The forehand is the most frequent stroke used in tennis and essential in learning to play the game. It’s one of two basic groundstrokes, the backhand being the other, that are necessary to start a rally.
Players must use their dominant hand for a forehand swing and keep that hand on the bottom of the racquet. The proper technique is to turn the body sideways in preparation for the shot, bring the racquet back and then swing the palm of the hand towards the ball with a high finish. It’s important to return to the ready position after each shot in preparation for the next.
Footwork is equally as important in hitting an effective forehand and TGA coaches use a variety of drills to make sure students put themselves in the best position for success. The use of X’s or O’s on the ground can really help a student master the correct footwork. Hula hoops can also be used to help students with their aim on forehand strokes. More advanced players can use the lines on the court to aim at when practicing their forehands.
Not all forehand strokes are the same, especially at the more advanced level. Two of the best active players are Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. They each have an equally great, but different forehand stroke. Nadal creates more topspin on the ball than any other player while Federer can hit a flat shot with plenty of speed.
One way to practice forehand strokes at home doesn’t even require a ball. All you need is a racquet, a mirror, some space, and a little imagination. Work your way through each forehand motion, starting with the ready position and ending on the return pose, and slowly speed up until the stroke becomes second nature. Add in an imaginary opponent and court and it’ll be just like the finals at Wimbledon.
Learn more about other tennis skills at a TGA program near you.