Hi guys, I’m Clay Ballard with Top Speed
Tennis. Today we’re going to talk about what I think
is one of the most misleading pieces of advice in tennis. When we’re talking about hitting a forehand,
talking about leading with the buttcap and pulling the buttcap through contact. That’s not exactly what happens. I’m going to go over the proper motions
so that you can start releasing that racket, getting more speed and more topspin, and improving
your forehand. Let’s go ahead and get started! Oftentimes, when we’re trying to improve
on our tennis technique, especially our forehand technique, we’ll often see a static picture
of a top pro and we’ll try to recreate that picture. That’s where the “buttcap toward the ball”
really came from. As you see the top pros hitting a shot, if
you just pause them in this position as their racket’s moving forward to contact, you
will see the buttcap going toward the ball. But unless we see what’s happening before
this motion and what’s happening after this motion, we’re not going to have an overall
idea of what’s going on throughout the entire thing. We’re just seeing this one static picture. It doesn’t give us a great idea of, overall,
what’s going on. Having the buttcap toward the ball is exactly
right. That’s what you should be doing, but it’s
what’s happening before and after this that really makes the difference. The part that I don’t like, or the part
that I disagree with, is not having the buttcap toward the ball, but it’s the idea of pulling. When I think of “pulling” the buttcap
toward the ball, what I think of is just pulling my racket all the way on through contact and
never releasing this racket. I think a lot of other people have this same
misconception. In reality, what’s happening is as I’m
loading up my racket is lagging behind. But then as I’m coming through contact my
racket is beginning to release. After contact it’s continuing to release,
until now my wrist is nice and neutral. You’re going to see this with all your top
pros. Roger Federer, all the top players are going
to be doing this same thing, because that’s what’s going to allow them to get the energy
into the racket to get that snap, to get that speed, tons of topspin. That’s the only way to do it. If we’re holding on all the way through,
we’re going to lose out on this racket speed and we’re going to lose out on topspin. We have to be actively letting that racket
go, and that’s what we’re going to do in this video. One key to know — this may be something that
you’re doing. If you’re holding on through contact, you’re
going to be glancing across the ball. If you imagine I’m hitting toward you, if
I’m just holding on all the way through, look at my racket, how it’s moving kind
of sideways. It would be moving across the ball, so I’m
getting sidespin on this ball. The ball might start to curve a little bit
left to right if I’m doing this. If I hit a shot holding on…I’ll try a
couple more. You may see that I’m late, or those balls
are slightly curving left to right as I’m doing this. As you start to pick up the speed, you’ll
see that even more. If that’s something that you’re doing,
that means that you’re holding on a little bit too much. To fix that, we’re going to break it down
into three key pieces for you. To do this, this is exactly what we go over
in our Lag & Snap video for the forehand, a great video that really walks you through
it. Let’s imagine we’re on a clock face here;
12:00 is directly in front, 6:00 is back at the camera. As I’m coming back and I’m beginning to
start the forward momentum with my arm, my racket tip should be facing back to about
7:30 or so. If 6:00 is the camera, 7:30 is over to the
right side of the camera. That’s going to be our first piece, the
racket is lagging behind. You’ll see the butt end of the racket is
pointing out toward the direction of the ball; actually a little to the right of it, even. As we go a little farther forward, that would
be when the buttcap is directly toward the ball. As we’re coming into contact, now my racket
is going to be basically level with the ground. It will be turned down just a little bit because
it’s in the process of kicking up. My arm is going to be out in front of my chest,
so I’m really extending here. The key point here, the big difference, is
as we’re moving through this is releasing some. After contact, you’re going to notice that
my wrist is nice and neutral. That’s the process of doing that Windshield
