fredbear007

New User
Ive had issues with my forehand for a little under a year now, and its starting to really get to me and make me very frustrated/ embarrassed to play. Ive been playing for about 6-7 years now, my forehand used to be my killer shot I would find myself constantly avoiding backhands, but now within the last year ive started doing the complete opposite and avoiding forehands. I feel as though the issue is out of my control, whenever the ball is approaching my forehand, I prepare, take back, but just as im about to reach contact, I find my wrist uncontrollably changes direction, turning the racket face open and thus missing many of my shots. It feels very unnatural and uncomfortable playing my forehand. However sometimes my forehand does for some reason return to normal for maybe a few hits, so this shows that I do have one, but just not consistent at all! ( this may sound strange ) but whenever I think about my forehand, (like writing this now), my wrist feels very strange and as though I need to stretch it, it just doesn't feel relaxed whenever I think about forehands.

Im totally lost and stuck with what to do, I feel like ive tried everything, but it always comes back to my wrist wanting to change direction just before contact. Im beginning to lose my head and am struggling to believe I will ever get it fixed, if anyone could give me some advice I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks


Edit: As many requested I filmed myself hitting some forehands, majority of the ones filmed went completely out, with some also going into the net. Later in this session I managed to get my forehand back for a while, but that was only because I had someone stood near me throwing balls into the perfect position for me to hit. - The videos are in slow motion, so on youtube i believe you can increase the speed a bit. Thanks for all the advice so far !


Tennis 1
Tennis 2
Tennis 3
 
Last edited:

travlerajm

G.O.A.T.
Ive had issues with my forehand for a little under a year now, and its starting to really get to me and make me very frustrated/ embarrassed to play. Ive been playing for about 6-7 years now, my forehand used to be my killer shot I would find myself constantly avoiding backhands, but now within the last year ive started doing the complete opposite and avoiding forehands. I feel as though the issue is out of my control, whenever the ball is approaching my forehand, I prepare, take back, but just as im about to reach contact, I find my wrist uncontrollably changes direction, turning the racket face open and thus missing many of my shots. It feels very unnatural and uncomfortable playing my forehand. However sometimes my forehand does for some reason return to normal for maybe a few hits, so this shows that I do have one, but just not consistent at all! ( this may sound strange ) but whenever I think about my forehand, (like writing this now), my wrist feels very strange and as though I need to stretch it, it just doesn't feel relaxed whenever I think about forehands.

Im totally lost and stuck with what to do, I feel like ive tried everything, but it always comes back to my wrist wanting to change direction just before contact. Im beginning to lose my head and am struggling to believe I will ever get it fixed, if anyone could give me some advice I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks
Try experimenting with different amounts of weight added just above top end of the grip. You can start with taping coins there. Adding weight here will speed up the racquet so that your wrist doesn’t need to help as much.

I recommend testing it out first on a wall until you find something that makes it easy to control .
 

Dragy

Legend
Although racquet finetune might be helpful, it's not likely just solve the problem.
Have you tried holding the wrist back all the way till after contact? Hit well in front, get the racquet there with stringbed squared by pushing your shoulder and then the hand forward rather than focusing on the racquet?



I don't gel with all he says here, but the stable wrist part might help your case (from 1:05):
 

mxblink

Rookie
Take a video and post it. There’s just no way you can get meaningful advice if people can’t see what you’re doing.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Acegame

Rookie
I can very much relate to this issue. I used to be able to dictate play with my forehand, but for some reason the last couple years hitting my forehand feels very uncomfortable. Like you described i feel it goes wrong right before contact and i also believe it has to do with my wrist. I actually have wristpain sometimes during tennis (usually in the beginning of the season).

I think it might be a mental issue and a lack of confidence in the forehand that causes this. Because, like you said, sometimes it does work and it's like a normal forehand again. Also playing a lot of tennis doesn't help for me. The feeling can just disappear at any moment, but usually during matches when there is pressure. I get tight and am very concious of every move my arm/wrist makes. Short balls without any pace are the most difficult somehow. Nowdays i just try to bring the ball back with a slice or block it, which also goes wrong often. But i'm not entirely sure its mental because it also happens during practice.

The strange thing is that i have no problems hitting a forehand out of the air full power, which makes me think it has to do with the conviction i hit the ball with.

At this moment i'm questioning every aspect of my forehand, which doesn't help. I'm at a loss. Hope anyone has advice on how to fix this issue.
 

