Welcome to The Modern Professional Forehand Course.
My name is Richard Manson-Hing and I have been teaching tennis for almost 10 years now. I have made teaching the forehand my specialty for the simple reason that after the serve it is the most highly valued stroke of any tennis players game.
Almost 70% of all groundstrokes hit are forehands! And over 75% of groundstroke winners are forehands. Add to that the fact that most players find their forehands have more power than their backhands.
What is the “modern professional forehand”?
This term is most applied to the style of forehand as used by players such as Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray. For many recent years these players dominated the top of the men’s game - otherwise known as the ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals) Tour.
The style is characterized by the fact that the swing path of the stroke is significantly shorter than the swing paths of earlier eras. The shortening of the swing path is achieved by keeping the hitting arm, elbow, wrist and racket away from the body and to the “outside” of the body which has the effect of shortening the radius of the swing. Because this forehand technique was popularized by players on the Men’s or ATP Tour the forehand is sometimes dubbed “The Modern Professional ATP Forehand”.
There are a few women on the WTA Tour who have adopted this style, most notably 7 time Grand Slam champion Justine Henin and Australian #1, Samantha Stosur. But most WTA players today execute the forehand stroke using a much longer swing path that often swings to the “inside” or behind the body. There are signs however that the ATP style of stroke is slowly being integrated into the WTA tour.
I prefer to teach this forehand technique even to beginners?
Beginners and very young players (as low as 5 yrs old) often have trouble learning to hit the ball consistently down the middle of the court. This can cause the beginner to lose confidence in themselves, resulting in them giving up on the game too early. With this technique, the path of the racket aligns with the path of the oncoming ball. Beginners learn to hit the ball consistently down the middle of the court after less than a hour of practice.
I also recommend many older more experienced players change to this technique.
Many more experienced club players develop tennis elbow, shoulder and back problems employing a forehand technique that puts too much repetitive stress on their body. In addition, their forehand has arrived at a ceiling where there is little room for improvement. Every last one of my students (ages 5 to 75) have reported that they mush prefer to hit their forehands this way. One caveat they report is that it does require rewiring their muscle memory which can take some time and effort!
My intention in developing this course is to provide players of all levels a way to learn what is becoming the most popular forehand technique in the modern tennis game.
Roger Federer's famous forehand