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Forehand problems - Help please!
Lately, I've been having some issues with my forehand. If I attempt to hit it with pace, the ball always seems to go long. I don't know what to do to improve the topspin I give to the ball. I've even considered switching from my eastern forehand grip to a semi western, but I don't know if that will really work for me...
Thanks in advance for your comments!
It is definitely possible to impart lots of topspin with an eastern grip but it requires a very strong wrist. If you don't have such a strong wrist, you might benefit from switching to a semi-western (its easier to create topspin anyway). As you've doubtless heard millions of times before, you must brush up the back of the ball.
Originally Posted by Chatruc
However, some people hit naturally flat and some hit with heavy topspin loop. Personally I hit my forehand almost identically to Nadal except with more depth into the court and I know that if I tried to hit like Del Potro, for instance, it just wouldn't work (mainly because I have an almost western grip).
The thing is if you can do either technique really well then there is no need to change; both are just as effective if executed well. However you should bear in mind what kind of player you are and what kind of physique you have.
With a Del Potro stroke, points are likely to be quite short; you're more likely to hit winners but also more unforced errors. You need greater core and chest strength so that you can power through the ball and direct it accurately and low. It helps if you are quite tall so as to mitigate the margin for error, and have more court to aim at. It is easier to hit such a stroke with an eastern or semi-western forehand grip. If you aren't so tall then, it's wise to hit with at least some topspin
With a heavy topspin stroke like Nadal, points are generally going to last longer as greater net clearance and the topspin loop will keep it in court more often than not. The emphasis of your game will be forcing your opponent out of the court or into an error. For this kind of game, you need to be fast, physically fit with good wrist, arm and shoulder strength, so that you can whip the racket up the back of the ball. this kind of stroke is easier with a semi-western or full western grip but it can be done with an eastern grip as well.
What I haven't mentioned is that you won't necessarily be able to execute either of these strokes really well without the right swing path and balance through the stroke and that comes from practice. I have seen so many people who try to copy Nadal's stroke just by whirling the racket above their head and sending the ball 20 feet over the net with no pace or penetration at all. Of course, there is so much more to his shot than that. It is useful to have good bicep strength so that you can whip the racket upwards through contact. Shoulder strength, wrist strength and forearm strength are essential to execute this sort of stroke well.
Hope this helped
You might want to check these out:
"The depressing thing about tennis is that no matter how good I get, Iíll never be as good as a wall."
"Whoever said, ĎItís not whether you win or lose that counts,í probably lost."
Thanks for your reply AlexLogan
I've been told that I need to snap my wrist at contact point (not before), but it seems I can't get the hang of that very consistently, heh.
It has occured to me that a problem I might have is that when I hit the ball the racquet face is not in the correct angle. I'll try fixing that too, maybe shortening my backswing a bit (I don't know if this would be a solution, any ideas will be most welcome).
I'll keep you guys posted on the evolution of the case
Snapping your wrist deliberately can lead to problems. It's like someone said in another thread you're more releasing your wrist through the contact point.
Great response Alex.
Originally Posted by Chatruc
Oh no, don't snap your wrist. Actually it's the opposite. your wrist stays back in a cocked position and never really moves from it the whole way through the shot. It's okay to let the wrist naturally follow momentum, but do not put muscle into wrist movement. I try to use semi-western but sometimes I automatically convert to an eastern grip. it's more of a mix between eastern and semi-western. i hit much safer shots with a sw grip and it's very easy to switch to it.
Keep it simple and slightly adjust your grip more toward the semi-western grip. You don't have to do it all in one day. Move it over a little bit and practice hitting up and through the ball. The racquet will naturally turn over and it should finish up around the neck area for practice. You can adjust that follow through a little to feel right later on, but at first, bring it to the top of your shoulder. This gives you a reference point to use when your shot goes awry. Whenever my forehand goes off a little, I immediately begin wrapping my follow through around my neck. When working this new forehand, make sure you are moving your feet into position to hit the ball correctly. Many people get frustrated because they can't get the stroke right, but it is usually that they don't get in proper position to hit the ball and therefore they have hitches in the swing. I work with some of the top juniors in the United States and I just corrected a couple of forehands over the past couple of days that were suffering due to a lack of footwork. Let us know how it goes.......
Brush up and across the ball. That will fix your control problems and no grip change needed!!
Thanks for all your advice guys!
I'll get on the courts tomorrow morning and probably in the evening also, same on wednesday and probably one hour per day on thursday and friday. I'll be participating in a doubles tourney this weekend, so I'll have plenty of chances of trying what you guys adviced.
I'll let you know how it goes!
Thanks again, see you around!
This morning, I've been able to hit more comfortably and also hit less long shots. I didn't try to hit very hard, but it looked better, I think. One thing they told me today, is that more often than not I lean backwards when hitting. When I corrected that and leaned forward I saw better results, both on pace and topspin, so overall I was happy with the results I had in the morning. I'll play again after work, so I'll see how it goes!
Solution is to hit more.
We assumed you have good posture, not leaning forwards OR back.
We assumed you have full shoulder turn.
We assumed you have some footwork.
We assume your swing plane is grooved enough you can replicate it.
So when you try to hit more topspin, you have to increase your swing plane, low to high, swing faster, close off the racketface as needed for your swing speed, and watch the ball.
Someone told me that you first hit through the ball, and then add topspin by rolling your forearm, and thus producing topspin.
Like first hitting, and then topspin added 2nd.
Curious to know your thoughts about this.
They are probably talking about pronation. I don't think it's done secondly though. Otherwise the strings would have little effect spin-wise. Some people naturally hit with pronation. Other people try to put it in their game and screw up their forehand alltogether.
Originally Posted by 03White
Pronation on the topspin forehand, and supination on the topspin backhand, is a somewhat advanced technique that allows your hand to naturally complete a FULL followthru, so you can repeat the swing over and over again.
Kinda like in golf, if you're right handed, the left hand ends up over the right, in a complete followthru.
It's a new school stroke, and implemented with perfect timing just before you actually hit the ball, to account for bad bounces and higher than expected bounces.
If you actualy implemented the pronation after hitting the ball, it would have no effect on the ball.
If you implemented it too early, it would close the racketface and your shot goes down.
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