Dragy

Legend
I can very much relate to this issue. I used to be able to dictate play with my forehand, but for some reason the last couple years hitting my forehand feels very uncomfortable. Like you described i feel it goes wrong right before contact and i also believe it has to do with my wrist. I actually have wristpain sometimes during tennis (usually in the beginning of the season).

I think it might be a mental issue and a lack of confidence in the forehand that causes this. Because, like you said, sometimes it does work and it's like a normal forehand again. Also playing a lot of tennis doesn't help for me. The feeling can just disappear at any moment, but usually during matches when there is pressure. I get tight and am very concious of every move my arm/wrist makes. Short balls without any pace are the most difficult somehow. Nowdays i just try to bring the ball back with a slice or block it, which also goes wrong often. But i'm not entirely sure its mental because it also happens during practice.

The strange thing is that i have no problems hitting a forehand out of the air full power, which makes me think it has to do with the conviction i hit the ball with.

At this moment i'm questioning every aspect of my forehand, which doesn't help. I'm at a loss. Hope anyone has advice on how to fix this issue.
First thing to say, BEEN THERE. Up to being unable to hit FHs into a tennis wall - I just hit the ball OVER and couldn't get WHY?! on literally every shot. Sometimes, 5-10 min in I could cure it by just doing, sometimes not.
Second, post a video.

I personally came to opinion that it's technical, in a way that if your technic is unreliable you can sometimes manage to find the groove, but other time it will break down. And at some periods it will completely float away. Some players, again, can resolve this by feel and repetition. But not everybody - I had to address basics, erase bad habits and solidify focus points which bring me back when I struggle. Still face issues on unfamiliar surfaces, against new opponents or after breaks, but faster or longer, find my way back.

So it's not just mental or something. Reliable, good techniques won't leave you to suffer - it's here to help you, to support you when you struggle. If it doesn't happen - absolutely go examine what you actually do, and find what needs to be fixed. And remember what helped to try it next time straight forward.
 

Miki 1234

Semi-Pro
I would not think about forehand and backhand but first shot and second shot.
So your goal is to hit solid first shot and solid second one as you would usually do when all is fine.
But when you miss think of missing the first shot or second shot not forehand or backhand. And try do get decent results on first 2 shots no matter which they are.
So prepare for serve and try to hit decent serve and decent second shot.
After that you will start getting more confidence and you will think less.
Once you start thinking about a certain shot its game over....you cant play like that since you need very fine adjustment and if you think you will do only big ones like begginers do .
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
Ive had issues with my forehand for a little under a year now, and its starting to really get to me and make me very frustrated/ embarrassed to play. Ive been playing for about 6-7 years now, my forehand used to be my killer shot I would find myself constantly avoiding backhands, but now within the last year ive started doing the complete opposite and avoiding forehands. I feel as though the issue is out of my control, whenever the ball is approaching my forehand, I prepare, take back, but just as im about to reach contact, I find my wrist uncontrollably changes direction, turning the racket face open and thus missing many of my shots. It feels very unnatural and uncomfortable playing my forehand. However sometimes my forehand does for some reason return to normal for maybe a few hits, so this shows that I do have one, but just not consistent at all! ( this may sound strange ) but whenever I think about my forehand, (like writing this now), my wrist feels very strange and as though I need to stretch it, it just doesn't feel relaxed whenever I think about forehands.

Im totally lost and stuck with what to do, I feel like ive tried everything, but it always comes back to my wrist wanting to change direction just before contact. Im beginning to lose my head and am struggling to believe I will ever get it fixed, if anyone could give me some advice I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks
Common problem due to lack of muscle memory which grows worse with age due to eyesight and other issues.

1 handed backhand has very few degrees of freedom and does not go wrong. But forehand requires proper timing and racket face angle which can be occasionally lost. It could also be due to mental issues - maybe you are just not happy these days.
 

fredbear007

New User
Take a video and post it. There’s just no way you can get meaningful advice if people can’t see what you’re doing.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
First thing to say, BEEN THERE. Up to being unable to hit FHs into a tennis wall - I just hit the ball OVER and couldn't get WHY?! on literally every shot. Sometimes, 5-10 min in I could cure it by just doing, sometimes not.
Second, post a video.

I personally came to opinion that it's technical, in a way that if your technic is unreliable you can sometimes manage to find the groove, but other time it will break down. And at some periods it will completely float away. Some players, again, can resolve this by feel and repetition. But not everybody - I had to address basics, erase bad habits and solidify focus points which bring me back when I struggle. Still face issues on unfamiliar surfaces, against new opponents or after breaks, but faster or longer, find my way back.

