think you need to hit more and brush less. And lengthen your swing more to get more power. And I saw you stepping away from the ball as you hit a lot. Get your feet in position earlier and set them where you can step into the ball, this provides a lot of the power.
Agree with everything. My footwork is really poor because I have no cardio built up. Getting gassed after 5-6 ball rallies. I think a lot of things will come into place once I build that back up and remember how to actually hit the ball
 

Slicehand

Hall of Fame
I’ve come off much too harsh in this thread. I respect people’s ability to adapt their preferred strokes and make them work. That’s the fun part of tennis, no two players are identical. Everyone has some unique technical twist. My feelings are crudely set out above :p
After all, i dont think one or two handed backhand should be forced on anyone, one should try both and feel what adapts better to their body, but whatever you have, the key at rec level for me is footwork, if my footwork is on, most people cant even find my backhand twice in a row in a rally, and thats whats really game changing, doesnt matter that you have pro strokes standing still if in the moment someone moves you a bit you are hitting the ball completly out of your strike zone, so i would always recomend any rec player to work on their footwork first and foremost, given that you have a minimum technique and dont have big glitches in your strokes
 

optic yellow

Hall of Fame
After all, i dont think one or two handed backhand should be forced on anyone, one should try both and feel what adapts better to their body, but whatever you have, the key at rec level for me is footwork, if my footwork is on, most people cant even find my backhand twice in a row in a rally, and thats whats really game changing, doesnt matter that you have pro strokes standing still if in the moment someone moves you a bit you are hitting the ball completly out of your strike zone, so i would always recomend any rec player to work on their footwork first and foremost, given that you have a minimum technique and dont have big glitches in your strokes
footwork > all this is true
 

jimmy8

Professional
Agree with everything. My footwork is really poor because I have no cardio built up. Getting gassed after 5-6 ball rallies. I think a lot of things will come into place once I build that back up and remember how to actually hit the ball
Yes, you will get there. Just practice and have fun. Your cardio will get better and your footwork will get better. Then your swing speed and swing length will increase more and more. For me, it's just a fun way to get the exercise I need. I'm glad you posted and are trying to get better.
 

dreymon

New User
Thanks everyone for the feedback, great community here :D Looking forward to implementing the suggestions and building my skills back up.

At the end of the day, it is one of the most fun and rewarding activities. I’m just amazed at how much information and resources are out there now. I see techniques are being talked about that I was trained to do without ever knowing why I was doing it beside “oh yeah, that felt better”. Pretty cool to come back with the wealth of the Internet and its communities in my back pocket
 

optic yellow

Hall of Fame
Thanks everyone for the feedback, great community here :D Looking forward to implementing the suggestions and building my skills back up.

At the end of the day, it is one of the most fun and rewarding activities. I’m just amazed at how much information and resources are out there now. I see techniques are being talked about that I was trained to do without ever knowing why I was doing it beside “oh yeah, that felt better”. Pretty cool to come back with the wealth of the Internet and its communities in my back pocket
Yeah I wish I had known that this forum was around before I took my break from tennis. I sometimes stumble on threads from the aughts when searching things on YT and the quality of advice was just as good back then.
 
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