I’m asked many times how power is achieved in tennis shots. We see on TV many players on tour with amazing power. While of the world’s best players are bigger, faster and stronger than in years past, and technology has improved the racquets, the answer to generating power is still in the timing of two areas during the contact of the shot, weight and snap.
Power is not in a hard or quick arm swing, but in the head speed of the racquet coming through the ball at contact. When hitting topspin, a low to high swing is required to brush up the backside of the ball causing a forward rotation (topspin) helping us control the shot from going long. To add power in that stroke an upward wrist snap is needed which will generate head speed, thus adding more power. If you are right handed player with a two hand backhand, the left wrist is our controlling and snapping wrist. Remember, a complete over the shoulder follow through is needed to receive the desired amount of topspin.
When watching better players in your area, or the pros on TV, try to watch from the start of their forward swing on, key in on the wrist snapping up the ball and then turning on the follow through.
The other area to help generate power is weight. The Traditional forehand stroke (turn step and hit) will have us shifting our weight from the back leg to the front right before impact. Do not shift all your weight, only half, this will keep us balanced. The Modern forehand is open stance, there will be a loading (or bending) of the right knee followed by an upward explode into contact. Do not forget the follow through!
In review, utilize the wrist for head speed and weight and you will see more power in your ground strokes.
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