So it's not just mental or something. Reliable, good techniques won't leave you to suffer - it's here to help you, to support you when you struggle. If it doesn't happen - absolutely go examine what you actually do, and find what needs to be fixed. And remember what helped to try it next time straight forward.
Thanks so much for the advice, I updated the post with some videos from when I played today. Thank you :)
 

BackhandDTL

Hall of Fame
Racket face looks wide open at contact on the first one. Footwork a bit off on the last one.

for me, keeping the eye on the ball for longer and switching to a more extreme grip helped me keep the racket face closed at contact.

it looks like you may be gripping theracket too tightly as well.
 

FailBetter

Semi-Pro
I can very much relate to this issue. I used to be able to dictate play with my forehand, but for some reason the last couple years hitting my forehand feels very uncomfortable. Like you described i feel it goes wrong right before contact and i also believe it has to do with my wrist. I actually have wristpain sometimes during tennis (usually in the beginning of the season).

I think it might be a mental issue and a lack of confidence in the forehand that causes this. Because, like you said, sometimes it does work and it's like a normal forehand again. Also playing a lot of tennis doesn't help for me. The feeling can just disappear at any moment, but usually during matches when there is pressure. I get tight and am very concious of every move my arm/wrist makes. Short balls without any pace are the most difficult somehow. Nowdays i just try to bring the ball back with a slice or block it, which also goes wrong often. But i'm not entirely sure its mental because it also happens during practice.

The strange thing is that i have no problems hitting a forehand out of the air full power, which makes me think it has to do with the conviction i hit the ball with.

At this moment i'm questioning every aspect of my forehand, which doesn't help. I'm at a loss. Hope anyone has advice on how to fix this issue.
I have/had exactly the same problem. could hit topspin volley like a pro but couldnt hit groundies.
Over the last 6 months I started to observe myself and wrote short notes after every session, what worked and what felt good on my fh.
Now I found a way which seems to work pretty well for me. I also saw a video of Melanie Molitor (mother of Hingis) about her teaching style which helped...
 

FailBetter

Semi-Pro
Ive had issues with my forehand for a little under a year now, and its starting to really get to me and make me very frustrated/ embarrassed to play. Ive been playing for about 6-7 years now, my forehand used to be my killer shot I would find myself constantly avoiding backhands, but now within the last year ive started doing the complete opposite and avoiding forehands. I feel as though the issue is out of my control, whenever the ball is approaching my forehand, I prepare, take back, but just as im about to reach contact, I find my wrist uncontrollably changes direction, turning the racket face open and thus missing many of my shots. It feels very unnatural and uncomfortable playing my forehand. However sometimes my forehand does for some reason return to normal for maybe a few hits, so this shows that I do have one, but just not consistent at all! ( this may sound strange ) but whenever I think about my forehand, (like writing this now), my wrist feels very strange and as though I need to stretch it, it just doesn't feel relaxed whenever I think about forehands.

Im totally lost and stuck with what to do, I feel like ive tried everything, but it always comes back to my wrist wanting to change direction just before contact. Im beginning to lose my head and am struggling to believe I will ever get it fixed, if anyone could give me some advice I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks


Edit: As many requested I filmed myself hitting some forehands, majority of the ones filmed went completely out, with some also going into the net. Later in this session I managed to get my forehand back for a while, but that was only because I had someone stood near me throwing balls into the perfect position for me to hit. - The videos are in slow motion, so on youtube i believe you can increase the speed a bit. Thanks for all the advice so far !


Tennis 1
Tennis 2
Tennis 3
even having a nice loop, your forehand seems to be mostly arm based.
try to pull more...

 

Dragy

Legend
I'd approach it as follows. You of course need to focus on the ball and always try to approach balls better... apart from that, you seem to have a mental picture of imparting spin by pulling racquet head up from contact. Which makes you swing forward till you almost touch the ball, and then "snatch" the racquet up and inward breaking the forward flow. Sometimes it ends up with some acceptable result, sometimes not.

I think you should focus on hitting through and extending past the ball. Just hit it forward in the first place, and don't hesitate coming into contact! Aim for this past-contact position:


You don't need to do anything specific right at contact, all actions are executed from before to after contact.

