The Forehand Swing Path

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Step 5

The swing path is the path your racket travels along from start of your forehand through contact and the follow through. The key element of the swing path is that once you release the racket with your other hand the racket should never stop moving.

The racket needs to move continuously once you release it with your other, non-hitting hand. You want the racket to be moving as fast as possible when you hit the tennis ball (in most circumstances). The tennis racket doesn’t start to slow down until after the ball is off your strings. If you stop the racket at one, or several, points after you release it with your other hand, not only do you lose any momentum you’ve created but also it makes timing your forehand more difficult.

At 37 seconds in the video we present a montage of tennis pros hitting forehands. What you’ll see is that their tennis racket never stops moving after they release it with their other hands.

Although the five fundamental steps we have outlined in this section may seem simple, the fact is that very few club-level players do all five of these things correctly, so we caution you against not paying close attention to these aspects of your forehand. Once you feel like you have a very solid grasp on the fundamentals, we recommend that you explore the Advanced Tennis Forehand Techniques section of our site.

We would also like to extend a special thanks to the Washington Kastles World Team Tennis organization and Qorvis Communications. We were granted media passes in the Summer of 2008 to photograph matches and videotape player warm-ups even though we are not technically a tennis news outlet. Much of the great player hitting footage and still shots that we used in this section to teach you the tennis forehand are the fruits of the opportunity the Kastles and Qorvis offered to us. We are looking forward to next season!

  • Thinh – Vietnam

    Thank you very much!

  • Anonymous

    In your examples, the payer always hits the ball close to the highest point of the bounce. What happens when he must hit it low, close to the end of the bounce?

  • art_d

    Outstanding series on the forehand. The swing path is often neglected. Interesting how the wrist softens near the end to absorb force. I have been trying too hard to keep mine fixed and it seems to transfer too much momentum to the shoulders, making my swing stiff and forced feeling.

  • Anonymous

    were some of them hittin wind-shield wipers?


    Great job Will, Everybody at my tennis club is watching you and let me tell you I’ve seen a lot of improving day by day thanks to you, KEEP IT UP

  • DG

    I always found I was too close to the ball on the forehand and got tucked up as a result. Putting the non hitting arm across the body (which I noticed today Ana Ivanovic doesn’t really do) really helped me

  • Felipe

    This is great! Explanations are really good and relevant. I will try the non hitting arm tip. thank you for taking the time and effort to put it together for all to use.

  • Yuval

    Very good, thank you very much

  • tennisfan

    Hi will.I have been following your forehand videos but nothing i do seems to improve my forehand.Could you tell me about any common mistake I could be making or any suggest any other videos etc. ?

  • alex

    Great forehand videos.  I’ll try pivoting more and rotate shoulders and torso first.

    What about relaxing your forehand?  Did I miss this?

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  • Lili

    Thanks a lot!

  • Abargs

    Very helpful!

  • Sud

    Great videos

  • dsaedi

    Hi Will,whenever I have time ,I prefer to watch one of your video rather than anything else,I really appreciate

  • Carlos

    Gostaria que alguem traduzisse os videos para o português (brasil)

  • Ben

    Hi Will. One problem that is hurting my game is how I have a tendency to put more top spin than a forward motion to the ball resulting in a really slow pace shot. How can I adjust my forehand stroke to increase the pace? I guess I’m having trouble flattening the racket during ball contact. I feel like I’m really wasting my energy with my stroke. Thanks for your help.

  • forehand | Sydney Tennis Fans

    [...] Swing Path The final fundamental thing about the forehand is the swing path — the path the racket travels along from the start of the motion to the completion of the follow through. Once you release the racket with your other hand, it shouldn’t stop moving until you complete your follow through. [...]

  • dudeguy

    how u fade r u magik?