Modern tennis is a forehand dominated game. The holy grail for most tennis players is to search for the keys to unlock their most powerful, most heavy, most penetrating, and most explosive forehand to damage their opponents, take control of the point, and put away the ball. In this article, the entire team of TAG International Tennis Academy, reveals the 7 Power Generators in the mechanics of the forehand, so that you can have a massive, heavy and powerful forehand to dominate your opponents:
- use a grip between Eastern Forehand to Semi-Western Forehand;
- ensure hip loading through the back leg and maximum upper body rotation;
- use a semi-open stance to harness both linear and angular momentum;
- have a linear swing path towards your intended target;
- fully engage the elbow, forearm and wrist to snap into the ball at contact;
- have a square contact and extension; and
- finish your follow through around chest to hip level.
Use a grip between Eastern Forehand to Semi-Western Forehand
To hit a powerful forehand, you should use a either an eastern grip (Pete Sampras), a strong eastern grip (Roger Federer), or a semi-western grip (Novak Djokovic/ Dominic Thiem). These are the best grips that can hit a truly powerful shot that is also stable and reliable for they facilitate a square contact between the racquet face and the ball to impart maximum energy transfer to hit a solid shot with lower risk of the ball flying to the fence from an open racquet face.
Ensure Hip Loading through your back leg and Maximum Upper Body Rotation on your forehand
One of the two main drivers of creating massive power is upper body rotation.
Do not release the non-playing hand too early. Release your non-playing hand only when you turn past the centre line so that you trunk is rotated, loading the hip simultaneously as you sink into your back leg to facilitate the hip drive. The initiation part of the forward swing on the forehand is done with rotating the hips and shoulders.
Your shoulders shoulders must be strongly rotated, at least perpendicular to the net, but ideally more, at about 120-140 degrees if you have sufficient to time the release the coil into impact so that you can generate massive rotational power when you release the racquet from lock-in through impact and impact extension into the follow through.
Use a semi-open stance for your forehand to harness both linear and angular momentum
The most powerful forehands isn’t a debate between the open or closed stance but to harness the advantages of both, with a semi-open stance. In preparation to strike the ball, most of your weight should be on your back foot, and from the lock-in phase through to contact and extension, you will transfer your weight to the front foot. This will not only allow you transfer all your body weight into the ball when you transfer your weight onto the front foot, but massive rotational angular momentum from your kinetic chain from the trunk and shoulder rotation. If you do this correctly, your weight would be fully on your front foot and your back leg will PIVOT AROUND from the rotation from the back to front, which will also faciliate a running step back to the ideal recovery centre position.
Have a linear swing path towards your intended target
Another key to a massively powerful forehand is ensure the strokes swing path is a straight line before and after contact. If the swing path is too “vertical” instead of linear, too much of the racquet head speed will be translated into “spin” rather than to drive the ball straight through the court. Of course, spin is important, but there are other ways to impart spin onto the ball, which will be discussed shortly below, by dropping just your racquet head below the ball.
Fully engage the Elbow, Forearm and Wrist to Snap into the ball at Contact
To move the racquet upward to impart topspin, you should use an internal rotation of the forearm at the point of impact to create a “rolling” effect on the ball. Combine the forearm rotation and leg drive, they will collectively create a lot of upward movement of the racquet head even on a linear swing path and you’ll experience how these forces help you impart massive topspin on your forehand.
The use of the wrist, in addition to the semi-open stance, are the biggest keys to the increase in massive power between the traditional forehand and the massive forehand. To engage the “wrist lag” so that the racquet will snap forward at ferocious speed: from lock-in into contact, once your hips start to release the rotation, the forearm will start to drop the racquet, creating a stretch in the forearm, and you “pull” the racquet handle that is pointed towards the ball forward, causing the racquet head to “snap” into the ball at impact. This requires a loose and relaxed arm so that it is “live”, so that massive snap from the wrist can be created effortlessly.
Have a square contact and long extension through your forehand
The most ideal way to impact the ball is with a “square” contact, just in front of the front hip, with a long linear swing path.
For an eastern grip, contact should be just below hip height, and for strong eastern to semi-western, then a few inches above that at hip to waist height, depending on the type of ball being presented and where you are on the court.
A lot of players try to “shade” the contact with a slightly closed racquet face to try and keep the ball in, but while this may work, it is inefficient. The best way to hit the ball with a linear swing path directly into the ball SQUARELY, a “conk and roll”. A quick Google for Roger Federer’s forehand will yield many photos or videos where he has a very square contact, away and in front of him, while his forearm is simultaneously pronating to “roll” the racquet strings to impart wicked topspin to the ball.
If you want even more power, launch into the air as you make contact with the ball like what Coach Khoe is doing in this photo. Even from a still image, you can sense the power Coach Khoe has imparted into this massive forehand.
To ensure stability on a powerful shot, it is important to swing straight through the ball, and “roll the forearm” while the ball is contact with the strings to create topspin. At this point, it is important to develop extending through the impact to “imaginarily” take the ball an additional 6-10 inches towards your intended target. This will ensure you “stay” with the ball to direct it through the target to impart topspin into the shot with the rotating forearm.
Finish your follow-through around chest to hip level
At this stage, the ball has already gone. Many players finish differently – over the shoulder, around the chest, or around the hip to below the knee. The follow through is the natural consequence of all that has happened before into the shot. The follow through was a result what happened at contact. The ball has long gone. As a result of it, in reviewing what is happening during your shot in training, a good reference for players and coaches is to look at the follow-through, for what is happening at impact may be too quick for the naked eye in the training of a massively powerful forehand.
If you are using a linear swing path and engaging your forearm and your wrist to go through the ball to your intended target, you should have a follow-through finish somewhere around chest to hip level, the finish is not likely to be above your shoulders although there can be exceptions.
The TAG International Tennis Academy Definitive Guide Series
We hope you have found this article on one Power Generators in the Tenins Forehand informative and helpful. If so, please share it with your tennis playing family and friends.
This article is part of the TAG Definitive Guide Series which encompasses the best tennis advice available on the internet. If you enjoyed this article, some other interesting tennis instruction articles you may like:
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If you are looking to improve your tennis, you can look to some of Singapore’s best private tennis coaches such as the tennis coaches from the best tennis academy in Singapore, TAG International Tennis Academy by taking private tennis lessons. We can be contacted at +6598395232, or contact us HERE.
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