Author Topic: Forehand goes looooooooong...........and out  (Read 2882 times)

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Offline mypasswordstrength

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Forehand goes looooooooong...........and out
« on: November 24, 2008, 10:34:10 AM »
I just started playing tennis sometime ago, and I think I'm having trouble with my forehand consistencies. 7 out of 10 times, my forehands tend to sail long when I add some power. Sometimes the ball hits my opponent's back fence even though I'm hitting the forehand from my baseline  :)~.
It feels like I've to hit the ball with literally less or no power in order to make the ball lands inside my opponent's court. My forehands do land inside the court quite frequently but i couldn't figure out what needs to be corrected in order to consistently keep them in.
On the other hand, most of my backhand strokes are solid, I can hit flat bhs, half-volleys, slices with no problem. Oh yeah, I'm a righty and I use eastern.
What factors contribute to long forehands? Suggestions?

Offline jeffrx

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Re: Forehand goes looooooooong...........and out
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2008, 11:10:07 AM »
Try hitting more from low to high to generate topspin (this takes time to develop).  This will help to keep the balls in because the spin brings them down to the court after they clear the net by a pretty good margin.  Also, make sure you move your feet to get into the best hitting position (footwork is extremely important and often overlooked) and try to hit the ball while it is still a bit in front of you (take it early).  These are simple answers and I'm sure others will provide more detail, but if you do these things every time you will eventually improve that forehand.  Oh, and don't forget to follow through on you shots with a complete swing from low to high. 

After you hit several thousand of these shots, the secret will be revealed.
Lots of people make passes at me, I'm a tennis player!

Offline Tennis4you

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Re: Forehand goes looooooooong...........and out
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2008, 05:10:51 PM »
How long have you been playing?  Do you know what grip you are using for the forehand?
Good Luck on the Court!!!
Scott Baker
http://www.tennis4you.com

Offline mypasswordstrength

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Re: Forehand goes looooooooong...........and out
« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2008, 08:00:50 PM »
About 3 weeks. Please correct me if i'm wrong. I'll need to try semi-western (or western) grip as it is the most natural grip to induce topspin correct?
Currently I'm using eastern to hit all my forehands and i find it quite hard to consistently land the ball inside my opponent's court.

Offline Tennis4you

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Re: Forehand goes looooooooong...........and out
« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2008, 09:12:23 PM »
I am not sure how early one should go to a western or semi-western grip.  But it would be the more natural way to hit topspin.  If you try one, try more towards the semi-western grip.
Good Luck on the Court!!!
Scott Baker
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Offline mypasswordstrength

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Re: Forehand goes looooooooong...........and out
« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2008, 09:16:27 PM »
All right! great tips guys thanks a lot  :)

Offline Tennis4you

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Re: Forehand goes looooooooong...........and out
« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2008, 09:39:00 PM »
And here is a great article for grips:

http://www.tennisserver.com/turbo/turbo_97_10.html

If you have any questions let us know!
Good Luck on the Court!!!
Scott Baker
http://www.tennis4you.com

Offline mypasswordstrength

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Re: Forehand goes looooooooong...........and out
« Reply #7 on: November 25, 2008, 08:06:42 AM »
Nice link, thanks!!

I have some questions:
I'm a little bit confused about the trajectory of the semi-western forehand swing. It looks like in contrast to the eastern forehand swing, the
sw forehand swing has sharper upward-diagonal movement from my lower right to my upper left in order to lift the spinning ball, am i correct?

The other thing is, where exactly should my racket head end-up in the followthrough after hitting the ball in the sw topspin forehand?

Offline jeffrx

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Re: Forehand goes looooooooong...........and out
« Reply #8 on: November 25, 2008, 10:34:49 AM »
Just to clarify one thing, you can generate plenty of topspin with an eastern grip, it just depends on your swing path (low to high = more spin).  Semi-western is more popular as a learning tool and for high level/tournament players and junior players, but if you want to be a recreational player, the eastern grip can be great.  I use it and so do/did many pro tennis players.  Heck, back in the day they even used to use a continental grip (Brad Gilbert and others) although the continental is definitely not the way to go for forehands these days (but it is on serves, volleys, and overheads).  If you truly want to be a heavy spin player, I guess you may as well go with a semi-western.  On the flip side, an eastern grip  will make it easier to flatten out shots when you want to, which can allow for "laser-style winners" once you get comfortable (after you hit about 10,000 shots!).

The bottom line to all of this is that whatever grip you decide to use, you will still need to play as much as possible to reach the level you want to get to.  Bad habits are easy to develop and hard to shake, so it's a good idea to have someone who knows what they are doing evaluate your strokes and movements from time to time.
Lots of people make passes at me, I'm a tennis player!

Offline monstertruck

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Re: Forehand goes looooooooong...........and out
« Reply #9 on: November 25, 2008, 10:48:08 AM »
Nice link, thanks!!

I have some questions:
I'm a little bit confused about the trajectory of the semi-western forehand swing. It looks like in contrast to the eastern forehand swing, the
sw forehand swing has sharper upward-diagonal movement from my lower right to my upper left in order to lift the spinning ball, am i correct?

The other thing is, where exactly should my racket head end-up in the followthrough after hitting the ball in the sw topspin forehand?
Clearly illustrated in the link T4U provided.
CONK da ball!!!

