7 Steps to Perfect Your Forehand

As a tennis player, you are only as good and consistent as your best shot. For most players, their best shot is the forehand! Check this blog post to know the 7 steps to perfect your forehand!

Your forehand is the shot you hit when only your dominant hand is holding the racquet. For instance, if you hold the racquet in your right hand when you serve, any shot you hit with just your right hand on the racquet will be your forehand.

At the professional level most players try to hit their forehand upwards of 60 percent of the time. The forehand often feels more natural and is the swing where players can generate the most power.

What are some easy beginner tips to think of when you are hitting your forehand? I compiled the 7-steps that tennis players of all skill levels should focus on when hitting a forehand shot.

 

Step 1 to perfect your forehand: The grip

The first step to hitting a steady forehand is how you grip the racquet. A controlled grip directly dictates how you can hit and manipulate the ball.

Most people hold the racquet with a semi-western grip. This is not super important for beginner tennis players.

What I recommend you focus on is holding the racquet in a comfortable position, with the base of your hand at the bottom of the racquet. You want your grip to be tight enough to give yourself control, but do not give the racquet a death grip. It is important to allow your hand to relax so the racquet feels comfortable for you.

Tennis player on the court

Step 2: The ready position

This is one of the key steps to perfect your forehand!

Most people overlook the setup and positioning of your body when it comes to hitting a forehand. Do NOT be one of these people.

It is of the utmost importance that you are positioned on the balls of your feet before hitting a forehand. You do not want to be in a stagnant position. Move your feet a little bit, almost as if you are rocking to the beat of a song. This way, you are ready to attack the ball wherever your opponent hits it.

Keep both hands on the racquet while holding it directly in front of your body. You want the bottom of the racquet to be right below your waist.

Step 3: The backswing

As you start to track the ball heading your way, you will want to enter your backswing.

The backswing should NOT be a crazy movement.

Take it slow, bringing your racquet straight back from your ready position. As you bring it back, the head of your racquet should turn 90 degrees towards the sideline of the court.

Man playing tennis outside

Step 4: Swinging through the ball

Once your racquet has progressed to the backswing position, it is almost time to hit the ball.

At this point, you want to slightly drop your racquet as the ball approaches. By dropping your racquet you will allow yourself to swing a bit under the ball so it can travel over the net.

Tennis has a lot of physics structured in it. Use gravity as your aid when accelerating your racquet through the ball. Keep your wrist loose at all times.

 Step 5 to perfect your forehand: The contact point

As you accelerate through the ball, the contact point becomes very key when it comes to perfect your forehand.

The contact point is the location where the ball hits on your racquet head. The average tennis racquet head is about 100 square inches, giving you a good amount of leeway when striking the ball.

With that said, you want to contact the ball as close to the middle of your racquet head as possible. A lot of racquets have their emblems featured on the strings which allows you to better understand your contact point.

Step 6: The follow-through

You might be thinking, “after I make contact with the ball my job is done, right?” WRONG!

Your follow-through AFTER striking the ball is just as important as the aforementioned steps.

I like the “catch the racquet” technique, especially for beginner tennis players.

If you are swinging with your right hand, you want your racquet handle to end up near your left shoulder. At this point, you can get your left hand back on the racquet as you prepare for your next shot.

Man playing tennis outside

Step 7: The mental state

Everything I just went over has something to do with the physical aspect of a tennis forehand. You must remember that the mental aspect is just as important!

The last thing you want to do is go out there and blindly swing. Develop a plan in your head. Pick a target and aim for it. The phrase “aim small miss small” does really ring true in the game of tennis.

It is also very important to keep a confident mindset going into each shot. You are going to hit some bad shots. Focus on the next one instead of dwelling on the past! A positive attitude goes a long way on the tennis court.

Check out this piece on positive thinking in tennis.

Woman taking a tennis lesson

Now that you have all the tools to hit a proper forehand, go out there and try it!

There will most definitely be a learning curve at the beginning, but the more you practice, the better you will get!

Try and keep the aforementioned steps in your mind, or, find yourself a coach who can help you work on these steps! A few tennis lessons will go a long way in improving your game.

Be sure to check out all the great Tennis Lessons HOKALI provides!

Wanna keep on learning about tennis? Have a look at this blog post!

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