If you’d like to discover the brute-force power you can barely believe has been hiding inside your forehand, the complete control you get from using both the upper and lower body (most people get this wrong)… and the real secret behind explosive racquet speed (it’s not what you think it is)…
Then I believe this will be one of the most important posts you’ll ever read!
1. It All Starts With A Great Modern Forehand Ready Position
The ready position is vital for two important reasons:
First of all, you must demonstrate athleticism and technique both in your lower and upper body before receiving a shot.
And secondly, an efficient ready position can make you react to and hit the heavy spin of the modern forehand.
Why is this? The answer is simple: You see, you can jump your highest and run your fastest only from a truly explosive ready position.
I’m talking about an athletic ready position which is the foundation of your game and needs continuous improvement.
Yes, you must possess a bulletproof foundation in order to level up your forehand.
The key elements of the modern forehand ready position:
- Feet comfortably wide apart
- Legs flexed
- On your toes
- Core engaged
- Shoulders back
- Eyes Forward
- Non hitting hand on throat of racquet
A great ready position is essential to creating easy power in your swing.
Once you’ve found your ready position, you need to get a grip!
Use a grip that allows you to hit your biggest forehand.
The Eastern grip is great for handling low shots and driving the ball (your hand should feel completely behind the racquet)
The Semi- Western grip is great for higher shots and spinning the ball (your hand feels slightly behind and slightly underneath the racquet)
Bonus pro tips:
Grip. Loosen your grip tension on the racquet to let energy flow freely from the ground into your shot.
Look like an athlete. Focus on a solid ready position with a low center of gravity on every single shot. Many players tend to show a great ready position for a few shots but quickly revert to less-athletic stances. The less athletic stances make it difficult to load your energy into the shot.
Now let’s go to the next tip to develop your best modern forehand…
2. Always Prefer A Unit Turn Over Simply Taking The Racquet Back (Extra Power Guaranteed!)
The modern forehand unit turn requires you to turn your body to generate racquet speed.
Best part: A proper unit turn prepares the racquet in its backswing position in the most efficient and effective way.
Want to know why?
You see, unlike the backswing, the unit turn uses larger sets of muscles including the core and back.
That’s why it’s so powerful.
You should also know…
The ultimate way to practice your unit turn:
- Stand in your ready position
- Turn your upper body sideways to the net
- Use your non dominant hand to assist with racquet preparation
- You should be able to see the side fence through the strings of your racquet
- Practice going back and forth between the ready position and full unit turn
Here’s what you get out of it: Be able to complete your unit turn a few feet after your opponent’s shot has left their racquet. If your opponent is hitting from the baseline, find a rhythm in your preparation before their shots even cross the net.
Result of these adjustments: An effective unit turn that allows you to receive and hit the fastest shots.
On to the next secret…
3. The Proper Modern Forehand Load Adds Spin And Even More Power
Knowing how to correctly store your energy is a crucial component of hitting a successful modern forehand.
Here is why: Proper loading allows the body to coil, and then uncoil for added spin and power…
Think about it: Without the energy being stored in a loaded position, you will end up using too much arm in the stroke.
How To Make Maximum Progress In Minimum Time!
Here are the best drills you can use to quickly improve the “load” portion of the Modern Forehand:
Drill #1: “The Modern-Stance Sit”
Get into your ready position. Stay off your heels as you perform your unit turn and slight step toward your target. The key is to find a comfortable and balanced position that you can sit into. Your legs and core should be working hard. Your shoulders and arms should be relaxed.
Drill #2: Measuring Sticks
Extend your non hitting arm away from your body. The hitting arm helps measure the distance between your body and the ball. Any adjustments are made by using small steps to the ball, rather than moving your arms. Use your non hitting arm to gain maximum balance and positioning in your swing.
When shots are coming at 80+ MPH you need to react fast.
What’s the best stance for maximum reaction?
Either the open or semi open stance. Both allow you to quickly pivot and transfer energy when minimal time is given to react.
(notice the angles created by flexed legs)
(you need to stay low to duplicate this motion)
And what about the semi-open, closed, and square stances? Yes, these are also good to know…
Just remember this little nugget…
Whatever stance you take, your weight should be transferred towards the target.
Now that we’ve got the ready position, unit turn, and load covered, the next step to focus on… and you’re gonna love this… is…
4. The Magic Of Proper Modern Forehand Explode
This is the step that most people get wrong…
But getting it right can help you discover the full potential of your modern forehand.