Offline mypasswordstrength

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Re: Forehand goes looooooooong...........and out
« Reply #10 on: November 25, 2008, 08:52:54 PM »
Nice link, thanks!!

I have some questions:
I'm a little bit confused about the trajectory of the semi-western forehand swing. It looks like in contrast to the eastern forehand swing, the
sw forehand swing has sharper upward-diagonal movement from my lower right to my upper left in order to lift the spinning ball, am i correct?

The other thing is, where exactly should my racket head end-up in the followthrough after hitting the ball in the sw topspin forehand?
Clearly illustrated in the link T4U provided.

My bad, didn't scroll far enough to the bottom :)~

Offline monstertruck

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Re: Forehand goes looooooooong...........and out
« Reply #11 on: November 26, 2008, 06:53:31 AM »
Nice link, thanks!!

I have some questions:
I'm a little bit confused about the trajectory of the semi-western forehand swing. It looks like in contrast to the eastern forehand swing, the
sw forehand swing has sharper upward-diagonal movement from my lower right to my upper left in order to lift the spinning ball, am i correct?

The other thing is, where exactly should my racket head end-up in the followthrough after hitting the ball in the sw topspin forehand?
Clearly illustrated in the link T4U provided.

My bad, didn't scroll far enough to the bottom :)~
Izzzzzzallllllrite.

Make sure to get some help during the early learning phase of your tennis.
This should help lay a good foundation for you to improve on.
You don't want to develop any habits that might inhibit your game as you improve.
CONK da ball!!!

Offline djinni9

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Re: Forehand goes looooooooong...........and out
« Reply #12 on: November 28, 2008, 04:08:35 PM »
i want to add some things as well. although my forehand was quite good even from the very first session i hit, it has come a long way baby. i went through very difficult times. i overhit at first, and then for 2 years i became a timid underhitter. so i'll give you some advice to
avoid what i went through and then an alternative view, in retrospect.
 
-if your balls are hitting the back fence i am almost certain you are using an oversized, light racquet. throw it away, don't listen to what other people say, ie. "oversized light racquets are good for beginners". they're not. you wont improve if you continue with them. get midplus size. i don't care if you're 65 or 13. 100 sq in maximum to 95 minimum (which i consider midsize, anyway). 100 or 98 sq in. is your safest bet. as for weight, well pretty early on i switched to a 348 gram racquet. i did have difficulty only when i wasn't playing regularly and frequently; when i was in bad shape, both technically and physically. so i know you'll have difficulty in the beginning. in very little time my new racquet did wonders for my game; i was improving even DURING a hitting session. imagine how much difference it can make in the longer run. such a racquet will force you to improve, whether you want to or not  :)) ; this is simply because it is more demanding. i'm not saying get a 345-8 gram racquet. avoid anything under 300 grams. avoid anything over 345 as well, at least for now. demo a few racuets within the 310-330 gram range. get one that you think you'll be comfortable with. if you think you can handle more weight, go for it. there's a lot more that can be said regarding racquets but i'll end it here.

-avoid semi-western and certainly western. my opinion maybe, but they're worthless. unless you're trying to go pro, it is sensless to use those grips when starting out. they're very demanding, preparation/mechanics are more complicated; and they're not versatile. at a non-pro and non-academy level, the amount of errors and lack of control/consistency will be huge. i see it almost every single time i watch a youngster play. believe me even our local club teacher, who thinks he's a hotshot, is making a ridiculous amount of mis**ts or weak shots because of this modern extreme topspin obsession. imagine how much you'll suck trying to hit like nadal and co. Avoid any extreme grip and stroke style in the beginning. go simple, basic. tweak as you improve and gain consistency. only after you've reached a certain level you can start to modify your grip and strokes according to your natural strengths and weaknesses. and of course depending on your raw talent and tactical intelligence. i use an eastern grip mostly. it's suits my game well. with it i can hit heavy topspin (but not extreme) deep if i want to, but i rarely need to because of my style of play. which brings us to my next point:

-to avoid hitting long AND still hit a very powerful shot, i take the ball as low as i can. my swing is more vertical than horizontal - relatively of course. i brush really hard and still swing a bit forward as well as slightly shifting my weight toward the front (along with a body uncoil). this creates a moderate amount of topspin while still making the shot look flat. for my shot, the spin/height effect peaks way before the ball clears the net. therefore the ball clears the net by just a few inches and then goes parallel and downwards. the shot is very strong and deep. this is of course for my best shot. when i really go for it. but basically my forehand stroke is roughly built around this. try this. i think it can help. i seldom hit out now. and certainly hardly ever more than a foot, at least after i'm warmed up and have found rhythm. so as you'll surmise, practice, practice, practice. and since you've been only playing for a few weeks now, i'll give you another tip that contradicts what i've said before:

-DON'T HIT HARD! just try to keep it in and as deep as you can. work on control, stroke mechanics, accuracy and consistency rather than looking at the shot you've just hit and giving yourself a grade. results will come with time. i became a very timid, bland hitter, especially during matches because i feared hitting out. guess what, i ended up putting many balls into the net and the rest into the opponents comfort zones. i considered myself a wimp, one who'd never be able hit winners (without sacrificing percentage) or be able to play a good baseline game. but now i'm glad that i chose to underhit rather than overhit because it allowed me develop control, placement and consistency. power should be the last thing you want to add to your game improvement. your reward will come late but it will be very big. well i hope for you anyway.