Now you may wonder if you'll be hitting a flat slap if you follow my suggestion? Noway if you guide your swing through a relatively low, closer to hip position before going out towards the ball and through it:


So (1) prep turning 90 deg sideways, (2) drop your hand low, close to the hip, (3) drive through and extend past the ball. That's you solid sequence which shouldn't break down and would be available to tune back whenever struggling.
 

dahcovixx

Professional
Ive had issues with my forehand for a little under a year now, and its starting to really get to me and make me very frustrated/ embarrassed to play. Ive been playing for about 6-7 years now, my forehand used to be my killer shot I would find myself constantly avoiding backhands, but now within the last year ive started doing the complete opposite and avoiding forehands. I feel as though the issue is out of my control, whenever the ball is approaching my forehand, I prepare, take back, but just as im about to reach contact, I find my wrist uncontrollably changes direction, turning the racket face open and thus missing many of my shots. It feels very unnatural and uncomfortable playing my forehand. However sometimes my forehand does for some reason return to normal for maybe a few hits, so this shows that I do have one, but just not consistent at all! ( this may sound strange ) but whenever I think about my forehand, (like writing this now), my wrist feels very strange and as though I need to stretch it, it just doesn't feel relaxed whenever I think about forehands.

Im totally lost and stuck with what to do, I feel like ive tried everything, but it always comes back to my wrist wanting to change direction just before contact. Im beginning to lose my head and am struggling to believe I will ever get it fixed, if anyone could give me some advice I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks


Edit: As many requested I filmed myself hitting some forehands, majority of the ones filmed went completely out, with some also going into the net. Later in this session I managed to get my forehand back for a while, but that was only because I had someone stood near me throwing balls into the perfect position for me to hit. - The videos are in slow motion, so on youtube i believe you can increase the speed a bit. Thanks for all the advice so far !


Tennis 1
Tennis 2
Tennis 3
Your not using your body weight. Look at the angle of your spine in the bh in the first video. Then compare it to your FH.

The FH in the first video you land neutral.
The next two your hitting off the back foot.
 

Mountain Ghost

Professional
I want you to do a THOUSAND Shadow Swings in front of a mirror ... where the racquet face angle is EXACTLY THE SAME ... (just a "hair" closed) ... throughout the entire forward stroke ... ... ... from racquet-back ... to contact ... and through at least the first part of the follow through ~ MG
 

Khoiifish

New User
Many helpful fixes as pointed out by fellow posters. In my opinion, you want a few easy checkpoints first which I highly recommend.

1. Keep thinking in front, early, and extend through and I think that will help with your balance and timing issues. You're quite late on your backhand too in my observation.
2. Think palm facing down by the end of your swing, to get the necessary wind wiper motion to control your topspin. This will aid with the erratic response you're getting from your forehand, you sometimes do it but mostly don't. Without it, your strings just face upwards through the whole contact, and the ball flies. The forehand in 'tennis 2' at 55 seconds isn't too bad but its missing step 1.

I always favour easy visual checkpoints over technical explanations. I believe once you become really confident and technique aware, we can start talking about changing minute technical details. Work on either step first. Just remember, early, extend through and palm down by the end. Practise hitting with a partner over and over, it might be fixed one session and then completely forgotten the next, trust the process and don't get frustrated if you feel like your forehand was better the session before, it's about the long term goal. Good luck, hope you take my advice on board.
 

Gyswandir

Semi-Pro
Your biggest issue is not pronating/ISR just before, during and after contact I.e. windshield wiper. Instead, you’re scooping the ball
other than that
- timing (partly due to footwork)
- backswing is too large behind your shoulder plane
- arming (not continuing shoulder uncoiling)
- improper alignment of shoulder plane, arm and hand at contact
 
I've had this issue happen to me. You miss a few forehands, then lose confidence and issue only gets worse.

My issue, which seems similar to yours, was that for some reason my wrist was getting 'floppy' at contact.

My recommendation: do some hitting, either against the wall or mini-tennis, where you just work your ball contact with a 'stiff wrist. No complete strokes, just contact.

Once that is working, you can slowly progress to complete strokes.

Also remember: the key to hit great topspin is to hit through the ball, not brush the ball.
 

fredbear007

New User
I've had this issue happen to me. You miss a few forehands, then lose confidence and issue only gets worse.

My issue, which seems similar to yours, was that for some reason my wrist was getting 'floppy' at contact.

My recommendation: do some hitting, either against the wall or mini-tennis, where you just work your ball contact with a 'stiff wrist. No complete strokes, just contact.

Once that is working, you can slowly progress to complete strokes.

Also remember: the key to hit great topspin is to hit through the ball, not brush the ball.
Firstly, thank you to everyone for all the advice its amazing ! Im yet to get on court to try it,

Ive noticed quite a few people mention "hitting through the ball" im not 100% sure by what this means, is it moving the racket more into the court when I hit it ? if that makes sense, If so, where should the contact be, full reach or half reach? sorry if this may sound like a silly question.
 