Here’s what it’s all about:
You’ve already done the hard part. You’re balanced up in your loaded stance to receive your opponents shot.
All that’s left now is to uncoil your body and stroke to create a whip-like motion. Racquet head speed is created from connecting to the lower and upper half of your body to create rotational power. To stay efficient, your body must remain balanced throughout the follow-through of the stroke.
Many people believe that you need to hit the ball hard. That is not true. Instead, you should be focused on seeing the ball early. Go after your contact point with a good extension of your arm and racquet. Remember — your arms are along for the ride.
In fact, the arms and hands are the last steps in the chain of energy transfer into the shot.
If you feel like you’re working too hard in the explode phase… you probably are!
When the ball is struck correctly you should hear a POP sound off the sweet spot of the racquet.
If you are interested in creating effortless power and spin in your training, then my Modern Forehand Training Program with My10sFriends Swing Resistance Trainer will be the most exciting tools you will ever get.
Here’s another free drill for you (for INSTANT improvement):
Drill #3: Freeze the finish
Effortless spin and power – impress your friends (and beat your opponents)
Extreme racquet speed – you can use it to create winning spin and power?
It’s easy to get started. Here’s what you need to keep in mind while practicing:
- Know where your explosive stroke ends
- Maintain racquet speed until the bottom of the racquet is pointed across the net
- You must prevent tension in your arm, hand, and fingers that is causing racquet deceleration
- Accelerate the finish and feel the difference immediately
The truth is that these focus points could very well lead to rapid results.
Why this works-
Great players all possess a “split second of stillness” after the completion of their stroke. This is the moment after the energy has fully transferred through the shot but before recovery has taken place. Separating the finish and recovery into two distinct positions will allow for explosive and a balanced movement.
Take your game to the next level even faster: Have a partner hand toss shots that bounce in your strike zone as you start in the loaded stance.
- Explode and uncoil your body as you hit
- Maintain great balance
- Exhale throughout the shot
- Find a similar follow through for all shots in your strike zone
- Freeze the finish of the swing and keep your chin still until your shot has hit the back fence
And now the last secret to take your modern forehand to pro level…
Listen: reaction speed is a very important element of the modern forehand.
Here’s why: The quicker you react, the quicker you can get into your unit turn and load.
predicting the kind of shot your opponent will hit… and where it’s heading – you can react quicker than the opponent would ever expect.
How can you get such a phenomenal reaction time? It’s very simple. Here’s how to do it: You prepare your plays in your mind so you can be ready to execute. Be relentless with the preparation and soon you’ll learn to keep a lead in the match.
What does it mean to keep a lead in match? Well, for example, you’ve hit a wide topspin dipping shot to your opponent at the net.
Your opponent stretches wide for the low volley.
You anticipate with high probability that your opponent will lift the volley safely.
“When it’s low, you go!”
You close forward to take away his time and finish the point.
You reacted quickly because you noticed the position and balance of your opponent. Furthermore, you recognized a pattern of play that allows you to take time away from your opponent.
And that’s how you do it. Be aware of subtleties in your opponent’s movement and pattern of shots to enhance your own reaction time.
To further improve your reaction time, check out this next drill:
Drill #4: Visualization
What do Michael Phelps, Michael Jordan, and Roger Federer have in common?
The answer is simple: they are all super successful athletes, and they all use visualization.
In fact, Roger Federer has said that visualization turned his career around.
Visualization will improve your reaction time
Here are some of the key points to focus on:
- Picture yourself returning every serve, and sticking to your plays in the match.
- Spend a few minutes every day picturing just how quickly you will react to the opponent’s big shots.
- Visualize what your best topspin forehand looks like traveling cross-court for an angled winner.
- At what height will it cross the net?
- How steeply will the topspin drop?
- How much of a bounce will the ball take?
Be specific in your visualizations to increase your reaction time.
To Summarize it all up…
An athletic ready position is at the foundation of sending and receiving the heavy spin and power of the modern forehand.
Flex your legs to create a low center of gravity in this stance.
A proper unit turn puts your racquet into a position to create an efficient and accelerated swing.
Practice loading your energy before exploding into your modern forehand.
Basically, proper loading allows the body to coil, and then uncoil for added spin and power.
Lastly, improve your reaction time through anticipation. The quicker you react, the quicker you can set up for the incoming ball and dictate play.
Keep practicing these modern forehand drills as you develop your stroke into a weapon with heavy spin and power.
How your modern forehand is progressing? What struggles do you have creating effortless power and spin? Leave a comment and Coach Eric will get back to you.
