The Tennis Forehand
Step by Step Instruction and Practice Techniques

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This series of videos will take you, step by step, from scratch to a fundamentally sound tennis forehand. In the previous section, we showed you what every good player does when they hit a forehand.  Each video in this section will show you how to hit the shot and it will also give you practice techniques.  With practice you will have a fundamentally sound tennis forehand.

 Step #1:  Establish Contact Point and Follow Through

The first step is to establish your contact point and then shadow the follow through. Practice this movement so you have it down before hitting balls.  Once you master the movement then try hitting some balls from the service line.  You’re contact point will be in front of your body.  The tennis racquet face and your body will also be facing the net.  The practice drill is a simple one but it will lock in the correct contact point and movements without taking all of the tennis forehand technique in to account at one time.

 Step #2:  Start with the Racket Back

The second step is to start with the tennis racket back and your body turned sideways.  This is where you will work on developing the proper forward swing to the contact point.  With your body turned sideways, you will first rotate your around to face the net.  The hitting arm position does not change when this happens.  The practice drill will have you rotating back to the hitting position and then swinging through like you did in the first video.

  Step #3:  Pivot and Take the Racket Back

The third step will have you starting from the ready position, pivoting and then taking the tennis racquet back.  There is no extra movement here.  Do not loop the tennis racket back. You will start with shadowing the correct technique and then move to hitting the tennis ball from the ready position.  Remember that the pivot and shoulder turn is how the racquet starts to come back.  It’s only after the shoulder turn that you take the non hitting hand off the tennis racquet and bring it straight back. 

  Step #4:  Add the Loop

In this step you will add the backswing loop to the motion.  The loop is not 100% necessary but most modern forehands have one.  So you will probably want one too.  The key is to be sure to maintain the same hitting arm position from the beginning of the loop until after contact with the tennis ball. 

  Step #5:  Swing with the Full Motion

The final step is to put everything together in to a fundamentally sound tennis forehand shot.  From the ready position you will pivot and turn the shoulders, then take the racquet back at shoulder level.  From this position you can drop the racket down, creating the loop, and then swing forward to your contact point.  This will make the “C” shape or the Nike “Swoosh”, as some people call it. 

The fifth and final step of the forehand progressions is to start in the ready position and take your racket back at shoulder level, then use all the mechanics we have discussed in the previous videos to put together a “real” forehand shot.

From the ready position, what you are going to do is pivot and turn your shoulders, then take the racket back at shoulder level the rest of the way using your arms. When you do this, you’ll be at the position we started in on Progression #4. From there, you can drop the racket down and then swing forward to your contact point. By doing this, you will develop that full loop, that “C” shape that we talked about in the forehand fundamentals section of the site.  After contact, remember to follow through and “read your watch”.

Next - The Windshield Wiper Tennis Forehand Technique
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