Wiper motion. If we watch that from the side, we’re going
to do the same thing here. Piece #1, racket’s back toward 7:30 — the
tip of the racket is pointing toward 7:30. Piece #2, we’re coming into contact and
now my arms are in front of my body. My racket tip is slightly down, basically
level with the ground. Then the real key difference here is Piece
#3, where we’ve released this racket and now my wrist is nice and neutral. That’s working through that Windshield Wiper
motion. Do 100 repetitions, pausing in all three of
these different positions for about 2-3 seconds so you can really feel these positions and
ingrain those into your stroke. Once we’ve done that 100 times, now you’re
going to smooth this out and make it one fluid motion. I’m going to do the same thing, and I’m
going to do 100 reps, really making this one smooth motion so that I can feel like it’s
a fluid motion. I’m going to feel this racket snapping as
I’m coming through contact here. That’s exactly how it should feel. After we’ve done that, now we’re going
to add the ball. We’re going to exaggerate this a little
bit. I really want you to get that ball to curve
from right to left. I mentioned before if you’re holding off,
if I’m never releasing this racket, my racket’s going across the ball. It’s a glancing blow and the ball could
be curving a little left to right. We’re going to do the opposite. I’m really going to get that racket to kick
out, and now my racket’s going to be kicking this way, out, and really releasing hard. I want to get that ball to curve a little
bit from right to left. There we go, that turned down. We see those going down in the court. Let me get one to go a little bit more. There you go, you can see that really curving
from right to left as I’m coming through there. That’s what we want to work on here at first,
to exaggerate that a little bit. So, 100 repetitions pausing, 100 fluid motions
without a ball, 100 tossing the ball getting them to curve right to left. Then you can go ahead and take it to your
opponent. You’re going to get more speed, more spin. You’ve got to utilize that racket releasing,
getting that snap, and you’re going to have a better forehand. Good luck to you guys. Good luck with your
tennis, and I’ll see you all soon! I hope you all really enjoyed this video. Earlier in the video, I mentioned the Lag
& Snap video from the Forehand series. What I’m going to do for you all as a bonus,
I’m going to play a preview of that video. It’s going to pop up in just one second. If you want to watch that entire video, plus
the entire Topspin Forehand series, absolutely free of charge, just click the link that pops
up on the bottom of your screen, or down below in the description. You’re going to get that, it’s not going
to cost you a dime. We’re going to go over five videos that
are really going to help your topspin forehand. Also, if you enjoyed this video, click the
Like button below; that really helps me out. If you have any questions at all, post them
in the comments. I’ll be glad to talk with you a little bit
and help you with any questions that you may have. Also remember to subscribe, so whenever we
release new videos you’ll be the first one to be notified. Good luck to you guys, I’ll see you all
soon! …and make this L-type motion with our arms. Then the racket needs to be pointed out at
basically a 45° angle. The racket’s going to be at a 45° and the
tip of the racket, from the butt end, will be pointing right over toward 3:00. That’s the first motion that we want to
get into. As we’re loading up, the racket tip is going
to be pointing out toward 3:00 and at about a 45° angle. The second move is where really the magic
starts to happen, and that’s the loading of the forearms. This is called a Stretch/Shortening cycle. Any time you’re going to have a lot of power
and fire your muscles with good speed and good power, we need to first stretch those
muscles and then fire them. What’s going to happen here, from this first
move we’re now going to make a motion which will be very similar to turning a doorknob
to the right with your wrist. As we’re doing the first piece here, racket’s
out to the right. Now as I’m coming back, I want to go ahead
and turn my hand to the right as though it’s a doorknob. I’m going to do this until the tip of my
racket, now instead of pointing at 3:00, is all the way back to about 7:30. Don’t mistake this with your…