P.S. one last thing – I’ve added a special bonus part to this post that you’ll love. 5 modern forehand drills.
These modern forehand drills help you to tune your game to the constantly evolving modern tennis.
Here’s what it’s all about: Drastic improvements in string and racquet technology allows players to hit the ball harder than ever. Forehands and backhands are coming over the net at speeds of 100mph with incredible amounts of spin.
I bet you would love to hit like that yourself…
Here’s how you do it: practice these drills using your whole body to generate power and spin.
What you will have after practicing these drills: Increased control for the ball
Why’s that important: Once you have complete control of the ball you have many options on the court. In the modern forehand drills you practice, seek to gain long term improvements in control.
So, here we go with the first drill…
Modern Forehand Drills 1
In order to beat tough opponents you need to be capable of generating all of your own power
You must have an offensive response to opponent’s slow shots.
Practice Hand Fed Shots to develop a consistent and powerful forehand swing.
- Have a partner or coach stand far enough away from you that you won’t hit them with your shot.
- Partner lightly tosses or drops the ball. (With optimal spacing to swing into)
- After ball hits the ground, player prepares racquet quickly and makes contact with the ball in their ideal strike zone.
- Find good separation between body and ball contact.
- Notice your extension as you stay down throughout the shot.
- Perform an athletic recovery to get ready for the next ball.
- Find your best rhythm when not TRYING to hit the ball hard
- Lose spacing between body and ball
- Worry about making errors
- Muscle the ball with your upper body
- Get lulled to sleep by the slow ball.
Why are hand fed drills great?
They enable you to:
- Communicate with the coach in close proximity. (messages are sometimes lost across the net)
- Create fluidity through confidence in contact point. (sweet spot training)
- Increase swing speed while maintaining dynamic balance. (Learn how to keep your head still)
- Rely on leverage, rotation, and racquet speed for power and spin (rather than arm muscle)
Hand fed drills are regularly used in high-performance tennis training. Many of the world’s top players practice hand fed drills to generate insane racquet speed. And you should too! Don’t miss this FREE opportunity to unlock the power and spin potential in your forehand.
Modern Forehand Drills 2
The quiet feet forehand
Do you want to gain control of your body? If so, you need to practice being efficient with your footwork.
Fixing inefficient movements in the lower half of your body during your forehand swing can make you:
- Recognize the power and control that you possess while being efficient.
- Develop an athletic balance as you create faster swings.
Beware of these common mistakes players make with their legs while practicing modern forehand drills
- Stance too closed (Left foot across right- for a right-handed player)
- Unconnected dipping or stepping during the shot (trying to add power)
- Legs not flexed enough (stand too tall)
- Feet too close together (lose balance during stroke)
And now let’s get to the actual drill:
- Stand near the baseline in wide ready position stance with legs flexed
- Keep heels off of the ground
- Have coach/pro feed shots low in your strike zone
- Focus on turning to prepare for shot
- Un-turn to hit the ball
- Keep a constant athletic stance and try not to take extra steps
- Hit 5 shots and then rest
What you get out of it-
Recognize the power that can be created from an effective coil.
Gain an understanding for how to stay down throughout the shot.
Pinpoint inefficient movements in the lower half of your body.
Modern Forehand Drills 3
It’s well known that the fastest way to improve your game is to increase swing speed.
You see, an Increase in racquet speed will help you increase spin and power.
Before you get started, make sure you warm up properly…
Practice ONLY 5 swings with a tennis racket weight cover
- Keep a loose grip tension and exert minimal effort with your arm muscles
- Do not allow racquet speed to slow down with contraction of arm muscles.
- Bend your legs to use your larger sets of muscles to swing the racket weight cover
(Added wind resistance makes the swingweight of the cover feel like swinging two racquets.)
Remove the tennis racquet weight cover and practice your next 5 forehand swings.
As you swing, notice:
- Effortlessness of swing
- Fluidity of racquet passing through the hitting zone
- Momentum generating racquet speed
- Decreased grip tension
Removing the swing weight cover gives you the instant feel of increased racquet speed with minimal effort.
This is one of the fastest ways to increase spin and power.
It’s not uncommon for seasoned players to try this drill and within 30 seconds say, “the racquet feels REALLY light”
This lighter racquet sensation gives you the feel of how to put easy power into your shot.
If you are able to create power without using unnecessary energy you will become a more efficient tennis player.
Many players increase muscular tension in arm and shoulder when attempting to add power.
