15/Love Vol. V: For the Love of the Forehand

October 24, 2011
by Justin

When it came to sports, basketball was my first love. Magic Johnson is my favorite player, but I know that Jordan is the greatest. I feel a similar way about tennis. Tennis has had many stars from all around the world. When I was growing up, the tennis world revolved around my favorite player, Andre Agassi, and probably the greatest to ever hold a racket, Pete Sampras. Andre was my favorite, simply because he and I both share a name. My father’s name is Yorick also, so everyone, from family to friends, calls me Andre (my middle name). Agassi had all the cool endorsements but Sampras had the titles. Now don’t get me wrong Agassi won his fair share of tennis acclaim because of his skills, but Sampras did all of his talking with his racket. Comparatively, Sampras and Agassi were the Magic and Bird of tennis. They played in 34 matches in which Sampras had 20 wins. When looking back at their games, I see one glaring strength; they both had devastating forehands.

If that happens to be a weakness in your tennis game, www.scoutme.com has got you covered. Volume five of 15/Love is here to save the day, with some helpful tips to bring your tennis game to the next level. In volume one (http://www.scoutme.com/tennis/15love-vol-1-why-lateral-quickness-is-the-difference/) we touched on lateral quickness, while in volume two (http://www.scoutme.com/tennis/15love-vol-2-shoulder-the-load/ ) the focus was shoulder strength. The third installment (http://www.scoutme.com/tennis/15love-vol-3-restore-the-core-with-estrada-fitness/) was brought to you by Estrada Fitness, as trainer Jason Estrada showcased his cutting-edge, tennis-based, core strength workouts. Volume four was about the backhand (http://www.scoutme.com/tennis/15love-vol-4-the-land-of-backhand/) so naturally the next progression is the forehand. Here are some tips and techniques to improve your forehand.


Don’t Forget, It’s All in the Grip

I spoke briefly about the grip styles in last week’s column, so I wanted to touch on that before we jump into the drills once more. Once again, whatever grip style you prefer is up to you; my suggestion is that you try whatever makes you feel comfortable with. The Western grip is another great grip for topspin and often used by the pros. Here is a breakdown of the Western Grip:


Forehand Drill

Start inside of the service boxes, with a short service rally. Focus on control and spin, while attempting to get the ball as high as possible with as much drop as you can. Once you’ve mastered this, move backwards continuing the drill at a more vigorous pace. Be sure not to lose focus on your follow-through and grip. Your footwork should also be emphasized with every swing. In the next progression, use flattened cones to section off a portion of the court. Your goal should be to try to hit your shots accurately into your designated area. To increase difficulty, make smaller sections, specifically inside the corners of the baseline. Here’s a breakdown of the drill:


Accuracy is paramount in the game of tennis. I understand that everyone can be a star in their sport of choice, but there’s no excuse to not be fundamentally sound. Check back next week for more tennis tips, drills and techniques. This is 15/Love and this Yorick Hempstead, signing off.


Yorick Hempstead is an ex-college athlete who is a sports blogger for Scoutme.com. He is always talking sports on twitter @HempsteadHuddle. 

Create Your FREE Profile

First Name: *
Last Name: *
e-Mail: *
I am a: *
Captcha code: *