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Dennis Veasley

100 thoughts on “Tennis Forehand Technique | Why NOT to PULL Buttcap Toward Ball (Top Speed Tennis)”

  1. Attention , ne pas partir le poignet casse  a  90 degres , car vous ne  profiterez pas  de l' ELASTICITE   des  muscles flechisseurS  du   poignet, car  c'est  cette elasticuté qui va  permettre le debuT  de l"acceleration  de retour relayée  par  la contraction , rapide  de  ces  flechisseurs , pour  obtenir  une  grande  acceleration  de la tete de  raquette .
       voila pourquoi il  faut  relacher  au  maximum  la tete de raquette  en  arriere , pour  beneficier  de l"acceleration  la plus  optimale.  Et  bien  sur  frapper  la  balle  au  moment  ou la tete  de  raquette  est  la  plus   rapide , c'est primordial ,  sinon  on ne profite  en rien  de  cette vitesse maximale .  c'est donc  ce  timing  qu'il  faut apprendre  a sentir …La recompense  , plus  aucun effort inutile , ca part   avec  fluidité et  le  meilleur  rendement . 
        Donc important  de bien sentir  les muscles  de l"avant  bras  , bien s'etirer  au  maximum, juste  avant  le  retour  sous  l'inertie  de la tete de raquette . On beneficie en meme temps  d'une  plus  grande  distance  d'acceleration , donc  vitesse  plus  importante  a la frappe  .  Bien  executé  cela  represente 70 %  de l'energie  transmise  a la  balle …  c'est  le même  principe  au  baseball …..au golf ..au  squash..badmintown
       Sur la video , il le fait  , mais  il  ne l'explique pas , domage  .  certains risquent de partir  le poignet  casse  a  90  degres , des  la preparation  , ce serait  une  erreur ,  qui  divisera  la  vitesse  de la tete  de  raquette  par    2 ……donc  inssufisament efficace  ds  ce  cas . .

  2. I wish you could  have made these videos 5 years  ago! This is the most instructional tennis channel ever. Great job Clay     

  3. Hey clay, thanks for the vedio, this is really helpful….i was actually confused as my shots were going away towards right hand outside line, as my head was moving towards the ball. This is helpful to me…let me practice and will let you know. Keep up your work.

  4. Thanks for the video it's really helpful! Could you make another video on how to get to the right position in order to hit the ball the the best contact point? Thanks!

  5. This video is very helpful. I currently have this problem and it's a terrible bad habit. Thanks for the advice

  6. Nice video. That what i been thruout but all my coaches or other friends always have alternarive advices. Especially my coaches who always force me to adapt their more shitty technique.. i hate lesson where coaches always focus on forehand and correcting. I think i have one of the best forehand technique and always going for flow but coaches are just screwing it up . I always feel that there more issue on my footwork and esp ball judgement due to picking up sports at age 17. Thks for clearing my mind. 🙂 (Y)

  7. I m an ex pro player and absolutely agree with you….it's correct to aim the buttcap but you have to release your racket and let it go across your body

  8. Excellent video! Glad I stumbled on this one! My guys got some improved technique coming to them when I hit the court!

  9. Very nice video, thank you from Germany. My tennis teacher has doubt if i learn anything at his lessons but thanks to this video im making the forehand better now.

  10. Just to get it clear, am I going to hit the ball while being lagged with racquet and right after that release my wrist or should I hit the ball while releasing my wrist???? Great videos, liked and subscribed already

  11. Hey Clay, great video. I sometimes have a problem, specifically when I hit a fast moving ball with my forehand I feel pain in my wrist. Do you have any idea which part of the forehand I might be doing wrong? How do you get your wrist "stable" when returning a fast moving ball?

  12. Hi.. When is the best time to hit the ball? WHen I hit the ball, it's parallel to my side. Can I generate power when hitting the ball on that position?

  13. Nice Video, Compliments.
    In my opinion, you should explain the different timing when you hit
    – High Ball
    – Low ball
    Also it would be important to explain the transfer of weight between feet and difference in closed stance and open stance on forehand.
    Regards.
    Matteo.

  14. Nice video i'm always enjoying them. i have a question to ask. Do i have to make that buttcap toward the ball intentionally in my stroke? (with fixed wrist) or just do it natural?

  15. This video is what I am looking for. I have this problem with my forehand too. Can't wait to try it on the next training day. Thank you Clay.

  16. Great info — thanks for sharing! I'm a 4.0 player with a more consistent and powerful backhand (two handed), but my forehand is much improved after consciously thinking about releasing (and relaxing) the wrist and forearm through and after contact.

  17. As a coach this is the main thing I have to fix most of the time when I get a new student. This guy is 100% correct. Why the pull is being taught I have no idea.