Dragy

Legend
Ive noticed quite a few people mention "hitting through the ball" im not 100% sure by what this means, is it moving the racket more into the court when I hit it ? if that makes sense, If so, where should the contact be, full reach or half reach? sorry if this may sound like a silly question.
Comfortably full reach sideways, but not full reach forward. Let the ball sink more to the side so that the racquet can move more forward past contact. Contrary to that, your current contact point is close to farthest forward position of your racquet, from contact you mostly move across, do not extend before finish.
 

cortado

Professional
If the ball is going way out, why not start by deliberately trying to hit the ball in to the net? Once you can consistently hit bottom half of net, try to consistently hit top half. Once you can do that you should be able to adjust your technique slightly and get the ball to go just over the net.
 

time_fly

Hall of Fame
I just watched the videos. Your racquet face is opening up with your swing, sometimes before contact. By the time you are in your follow-through, it is facing almost straight up in some cases. If I am seeing this right on my small screen, you are using something close to a full-western grip with your hand under the racquet at contact. I would actually make it less extreme since it may be straining your wrist and forearm based on what you describe. In a full western, if you flex your wrist (i.e., wrist curls inward like doing a wrist curl), the racquet face will twist upwards and open. I would focus on keeping your wrist extended back through contact, and perhaps be a little less underneath the racquet with your grip.

To see what I am talking about, grab your racquet, start a shadow swing, and freeze at the point of contact. Now extend and flex your wrist without moving anything else, and see what that does to the angle of the racquet face.
 

pencilcheck

Hall of Fame
Ive had issues with my forehand for a little under a year now, and its starting to really get to me and make me very frustrated/ embarrassed to play. Ive been playing for about 6-7 years now, my forehand used to be my killer shot I would find myself constantly avoiding backhands, but now within the last year ive started doing the complete opposite and avoiding forehands. I feel as though the issue is out of my control, whenever the ball is approaching my forehand, I prepare, take back, but just as im about to reach contact, I find my wrist uncontrollably changes direction, turning the racket face open and thus missing many of my shots. It feels very unnatural and uncomfortable playing my forehand. However sometimes my forehand does for some reason return to normal for maybe a few hits, so this shows that I do have one, but just not consistent at all! ( this may sound strange ) but whenever I think about my forehand, (like writing this now), my wrist feels very strange and as though I need to stretch it, it just doesn't feel relaxed whenever I think about forehands.

Im totally lost and stuck with what to do, I feel like ive tried everything, but it always comes back to my wrist wanting to change direction just before contact. Im beginning to lose my head and am struggling to believe I will ever get it fixed, if anyone could give me some advice I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks


Edit: As many requested I filmed myself hitting some forehands, majority of the ones filmed went completely out, with some also going into the net. Later in this session I managed to get my forehand back for a while, but that was only because I had someone stood near me throwing balls into the perfect position for me to hit. - The videos are in slow motion, so on youtube i believe you can increase the speed a bit. Thanks for all the advice so far !


Tennis 1
Tennis 2
Tennis 3
Wider base, your base is too small
 

mcs1970

Hall of Fame
Focusing too much on the intricacies of technique might not be always good. You cannot play a match that way. Even in Inner Tennis, Galleway talks about sometimes forgetting everything else and just focus on listening to the ball as you hit it to replicate the feel for a good shot.

The other thing from your videos is that on 2 of the 3 the ball is dropping and you are hitting a relatively flat shot than shaping it Check this video out and focus exclusively on shaping the ball as it drops. Focus on a flatter shot when the ball is short and in your driving zone. In both instances you will have to drive through the ball but swing path will be different.

 
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ballmachineguy

Hall of Fame
Haven’t read all of the replies and this may have been covered. If you are going to hit with a bent arm, the arm isn’t your source of power. The right side of your body is. You are currently hitting all arm. There is very little possibility controlling where the ball is going to go. I know you already know you lack control and that is why you are “pulling off” the ball compounding your troubles. When you have a ball that doesn’t force you to reach or hit on the run you should swing the racquet with torso rotation. This is what gives you consistency. There should be no racquet face angle issues. It keeps you on top of the ball when you hit with your body, not the arm. When you finish, your right shoulder should be the closest body part to your target. Really, the only thing your arm should be doing is pronating during contact.

Warning: thus information is not valid on a true straight arm forehand.
 
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