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C4L1: Compress the Forehand

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Well I cannot emphasize this next point enough. This is really critical on the forehand side, its this idea of compressing at the hit. Every great player feels it but no one really teaches it is so crucial. This left hand, this opposite non hitting hand is so crucial. Alright first of all you see Djokovic here good forehand, he's bringing that left hand across, spreads out he is lining up the hit. He's got the hit held at that 45 degree angle is held in both hands here, just as importantly as he makes contact as his right arm comes through his hips are already around. The shoulders are starting to come around but in order for him to keep real good focus on the hit he just lets the left elbow bend in, see it compresses. Look at that left hand, he compresses right at the hit. He stays on the ball a little longer. Every great player does this. Start to notice this, it doesn't matter if its a great junior or a great pro, all your favorite players. use this. If you really want to smack the ball like Warren does here in this next hit. Once again his left hand comes across, now they start to break apart, see that. As he makes contact watch his left arm here watch it start to retract. See that, see how it pulls right into his body. So he is facing the ball a little longer even though his hips have come around look at that left hand. Its a little broken there, the wrist is a little broken there but you see that hand stays in there. Its that left hand that keeps him on the hit. You have all this violent motion in here with your hips, your shoulders rotating in and out of the shot, but its that left hand that keeps everything solid right there at the 45. Take a look again, see that backing away, keeps that left hand facing the ball. Steve Forman, former #1 junior player he has a huge, probably the best forehand in the country in the juniors at the time. He can hit with anyone. Look at that left hand as he makes contact watch this, see where that left hand is? Its no accident, see how it starts to compress right there at the contact. See that! BAM! So both hands are facing the ball. So even if that left foot comes up, or he pulls his hips out too early or even jumps that left hand holds him steady. Lets take another look here at Ryan Harrison another pro coming out of being a great junior. Look at that left hand see how it retracts like a birds wing. He keeps it in there at contact. Lets take another look from above. Slow motion of Warren, another huge forehand for a skinny guy. See that left hand at contact see how both hands are facing the ball. That way even though he is pulling his hips around, his shoulders stay facing the hit just long enough to make great contact, see right here. Again there is your sword in the shield which you will see later now he pulls that left hand in. He is really facing the ball even though his hips have already pulled out. He has that nice loose look but what keeps him firm at the hit is this idea of compressing look at this pick up. Compressing right at contact. You want to keep the palms facing one another. You don't want to turn that left hand out, see how the palms facing in. Now see how its still facing in right there, pulls it right in there, crunching it up just like a serve or a baseball pitcher. As they release the ball that left hand comes compressing in. So now when you watch great players, your favorite players take a look at that left hand the non dominant hand. Watch what a big roll it really does play in the forehand. Works great with pros and juniors but here are a couple of old men. My doubles partner, Paul Mayberry, and myself and now you can take a look in slow motion you can see for yourself how it works. If the ball is coming towards you or you are on the run that left hand has a big play gets you turned but then look at that right at contact and even past contact that left hand is still facing the ball. So you get a big big piece of the ball. If you keep your shoulders lined up to the hit during contact. I just can't emphasize this enough I want to show you again and again if the ball is low and in front of you look at that left hand now you can see it. What you might want to do is hold on to a tennis ball. So it gives you something tangible in that hand you can feel like its doing something. There is the old man himself right there, me with a casual forehand. It doesn't matter if I am trying to really hit the snot out of the ball or if I am being very casual on a rally shot. My left hand, see it retracts and at contact there it is. I am really getting out into the hit. Extending out into the 45 degree angle. Its that left hand that really helps. All the hip rotation is great but you need to make sure you are actually facing the hit upon contact. So compress the two hands on that forehand and you will notice a huge difference.

Video Details

Duration: 5 minutes and 51 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
Producer: Jack Broudy
Director: Jack Broudy
Views: 137
Posted by: jackbroudy on Jan 7, 2014

The non-dominant hand plays an important role to stabilize and balance out the forehand.

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