Some players overcompensate a slow swing speed by adding an extra jump during their hit. Extra movement during contact can cause errors and mishits.
Modern Forehand Drills 4
You must frequently put your forehand to the test. Test with the intent to recognize and repeat success. Take note of strengths and weaknesses of current stroke.
Through forehand testing you must discover:
Your most effective forehand
What shot qualities do your best forehands have?
- Placement-Are you hitting cross court or down the line?
- Spin- Are you hitting small amounts of topspin or heavy shots?
- Power-Can you hear a loud “pop” off of the strings?
- Depth – Do your shots land past the service line?
- Height- Do you create a safe margin for error?
Every player has strengths that are uniquely specific to their game.
Find your strengths and use this knowledge to create a weapon.
Modern Forehand Drills -Include competition drills weekly.
- Compete in groundstroke games to test your strengths and weaknesses
- Hit a friendly feed to your opponent. (send ball to opponent’s strike zone)
- The point starts when the opponent returns your feed over the net (feed return cannot be the winner)
- Focus as you play the point. Visualize a pattern of forehand shots that will put you on offense.
- Alternate feeds
- Keep track of the score and play a game to 11 wins by 2.
- Place a fitness wager on the game for added pressure. (50 jumping jacks).
- Compete in practice matches against opponents:
- Below your level (recognize which forehand opponent can’t handle)
- At your level ( see how your forehand matches up)
- Above your level (receive forehand spin and power at a higher level)
Competitive scenarios can also be replicated and rehearsed with a tennis coach.
Be creative as you add variety to your forehand testing
- You can play on different surfaces.
- Compete in singles and doubles.
- play with different point stipulations (You get 3 points for a winner).
The competition will evaluate the effectiveness of your forehand.
Try to learn from your competitive experience no matter what the outcome.
Take detailed notes during your competitive tests. (describe your most effective forehand)
Take the extra effort and make the commitment to take note of your biggest tennis strengths.
Read and adjust your notes regularly to see quick improvements in your game.
Quick Tip– Ask your tennis opponents and practice partners to evaluate your forehand. They may help point out your strengths or weaknesses.
Modern Forehand Drills 5
Focus on the Finish
(Notice that when a swing is free of muscular arm tension it is difficult to see where the stroke ends.) The racquet finish has a consistent and fluid shape free of rigidity.
A consistent shape on the finish of a forehand swing helps control the drop of your topspin shot.
If you “forgot to follow through” on your shot, you most likely slowed down your racquet speed with your arm muscles.
Don’t fall into this trap. You will gain more racquet speed by letting go of arm tension.
Less arm tension can help you transfer more energy into your shot.
The follow-through of your forehand swing will be a result of your contact point and swing path.
A powerful forehand crosscourt will usually have a different finish than a forehand topspin lob.
A short angle forehand will usually have a different finish than a drive down the line.
Follow through focus-
- A relaxed grip tension during your follow through
- A finish that adds spin or feel to your shot
- A follow through that feels connected to the lower half of the body
- A completion of your stroke
A confident follow through is the difference between a stroke and a poke. Many students use arm muscles to poke or steer the ball away from opponents only to find the ball sailing because of lack of spin. A consistent stroke with a fluid finish will allow you to hit consistent spin and power on your forehand.
Well, that’s it. You’ve just read a collection of spin and power generating drills that you can incorporate into your training routine for immediate results.
You will receive much more useful secrets like these from My10SFRIENDS Secrets of the Modern Forehand Video Course.
These secrets have been used to bring the best out of hundreds of tennis friends who have been coached by me in person, or else bought one of my video courses. However, only now can you get a FREE incredible tool for increased racquet speed: the swing resistance trainer.
You’ve got to hurry for this amazing offer as there’s only a limited number of these free resistance covers available.
To sum it up, just imagine once again…
Having control and increased swing speed – your friends will be amazed
Being efficient with your footwork as you uncoil into your shots – your opponents can’t keep up with you
Finish the forehand with confidence – enjoy being in control of yourself, the opponent, and the game
Get out on the court with a tennis friend and practice hand fed drills – feel the sweet taste of victory
Would you like to get in on this great training opportunity? Would you like to be one of the few who actually hits the most explosive modern forehand? If so, all you have to do is check out more modern forehand drills with My10SFRIENDS Secrets of the Modern Forehand Video Course.
And as always, leave a comment and let me know how is your forehand doing…
Tennis Performance Trainer
Director of Tennis at My10sFriends Academy
Director of Tennis Club in Florida
Graduate of a Professional Tennis Management Program