Tips and Tricks with Carl Danner: Forehand Basics

Peter Li ForehandBy Carl Danner

Let’s review a few basics for any forehand topspin shot.

Start with your weight balanced over your feet, in an athletic position with your legs bent a bit. You should have a back and front foot, the back foot being the same as your playing hand (e.g. the right foot for a right-handed player).

As the ball approaches, turn your shoulders away and start your back swing by lowering your arm. Start your move into the ball by shifting your weight forward, from the back to the front foot. This needn’t be a dramatic movement for many shots, but some forward momentum is very helpful.

The stroke itself is two motions done together. Turn your shoulders back towards the ball as you raise your arm up to contact it with the racket. The arm swing itself should be both up and forward. From the side, it will look like you are swinging along a flat plane that is tilted towards your opponent.

That’s it. There are, of course, many adjustments that can be made — such as tilting the swing plane more or less steeply, using the wrist and forearm more aggressively, employing a more explosive weight shift, or choosing between a flatter hit or spinnier loop shot. But all of these forehand variations build from the basics. See if they help your game!

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