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Tennis: The Forehand

Tennis: The Forehand

Latin America's top tennis coach Fabián "Fab" Nuñez Seixa explains to VideoJug users the forehand. Master this aspect of your tennis game, and you are well on your way to playing like a professional.

Step 1: Find your best practice position

For experienced players, the best position is usually within a zone one metre behind the baseline to half a metre in front, and towards the right of the court.

Beginners will find it easier to start somewhere near the middle of the court. You can move your practice position backwards as your game improves.

Step 2: The Grip

If you are right handed, hold the racquet in your left hand. Place the palm and fingers of your right hand flat on the strings. Slide your right hand down to the grip of the racket, and close it around the grip.

Your hand is now in the correct position for a forehand drive.

If you are left-handed, this and all subsequent steps are reversed.

Step 3: Position

To position yourself for a forehand shot, start by turning your body to the right.

Step forward with the left foot, placing it in front of the right, and at the same time move your right arm back so the racquet is almost in line with the body.

In the correct position, your shoulders, hips and feet are all on parallel lines pointing towards the net.

It is important to keep the racquet head low, so the racquet rises to meet the ball.

You are now ready to hit the ball.

Step 4: The Shot

Try to hit the ball at hip height, with the racquet just in front of your body.

Your first movement should be with your arm. Keep your wrist and elbow straight, and use the whole arm to swing the racquet towards the ball, connecting just in front of the line of your hip.

If you meet the ball too early, you will lean forward and lose balance.

If you try to hit the ball when it is behind you, you will hit from your wrist rather than swinging with your arm

Your body should start to move at just the same moment that you hit the ball. Let your body turn following the movement of the racquet as it comes up above your left shoulder.

A long follow-through is vital for a powerful shot. You know you've got it right when you end up "eating your shoulder".

To play a high ball, simply move backwards until the ball drops to hip height.

For low balls, bend your knees, bringing your hips down to the ball. Be sure to stay down until you hit the ball.

Your back foot should stay in its original position for as long as possible, coming forward towards the end of the shot to leave hips and feet facing the net ready for the next shot.

And once you feel comfortable with the forehand, why not see what you can pick up in the rest of our tennis series.