Pivot and Take the Racket Back
The third step of the forehand progressions is to play from the ready position. Begin by shadowing. Pivot and turn your shoulders. When you take the racket back you DON’T WANT ANY LOOP.
Again, we’re going to start by shadowing. From the ready position, I pivot with my outside foot and turn my shoulders. That’s how the tennis racket starts to come back. When I take the tennis racket back, it goes *straight back* to the racket back position, with virtually no loop whatsoever. Finally, make sure your body is entirely sideways when you reach the racket back position. If we watch it from the ready position again, you can see that the pivot and the shoulder turn initiate the motion, and then I just get sideways as I continue to take the racket back. The body position you end up in at the completion of this step is the same position we started in on Step 2 of the forehand progressions. From here the rest of your swing mechanics are the same as those we’ve talked about previously. Rotate your body back towards the net, get your back heel up, and follow through smoothly after contact.
Once you’ve mastered the shadowing you can try to hit the tennis ball beginning in the ready position. Pivot and turn the shoulders, get yourself sideways, and at the same time bring the tennis racket straight back with no loop to your racket back position. This entire time, the hitting-arm relationship we talked about in the previous two videos remains exactly the same. This is critically important.
From the back view we can see the same fundamental things happening. I begin each forehand by pivoting and turning my shoulders. That starts getting me sideways, and I continue taking the racket *straight back* with my arm to the racket back position. From there, I rotate back towards the net, get my back heel up, swing forward with the same hitting arm position from the shoulder, and catch my racket at the completion of the follow through. Just like in the previous step, the key here is not to try and hit hard. It is to do this motion slowly and methodically, working the technique.