– Hey guys, Scott and Nate
from PlayYourCourt.com here and today we’re gonna show you how to hit a beginner forehand. (air whooshes) All right so today we’re talking
about the beginner forehand and this video is for players
with a PlayYourCourt rating of 49 and below. If you’re not in our community or familiar with our rating system already, this is the equivalent of a
beginner level tennis player or a USTA 2.5. And this is important, guys, ’cause professional-level tennis players have a much different looking forehand than what we’re gonna
teach you out of the gate. So you might see a beautiful
Roger Federer loop on TV. That’s not what we’re going over today. We’ll definitely work towards that, but you gotta walk before you can run, so today we’re gonna go
over the beginner forehand. So if you were taking your
first tennis lesson with me and we were getting ready
to go over the forehand and the very first thing, after you grow a fantastic beard– – Or just an average beard,
it doesn’t have to be– – Or just an average beard, would be the grip. So we’re gonna go over
the beginner grip first. Very simple way to learn this. I want you to take your racquet and put it flat on the ground. If you can zoom in here on my hand. Take the web of your hand,
or the V of your hand, and put it flat on top of your racquet and then pick it up. What you’ll see here, that V of my hand is
flat on the grip on top, strings are pointing up towards the sky, and I’ve almost got a grip here where I could sort of flip
pancakes in a frying pan. – And guys, what you wanna be
careful of here is tension. Right? Like Scott’s all veiny and stuff, he’s been at the gym–
– I’m nervous. It’s the girls, they’re
making me nervous, Nate. – He’s been getting all buff. But we don’t want this tension, it’s gonna affect the stroke. So make sure that you’re not, you don’t have a death-grip here. Someone should be able to literally take the
racquet out of your hand. No one’s gonna steal your racquet, Scott. – Sorry.
– It’s good. – So relaxed hands. All right so now you’ve got the grip. Just for sake of explanation, this is called a
semi-western forehand grip. This is really, if we
got you out on the court, this is what we’d want you
to learn over the course of maybe a half an hour,
hour of instruction with us. If you get out there and
this just feels terrible, we’re also gonna go over
a back up grip later today that might be a little
bit easier to digest. So if you get out there
and this feels awful when you get started, that’s normal and you’re gonna work your way through it. But now that we’ve got our beginner semi-western forehand grip, Nate, let’s talk about what to do with it. Let’s talk about the swing
path a little bit, yeah? – Yeah, absolutely. So the first thing we’re gonna do is we’re gonna get in our ready position. The game is played in front of us, right? So our ready position with
our semi-western grip, the racquet is gonna be in front of us. And you’ll notice the
racquet is slightly closed towards my left foot
with me being a righty. Alright, from my ready position, I’m going to take the racquet
back with my shoulders, and my hips, getting
on the side of my body. And what you’ll notice here is the racquet plane didn’t change. And then from here, I’m
gonna enter something really important called pet the dog. – Step two, buy a huge dog, right? So step one was grow a beard. Step two you gotta buy a huge dog. Sorry, carry on. – All right, growing up, I had a big dog, and would often happen is that
I would be in a conversation, he’d come up and lick my hand
’cause he wanted to be pet, so I would pacify him, I’d
reach back and pet the dog. Hence this name for the stroke, right? And what I want you to notice here is that the butt cap is facing forward, the racquet is below my wrist, and it’s on the side of my body. Alright and from here, I would be swinging up
to the contact point, which is in front of me. Not entirely, you’re not
reaching for the ball here, but slightly in front of you. And it will stay on that same plane until it does a fancy word, pronation. We’ll talk about that in
a whole ‘nother video. It’s gonna happen on it’s own
if your contact is in front, that’s the good news. And then I’m gonna get
to my follow-through. – Nate, where would I follow through? I mean, I’ve seen, I watch a lot of tennis on TV and I coach a lot of different players. I see a lot of different follow-throughs, is there a right or wrong way to do this? What a–
– Yes, excellent question. There’s an infinite amount
of follow-throughs, right? They’re always gonna change. Maybe you see Nadal way up here or you see Fed way down here. For now, I think the primary
focus on your follow-through is to keep even with the shoulder or slightly above the shoulder, right? But if you’re really having a hard time getting under the ball and lifting, you’re hitting the net, maybe you’re hitting just
two feet in front of you, which happens a lot in the very beginning with the semi-western grip. Let’s focus from getting under
the ball and finishing high. Really pronounce that follow-through to give it that extra lift. – Perfect. Alright, so guys, that was Nate covering the
semi-western forehand grip. As promised, I’m gonna
give you a back-up option. There’s a good chance with the
semi-western forehand grip, when you get out on the
court for the first time, you’re gonna hit a lot
of balls in the net. And if I can switch spots with
you here for a second, Nate. When I make contact with the ball with the semi-western forehand grip, the natural tendency is to have my strings
pointing very, very closed, or pointing down towards
the ground, alright? The adjustment we’d like you to make, and this is inevitable,
you’re gonna get out there, you’re gonna start in pet the dog, you’re gonna reach up,
you’re gonna follow through, and you’re gonna hit balls
in the bottom of the net and say man, Scott and Nate are the worst instructors
I’ve ever heard in my life, this grip doesn’t work. And we get it. So step one I would say, try and adjust that
racquet face at contact to get it a little
closer to perpendicular. You do want the strings pointing down because the strings
are gonna grip the ball and generate the topspin
that we were talking about. But if you’re just not getting this, let’s say you’ve been trying
this for 10, 15 minutes and you just can’t get the handle of it, I wanna give you a grip that
you can at least switch to that’s close and a progression
towards a semi-western that just makes you more comfortable and will allow you to get
the ball back over the net and start having some fun
hitting the ball back and forth. What this grip is called is
the eastern forehand grip. So we talked about, in the semi-western, taking the V of your hand and putting it flat on
top of your racquet. What I would say, for the eastern, is to just shift your hand, and if you zoom in on my hand here, what you’ll see is my hand is completely behind the racquet now. So semi-western would have
been it’s kind of underneath. Eastern, my hand is
completely behind the racquet. And this is just gonna
feel a lot more stable for you beginners. As you make contact with the ball your racquet’s more
perpendicular to the ground, your strings aren’t pointing down, it’s gonna be a lot
easier to drive through, lift up, and follow through. So again, if the
semi-western isn’t something that’s clicking for you right away, don’t get discouraged, switch to eastern. And maybe somewhere in between, right? Maybe you’re somewhere in
between eastern and semi-western and each time you get on the court, you’re working toward semi-western, that’s fine, alright? So those are the grip options that we have for you beginners. Alright, so in closing
there’s three things we want you thinking about as you work on your beginner forehand. Number one is what we just
finished talking about, the grip. You’ve got the options, right Nate, you’ve got the semi-western
and you’ve got the eastern. Again, we hope you work
toward semi-western, but if you just can’t get there right out of the gates, eastern is fine. We talk about starting
low with pet the dog. And then we talked about
following through high at least up to our shoulders for now. We’ll talk about some
different follow-throughs, but we wanna see at
least over your shoulder. If you think about these three things you’re gonna have a lot of success and start getting some balls over the net, hopefully be having some fun
out there on the tennis court. So I hope you enjoyed this video. I really want you to
improve your tennis game, the problem is I don’t really
know anything about you or your skill level. So what I want you to do, click the button below, answer a couple of quick
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Dennis Veasley

3 thoughts on “How to Hit a Beginner Forehand – Tennis Lesson for All Skill Levels”

  1. Don't forget to check out the PlayYourCourt community to receive custom video coaching, find practice partners and improve your tennis game. Here's the link: http://bit.ly/2M4wo61

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