Hit a Tennis Forehand

Edited by Jerry Rivers, Anonymous, Lynn, Christine Cruz and 4 others

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If you have always wanted to learn to play tennis, or are wanting to learn the biomechanics for hitting a better forehand, this tutorial is for you. Tennis is truly a sport that can be played for a lifetime. There are singles and doubles matches in this sport, as well as wheel chair tennis. It is a sport that can be played at any level, from amateur recreational, social tennis in city parks and country clubs, to the highly competitive professional tennis arena. The forehand is generally the first stroke to be learned, and it is important for you to learn to use proper biomechanics in the forehand stroke. With a proper forehand you will not only prevent injury, but you can also learn a variety of shots. With this tutorial you will learn the proper biomechanics of a strong, dependable forehand. You will also learn the basics for a top-spin, flat, and slice forehand. Learn a good backhand stroke from: Hit a Tennis Backhand . Learn a good serve from: Have a good tennis serve. Lessons for the volley and overhead smash are coming soon. Follow the instructions below, practice the stroke, and learn a dependable, strong forehand. Have fun as you learn,or improve your tennis forehand from the tutorial.

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Overview for how to hit a forehand in this tutorial

  1. 1
    You will first be given the sequence in steps for a basic, mechanically sound forehand drive.
    Then, the progression will be provided for how to learn the basic forehand. The three types of forehand you will also learn. Each has a purpose in tennis, and you will learn all three if you practice with the proper grip and technique demonstrated. Thank you Professional Tennis Registry (PTR) for the procedure below in learning the optimal basic forehand stroke. Follow the steps and you are on your way to learning a strong, biomechanically sound tennis forehand.
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  2. 2
    A tennis forehand drive simply means that you are hitting a tennis ball on your dominant side.
    For 80 percent of us, as right-handers this will be from the righthand side.
    JR Ready position.jpg
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  3. 3
    Ready position - All moves in any running sport begin from a ready position.
    In tennis, except for the serve, which can be learned well from: Have a good tennis serve .  
    1. Have your feet about shoulder width apart, and parallel to the net.
    2. You should have your dominant hand at the bottom of your racket. Hold it so that the base knuckle of your dominant hand is over the first handle bevel right of the top of your handle. It's the same grip used when you shake hands with someone. This is called the basic eastern grip. Your non-dominant hand should be comfortably cradling the racket at the "V" above the handle.
    3. Have your legs bent so that you are ready to pivot, or run to the ball immediately.
    4. Have your weight comfortably on the balls of your feet, with heels still on the court surface.
    5. Your head should be up so that you can track the ball all the way from the opponent's racket to the strings of your racket as you hit the ball.
    6. Hold your racket so that the butt of your racket is at your waist and the racket head is tilted up in front of your chest.
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  4. 4
    Pivot and shoulder turn – From the ready position pivot by turning your shoulders.
     
    1. Bring your racket arm back with the racket.
    2. Keep your non-dominant (op-arm) hand on the racket as you bring the dominant arm back.
    3. You are looking over your non-dominant shoulder at the tennis ball as it is approaching your forehand side.
    4. After your pivot, the racket arm is back with the racket up, head high, and the racket head is pointing to the fence. Track the ball as you pivot, keeping your head still.
    5. Bring the racket head down to just below hip level as you step forward and uncoil sharply from the hips. As you uncoil, your op-arm swings out with the elbow pointing out to the side. You will have the eastern grip as you step forward. Track the ball with your head still.
    6. Squeeze the racket handle as you swing out from your body and strike the ball. Keep your "eyes on the ball" until after the ball leaves the racket. You must go "through" the ball as if going through two tennis cans on the stroke.
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  5. 5
    Follow through – Continue the swing until the racket arm thrusts the racket up to head level and out toward the net.
    It will typically continue on to wrap around until it goes over your shoulder once you have mastered the basic forehand.
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Progression steps in learning the basic forehand

  1. 1
    These are the five component steps in order for you to learn the basic forehand.
    Once you have learned it, you must practice a few times a week, ideally. You will progress rapidly with practice, and will find your tennis game even more gratifying as you hit those strong, controlled forehands biomechanically correct. This will also prevent injury.
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  2. 2
    Start with contact and follow-through only – Have someone bounce the ball to your forehand side so that you can strike it about hip high.
     
    1. As you impact the ball the racket should be level with the court, and the racket head should be perpendicular to the court surface.
    2. Hit the tennis ball on the sweet spot of your racket strings, which is just above center. Keep your head still and track the ball all the way until it leaves your racket strings.
      Thomas Enqvist hitting a forehand.jpg
    3. If the ball bounces low, you should bend your legs so that you can still contact the ball with the racket parallel to the court and racket head perpendicular to the court.
    4. Follow through as instructed above. Once mastered, go to step two.
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  3. 3
    Start with your racket arm and racket back - From the arm back position have the butt of your racket facing the net.
     
