is definately the favorite shot of a majority of players. It is the shot of the
dominant arm and as such the confidence and power is generally enhanced. Fundamentals
are always the starting point and foundation of any shot. In understanding this
the primacy of knowing how the body operates is a key component in developing
a smooth and consistent stroking pattern.
First to get
the ball over the net.
Second to place
the ball in the most effective position
Third to move
the ball at the desired speed, angle and condition. .
us go through the basic techniques and demands of the Forehand. A technique is
nothing more than a consistent system of methodical operations that can be repeated
in approaching varying yet similar situations. It is a practical process designed
to utilize trained skills to achieve semi-automatic and consistent results.
The ball is moving towards you at varying rates of speed, height of bounce, direction,
spin and distance to your body. You have only a fixed amount of time to respond
to the circumstances. Your body is trained and the mind is focused. There is ongoing
mental decisions conscious and subconscious. Your footwork, balance and shot selection
must be synchronized in a harmonious and functional bio-mechanically effective
ANALYSIS AND SHOTMAKING
consideration of the realities; time and space, movement and distance, force and
inertia, and clarity and confusion the superior player must take stock of the
court is 78' x 27' with a net that is 3 1/2' on the sides and 3' at the center.
The ball travels between 50 and 110 mph on groundstroke rallies. This allows from
the time you hit the ball from the baseline until it is returned by your opponent
anywhere from roughly 3.5 seconds to 1.0 seconds. This is all the time you have
from the moment you hit the ball until it returns to your racquet.
place to be is in the center of the court at all times in a groundstroke rally.
This allows for the player to retrieve any ball equally. It is the natural position
of yourself and your opponent. Understanding this brings us to the fact that hitting
down the lines or crosscourt to the lines is the most appropriate shot. From the
center point there is 13.5 ft to each sideline.
hit the ball you must move 10 ft. from your position. The lateral movement required
is 10 ft to each side. The optimal shots would be to force a player into a side
to side movement until the amount of time he has to reach the ball will not allow
it to be physically possible. The ball moving from one corner to the opposite
corner at an ETA of 1 sec is a speed of 56mph, a speed of 75mph will bring the
ball in at a rate of 3/4 of a second. In order to move 10 ft in 3/4 of a second
it requires an average speed of 10mph.
that the acceleration must be much quicker than 10mph and deceleration must also
be very quick. To move from one sideline to the other a distance of 27ft the speed
in .75 of an second will be averaged to 24.55mph. In Comparison a 10 second 100
meter dash is an average speed of only 22.36mph and a 4.4 40yd dash is 18.6mph.
Anticipation is the ability to speculate and make a judgement on where the ball
is to be hit in order to get a jump on it. If a player hits the ball from the
center point to the outside corner at 100 mph it will get there in about .55 secs.
It is physically
impossible to reach that point and be set to return the ball correctly without
anticipating the shot. The ability to see the opponents techniques and correctly
interpret them is an imperative asset in order to diminish the time necessary
to reach the ball and hit it at a proper point for return. Each step will take
from .05 to .20 tenths of a second covering a distance of 2 to 3 feet. Relating
to a speed of .05 per ft at maximum, (The speed of a 4.4 40 yd dash is .03666
ft per sec.) In a 10ft distance the quickness required to reach it is five steps
of 2 ft per each at a speed of .10 per ft.
into about 7mph. To travel 27 feet in this time is the same as a 4.4 40 yd dash
or 18mph. To start and stop and hit would be very impressive for any human. By
anticipating the shot selection correctly by .10 of a second you will save 2 steps
and approximately 5 feet. This is enough to reach the ball and place it back in
play. There is in every trajectory optimum positions to hit the ball. The return
trajectory is determined by the positioning of your body in relation to the ball.
Your arms do not stretch nor does your body remain balanced when reaching for
the ball when based in an awkward position.
to reach these optimum positions requires; anticipation, balance, speed, and accuracy
of movement. Without the accuracy of movement it would be entirely impossible
to do anything. With such little time as explained previously. Accuracy of movement
is essential to being prepared to make the shot.
training is designed to make the body function in automatically and synchronously
with the mind. Robotic consistency with spontaneous reactive coordination in balance
with a clear mind is required to achieve the optimum shot selection. On the forehand.
The grip is set in a semi-western mode, Slide your hand along the strings of the
racquet until you reach the grip.
and turn the racquet face slightly forward so the top to the racquet is moved
to an 11:00 position. When a ball is hit to your forehand side step out first
with what will be your back foot, This is your right foot for right handers on
the forehand side. Hear the foot hit the court to stop your lateral momentum.
At this point make sure the racquet is behind your body and laid back as your
are stepping forward in the correct position to return the oncoming ball.
the weight transfer as your left hand reaches out toward the ball as it moves
forward towards you. Bring your right arm forward close to your body with the
wrist laid back. This is an arm motion, not a wrist or elbow motion. Hit through
the path of the ball and continue the follow through so that you feel the impact
of your shoulder and biceps against your chin. Your left hand catches the racquet
just above your head. You now bring the back foot up and get in ready position
for the return of the ball your just hit.
will be updated soon to go over other common elements and facets of the forehand
such as; open stance, hitting on the rise, exaggerated open stance, closed stance,
blocking, hitting high forehands, hitting low forehands, hitting flat shots, rolling
over the ball, holding the ball on the racquet, slice forehand, cross court and
inside out forehands. Thank you for your interest. Rich