Running forehand footwork

Aretium

Hall of Fame


It is pretty common footwork used by all pros and a lot of amateurs. The right leg is the last driving force from the ground before contact.

I use my left leg as the last driving force and then rotate into the shot. Whilst it is ok I feel like I could be better. Any tips using the right leg?
 

LeeD

Bionic Poster
Makes little differnence.
You practice this shot all week, and arriving at the ball in contact position can happen with either lead foot, so you learn to modify your swing and type of ball to compensate for either feet leading and trailing.
That's why good player's often start out practice closed stanced forehand, or aligned, then wander to neutral, then wide open stances at the end of warmups.
It's your upper body that controls the shot direction, and the timing of your swing.
Oftentimes, through practice, you learn which shot, CC or DTL, works better and more consistent with what footwork as you arrive at the ball.
The important thing is to arrive at the ball with your head steady and with good posture, so you can hit a solid passing shot. Which feet is much less important than balance and posture.
 

Lance L

Semi-Pro
First, I can't help but be mezmerised by Janko's athletic ability in that clip. Man!
All I can tell you is to hit on the right foot. In truth hitting off the right foot is the way to go most of the time anyway, with our modern rotational fh's.
Practice, practice, practice. You'll have to create a new habit, but it is doable.
 

watungga

Professional
Doesn't matter which leg as long as your swing is complete enough to blast the ball back with the greatest impact (assuming you're going for a win).
 

pines2222

New User
I find it helpful to have both in the toolkit. I prefer left foot if I am on a full run or want to hit cross court - I've never figured out how to do that Lendl shot down the line with enough spin to keep it in. It's almost always a go for broke shot. But if I have a fraction more time and / or want to hit down the line, I prefer right foot if only because it puts me in a slightly better, though still not great, position to get a ball coming back.
 

LeeD

Bionic Poster
More important than which foot is pushing off is the shoulder's being turned early and aligned the way you want for the shot you chose to hit.
 

Bender

G.O.A.T.
90% of the time, I go for the walking step (similar to the step you take on a FH volley) on running FHs rather than the pivot step (I might have these names wrong). If I have to hit a running FH, I recognise that I'm unlikely to be able to stay in the point after that FH, so recovering my position is not high on my agenda.

However, if I do want to stay in the point, I can still use the walking step by following the forward step with the left foot with a rapid rotation of my whole body and a followup step with my right, so that I can rotate almost 180 degrees and sprint the opposite direction. A bit like the pivot step right after the walking step. On clay, I imagine you would be sliding a little on the heel of your right foot before you take that first step the opposite direction.
 

Dragy

Legend
On clay, I imagine you would be sliding a little on the heel of your right foot before you take that first step the opposite direction.
You may be good with even sliding before making your swing. Run, slide on the right foot, uncoil and hit, run back ;) A real tool to both get there very fast and be set more or less properly without extra steps to slow down.
 
I have a really good book by former German Davis Cup coach and biomechanics expert Richard Schönborn.

He says there are different possibilities based on the running speed.

1. Ideal is to take a longer step with the right leg to the side and try to stop the momentum toward the side fence before you hit. That wayou you are in an ideal position to hit and recover.

2. The double jump: land on the right leg in open stance, try to brace as much momentum as possible and then hit while taking off. The momentum will carry you further toward the fence where you land open on the right leg so you can push off to recover.

3. Only if both are not enough to stop the momentum do a crossover step with the left leg and then a recovery step with the right leg
 

Aretium

Hall of Fame
I just tried it today, spent a good half hour only doing this. Seems easier and better. I think I have got it down.

Compared to before, I feel like I can be more explosive. Hit some real screaming banana shots with it. Very happy. will incorporate it in every session, obviously in a match old habits die hard.
 

Aretium

Hall of Fame
You may be good with even sliding before making your swing. Run, slide on the right foot, uncoil and hit, run back ;) A real tool to both get there very fast and be set more or less properly without extra steps to slow down.
I do slide as we have artificial grass courts with sand. But I want to have this footwork down for hardcourts and when I have a little time.
 

Pete Player

Hall of Fame
To me it would be natural to take the racket back walking-like on the next to last step on your front foot and then hit thru on the step from your "back foot", making contact about the same time, when you plant your weight on the forward foot to land into a closed to semi-open position in the follow thru and final step on the run. And then rush back to the center. Hands swings the same as in walking or running. left hand front - right foot grounded, and vice versa.
 

watungga

Professional
Just need to emphasize that if you think about your foot, you're not gonna hit the ball squarely.
To me, the feet's starting initiatives are entirely dependent on the pace of the ball. Your brain will start to measure up if you're really late, really early, right on exact moment on when you'll meet the ball. If it decides that there's no way of coming back to the center of the court, farthest feet will take the first stride, then . If there's ample time to get behind the ball, the nearest feet get the first step. Both feet will have their own mind as it will also get instruction from you head that 'oops, your're late' or 'oops the ball was sliced and it will be slowed thru frictioned bounce, then the run will be very early. I know I realized I'm not making sense anymore.

Short to say that this so called running FH footwork, will ultimately destroy your tennis.

Truth is: It is always the leg nearest the ball that goes first, then adjusted by sizing your steps to determine which feet get the position for impact.... and anticipation speed.
 
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