Tennis Forehand Tip: The Relaxed Arm Pro Secret
For instance, I consider that you should not focus too much on relaxation during your swing path. I think that you will feel mechanical, instead of smooth and effortless. Now, let’s dive into three fundamental elements that will allow you to achieve great relaxation on your tennis forehand. I’ll also discuss a little-known secret to improve your forehand technique and strategy.
Forehand Grip Tip
First thing to do for having a relaxed arm on the tennis forehand is using the right grip pressure. On a 1-10 point scale with 1 being no tension and 10 being very tense, you don’t want to grip the racquet tighter than a 4. Thus, see if you can hold the racquet lightly as you start your swing.
You should naturally grip the racquet a little tighter at contact, but you won’t have to think about this. Moreover, please avoid the killer block grip that so many players are guilty of and are not even aware of. The block grip essentially involves holding the racquet with the fingers scrunched together.
This will create more tension before you even think about hitting the ball, and you won´t be able to recover from it. Instead of using block grip, angle your hand like you’re shaking hands with the racquet and spread your index finger a bit. This will facilitate not only the correct racquet angle at contact but also a looser grip.
Forehand Finish Tip
If you are struggling with getting depth on your forehand, make sure to exaggerate by finishing high and holding your finish longer. The more nervous you are, the lower your hand will naturally finish across your body. Hence, you have to counteract that feeling by finishing higher. The higher you finish, the deeper the ball will go. This is a full-proof way to stop hitting short, or in the net the longer a point goes.
To emphasize this high finish feeling, you can actually catch the racquet in front of your opposite shoulder. Likewise, you can finish with your hands in front of the body which will promote extension. The legendary coach, Robert Lansdorp, always had his players focus on the extension by catching the racquet on the forehand finish.
Open The Fingers On Your Forehand Finish
At the end of your tennis forehand swing, you can work on relaxation by catching the racquet with your non dominant hand. Open the fingers on the dominant hand and feel all the tension release from it to achieve complete relaxation. Relaxing at the end of the stroke actually helps you lower the tension throughout the entire swing. Cool trick, right?
If this does not work as well as you want, then you can actually take it a step further. Focus on removing the hand completely off the racquet after catching it with your non dominant hand. This forces you to completely relax the hand as it goes out towards the target when you swing.
Finally, let’s go over a bonus forehand tennis tip to improve its technique and your strategy. If you’re struggling at the end of long rallies with your depth, make sure you’re exaggerating on your targets, especially the longer a point goes.
Aim past the baseline or even try to hit the ball into the fence. It will be very tough to actually do this if you have topspin on your forehand. Exaggerating your aim the longer a point goes should help with depth. Simply, don’t let your shots land shorter and focus on the process instead of the end result.
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.
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