4 Tips To Fix Being Late On The Forehand

Today, let’s talk about how to fix being late on the forehand. I’ve heard from many tennis players who struggle with hitting their forehand late, and as a result, they find it hard to get a lot of pop, penetration, or depth on their forehand. If that sounds like you, don’t worry. I’ve got four effective solutions for you. There are several concepts to focus on, and drills you can practice to fix this common problem. Let’s take a look at some of them.

Tennis Forehand First Move

Topspin forehand first move My first tip for fixing your late forehand would be to focus on making your first move sooner. As soon as you recognize that the ball is coming to your forehand, make your first move by pulling the non-dominant arm across to create a nice shoulder turn. When you make your shoulder turn, you will take your off hand off of the racquet, and straighten the arm so that it is parallel to the baseline. This will help you create the proper spacing. If you set your racquet early, then you won’t be caught drawing your racquet back once the ball gets to you. This alone should prevent you from being late. And when you pull the off arm across the body, you will have a greater chance of avoiding being too close to the ball. Check out this video where I demonstrate the first move. Watch from 1:48 to 2:18.

Targets On The Forehand

Tennis forehand tip Once you fix your first move, you need to make sure you aim to the right targets. If you are struggling with depth, exaggerate your target by aiming at your opponent’s feet or head. When you aim for your opponent who is standing past the baseline, you will be forced to extend out toward the target. If you are often late, you need to exaggerate the missing crosscourt. This is a simple correction that can work right away.

Relax Your Hand On The Forehand

Topspin forehand tip In addition to fixing your targets, make sure you are relaxing your hand properly when you swing. When you learn to remove tension, you will get more natural power and depth with less effort. Here are a couple of powerful ways you can improve your relaxation. First, try opening your fingers on your dominant hand at the end of your swing. To do this you will have to catch the racquet with your non-dominant hand. If this doesn’t get you the desired effect, try taking your racquet completely out of your hand at the end of your swing when you catch the racquet. When you catch the racquet at the end of your swing, simply place your racquet in your non-dominant hand. This will remove all tension from your arm and hand and will give you the pop and penetration you are looking for.

Fast-Paced Forehand Drill

Forehand drill And one final way to break that habit of being late on your forehand is to have fastballs fed or hit to you. This is a great forehand training aid. This will really force you to work on making a quick first move as soon as you see the ball coming to your forehand. Stand just inside the baseline and have someone rip balls at you. Make sure you stay inside, or just on the baseline. With the ball coming so fast, it will force you to make a quick short take back. There you have it! Four simple and effective ways to fix being late on the forehand. Give these tips a try the next time you play, and you should notice a big improvement. You’ll start hitting more topspin on your forehand and develop more power and accuracy on it.


By Jeff Salzenstein, Founder Tennis Evolution

Jeff is a former top 100 ATP player and USTA high-performance coach committed to helping players and coaches all over the world improve.

P.S. – Ready to take it to the next level with your tennis? Click here to get a free tennis course inside the Tennis Evolution App. Learn the exact step-by-step system that has transformed the games of thousands of players worldwide.


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