  18. hahaha hey clay what are you doing teaching tennis, i was like is that clay, im impressed, i see im not the only golfer/ tennis player…

  19. I havent been playing much but want to get back into tennis thats how i stumbled upon your vids, i love the similarities between golf and tennis, shoulder turn hip turn lag release, ground force attack angle even if one really knows what to look at, keep i the good work, your work is a model of consistency, just like your golf videos one jus knows they are getting the best information out there

  20. Great lesson as always Clay! Some of my best hit forehands curve slightly left to right. I know that means my technique isn't correct, but I would like to be able to use this shot on occasion to produce a different ball for my opponent. Is this plausible to incorporate into my game over time?

  21. Could this be the reason that I have wrist pain? I've always thought it was my grip and lack of footwork….

  22. Best video tennis tutorials unlike so many tutorials hit so many key points. Direct and concise,. Thanks!

  23. Similar to pulling the chain the ball tends to be hit with too much forward speed and flies long also. Totally agree with your disagreement.

  24. These guys are really good!….that is one of the reason behind Perfeq Tennis stoke aid. This perfeqtennis stoke aid + topseed videos = Me up 2 levels in just a week, amazing! Thanks again, tennis made simple.

  25. There seems to be some dispute amongst youtube videoers. On the take back at the start of the swing, the racket head is obviously kept high, but should you bend the wrist (begining to tighten the forearm) at this point OR should you keep it fairly neutral until you've completed the start of the C swing and only bend it as you drop the head and as you say turn the door knob to ensure racket lag. Its a pretty technical point.

  26. Absolutely right! My son sometimes has this problem that I tried to explain to him but it's good that you posted a clip about this too. Thanks so much!

  27. i play in highschool and im 2nd to last seed but i feel like i have the potential and the coach does as well but i dont know how to get better

  28. I'm not claiming that this problem doesn't exist.. But i think it's pretty rare .. I don't see many club players holding a flexed wrist too long .. If anything most release the racket way too early ..making for a very erratic ball strike ..i think telling them to pull the butt cap toward the ball helps them to correct this ..

  29. Now to finish it off you can tell the viewers to hit with an open stance, not a closed one…..Ain't life grand……

  30. Very good thanks. Had forgotten the importance of hitting the outside of the ball in and that explained the significance very well. Rgds

  31. This is where the forearm pronation comes in play once you hit the ball. So it's not simply arm coming up, but upper  arm coming up to your chin and your forearm pronating,

  32. iam very upset for not getting forehead correctly but after watching this video I can surely tell that now I can improve a lot …thanxxxx bro

  33. I always try to apply this concept. But right now, the back of my palm hurts when I hit using a racquet that I just bought. What could be the reason?

  34. The key is to start to pronate with your wrist briefly before your racquet makes contact with ball. Otherwise, there'd be no point to pulling back and no point in pronating.

  35. If you were smart, you would kick the buttcap and whip the Whip-Grip: my invention. But alas, yet another tennis instructor.

  36. Clay …any advice you can give us about where on the back of ball we should make impact ??…. above the equator ….in the middle ….below …??? I've heard some talk about hitting above the equator with an inclined racket to get ball turning end over end.

  37. Shift body forward and hit the ball early on the rise with a twist of wrist for spin. Buttcap higher than racquet head. Be sure to drive/follow through on racquet head and body shift from right to left.

  38. I didn't see the ball curve either way 🙂 But I believe it's good to point out the problems for a "taught" technique over "felt" technique.

  39. Great catch Clay. As always I could relate to your analysis. When I’m swinging tension free & without thinking too much & have an easy ball at my disposal I feel the proper unloading of my forehand. But my hitting partner has a lot of top spin so I keep getting a lot of balls little higher than my waist and pretty fast sometimes. That’s when I mess up I think a little bit and end up hitting a flat side spinning shot especially when I try hitting inside out or straight & feel like I pulled the bottle cap . Cross courts are rather alright. Any suggestions? I have a semi western grip btw.

  40. Love your videos! I’m working on getting the lag right, but it’s hard!! I’m playing today, so I’ll try again!❤️

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