The fourth step of the tennis forehand progressions is to start adding a backswing loop to the motion we’ve already worked on. We started with no loop because we wanted to focus on getting the fundamentals down. However, most modern forehands have some sort of loop to them so that’s what we’re going to add now.
The key to this step is to make sure that when you are practicing you maintain the exact same hitting-arm position from the beginning of your loop until after contact. What you’re basically going to do is “shake the hand” of an invisible person behind you with the tennis racket. You’ll start with the racket up behind you and shake downwards, then swing forward to the tennis ball.
Let’s see what this looks like when we shadow the motion at 0:50 in the video above. In this position here, you can see that I’m standing sideways at the service line and my non-hitting arm is extended out across my body. The tennis racket is back behind me at about shoulder level, and the racket head is pointed up. From here, I slowly drop the racket straight down, and the position that I then get to is the same racket back position we talked about before. From the racket back position, I can swing forward to contact and follow through like we’ve done in the previous videos. Again, the *key* to remember is that you need to maintain the exact same hitting arm position from the top of your loop, as you drop the racket down, and through contact.
Let’s now see it in action at 1:30 in the video above. I’m starting with the tennis racket back behind me at shoulder level with the racket head pointed up. From here, I drop the racket down and then I swing forward using all the same mechanics. You can see that I have that abbreviated loop as I’m swinging. If you remember from the Forehand Fundamentals section of our website, we talked about how the racket traces out a shape similar to the letter C as you take it back and then drop it down and swing forward. This motion is about three-quarters of that C shape. The only thing missing is the initial racket takeback (the pivot and shoulder turn and a little bit of arm work).
From the back view at 2:00, you can see that I’m executing all of the mechanics in a nice relaxed fashion as Andrej feeds me the tennis ball at the service line. I’m just working the technique. Again, notice that from when I start to drop the racket down and through contact my hitting arm structure remains exactly the same.