Today’s clinic was pretty fruitful, if I don’t say so myself. There was actually a point when I said to myself, “Okay, this is where it clicks.” Strangely enough, it did.
Why I have trouble with my forehand, I’ll never know. This is supposed to be the “natural” stroke that everyone picks up the fastest. The backhand and the serve are what usually gets people into trouble. Nope, not me. I am fine at those two, it’s the forehand that troubles me.
I now have the proper grip. It’s the full western…the one I used to use 12 years ago when I played at the Carmel Fitness and Racquet club in Carmel, NY. I played with younger people, so their grips were much more exaggerated. Young people watch the pros a lot and like to copy them. As players become more mature, they tend to hit safer, more conservative shots. I always liked the exaggerated gameplay, so I think I’ll stick to that.
There are two things I am working on; the first one is keeping my elbow closer to my body. When I don’t do that, I get a big, loopy swing. Changing my grip from the semi-western to the full western grip has helped with this. Also, holding a tennis ball to my body with my elbow reminds my to keep the elbow close.
The second thing I am working on is extending my swing more. Usually, after I make contact with the ball, I pull up too fast, when I should be moving the racquet forward more. They like to call this the “windshield wiper” swing. It’s not as bad as the big loopy swing, but it is annoying. The way I avoid this is to keep my left hand out in front of me, and after I make contact with the ball, I catch the racquet with it. This helps put more pace on the ball.
There are so many videos out there on YouTube showing people how to practice their forehands, but many of them are for beginners. I did find one that really shows some helpful tips on how to swing and some good exercises to practice. For the record, I would like to say that I absolutely love the facility these players are practicing in.