    1. Your racket arm is holding the racket back and at head level. The op-arm hand lets go once the racket is nearly all the way back. This ensures stability of your racket backswing, along with a good shoulder turn.
    2. Swing the racket forward. Track the ball all the way and bend your legs if needed so that you can hit the ball at your hip level.
    3. You want to have your hitting arm elbow away from your body comfortably as you contact the ball.
    4. Your contact point should be above your front foot. This will have your weight behind the ball for more power and control.
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  4. 4
    Start from ready position – When first learning the forehand stroke, pivot and turn your shoulders.
     
    1. Keep your head still and track the approaching ball until it leaves your racket.
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  5. 5
    Add a loop – Once you have mastered hitting the ball with a simple forehand, you add a loop.
    As you bring your racket down to hit the ball from the high "racket back" position you will make a "C-shaped" path, which is a loop.
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  6. 6
    The full forehand stroke - In this last, fifth progression step, you make complete stroke.
    You will begin with the starting position, then hit the ball, and lastly follow-through. As you practice, it is imperative that you track the ball throughout the stroke. When you begin hitting the full forehand stroke, it is recommended to hit the ball while you are at the service line until you have mastered it. Once mastered from there, move back to the baseline to practice hitting with a full forehand stroke.
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The three forehand strokes

  1. 1
    The three forehand strokes are topspin, flat, and slice.
    They are more easily accomplished by amateurs and pros alike by simply changing the hand grip on the racket handle.
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    1. The top spin forehand is accomplished by a western grip. You will turn your hand so that your palm is completely gripping the bottom bevel on the racket handle. You will bring the racket below the path of the approaching ball and brush up the ball as you strike it. In other words, you stroke from low to high. You can hit this stroke with an open stance, but will lose power. The ball will bounce high upon impact. It will also drop sharply, so you can hit the ball very hard and it will still drop sharply in front of the baseline.
    2. The flat forehand is hit easily with the eastern or continental grip.  
      1. The eastern forehand is the "shake hands" grip, in which the base knuckle of your dominant hand is over the first bevel right of the top bevel of your racket when it is perpendicular to the ground. Your hand will be slightly "behind" the racket handle. You will swing the racket directly at the level of the ball, and hit it squarely in front. It makes a penetrating forehand, and will have a slight topspin with this grip.
      2. The continental forehand has the "V" of your hand between your thumb and first finger directly on top of the racket handle. You will drive through the ball, parallel with the court, until you follow through. The continental is the easiest grip to hit a flat shot.
    3. The slice forehand is the least used from the forehand side, but can be executed with the eastern or continental grip. You must swing from high to low as you go "through the ball" on contact.  
      1. It will put underspin on the ball and make it skid.
      2. Players use this sometimes to mix their shots to keep the opponent's timing off.
      3. Another reason for the slice is to use it as an approach shot. The player will come to the net following an approach shot for a put-away volley near the net. A volley is just hitting the ball before it bounces.
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  2. 2
    Now, you are ready to practice the basic forehand for all three spins on a tennis ball.
    You just need to practice hitting lots of balls, and get out there to enjoy this lifetime sport soon!
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Tips

  • Have a racket handle size that is comfortable for your grip. For the average size man's hand, it is 4 1/2 inches.
  • For the average size lady's hand the grip size is 4 3/8 inches.
  • There are children's junior rackets available for a child.
  • It is better to go with a heavier racket than a lighter one, contrary to what many beginners may believe. It puts less stress on the arm, and will more easily drive the ball.

Questions and Answers

I am researching to improve my net play using a continental grip?

It does not seem as easy to hit a flat ball straight with continental at the net than it does with an eastern grip. Any ideas?

Actually, the continental grip is the easiest grip to use to hit a flat ball. Remember that the continental grip uses the "V" of your hand between your thumb and first finger directly on top of the racket handle. When you hold your racket like this, hitting a flat ball will be easy. Reference the VisiHow article above to learn more about the continental grip.

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How to hit down the line forehand shot?

While hitting the forehand it goes out of the line. how to swing the raquet

VisiHow QnA. This section is not written yet. Want to join in? Click EDIT to write this answer.

I can't hit with semi western grip it goes into the net?

I can't hit with semi western grip it goes into the net

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Categories : Sports

Recent edits by: Calob Horton, Eng, Graeme

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