Quantcast
nodot nodot
Turbo Tennis
March 2003 Article

Contact Ron Waite

Latest Turbo Tennis Article

Turbo Tennis Archives:
2003 - 2014
1996 - 2002

Tennis Server
HOME PAGE

Do You Want To Be A Better Tennis Player?

Then Sign Up For A Free Subscription to the Tennis Server INTERACTIVE
E-mail Newsletter!

You will join 25,000 other subscribers in receiving news of updates to the Tennis Server along with monthly tennis tips from tennis pro Tom Veneziano that won't be found on the web site.
 
Best of all, it is free!

Player Profiles:
 
Top Pros (Women)
tennis ball Serena Williams
tennis ball Na Li
tennis ball Simona Halep
tennis ball Petra Kvitova
tennis ball Agnieszka Radwanska
tennis ball Maria Sharapova
tennis ball Eugenie Bouchard
tennis ball Angelique Kerber
tennis ball Jelena Jankovic
tennis ball Victoria Azarenka
 ... more profiles
 
Top Pros (Men)
tennis ball Novak Djokovic
tennis ball Rafael Nadal
tennis ball Roger Federer
tennis ball Stanislas Wawrinka
tennis ball Tomas Berdych
tennis ball Milos Raonic
tennis ball David Ferrer
tennis ball Juan Martin del Potro
tennis ball Grigor Dimitrov
tennis ball Andy Murray
 ... more profiles
 
Tennis Features Icon TENNIS FEATURES:

BETWEEN THE LINES - Ray Bowers takes an analytical and sometimes controversial look at the ATP/WTA professional tour.
 
PRO TENNIS SHOWCASE - Tennis match reports and photography from around the world.
 
TURBO TENNIS - Ron Waite turbocharges your tennis game with tennis tips, strategic considerations, training and practice regimens, and mental mindsets and exercises.
 
TENNIS ANYONE? - USPTA Pro John Mills' quick player tip.
 
WILD CARDS - Each month a guest column by a new writer.
 
TENNIS SET - Jani Macari Pallis, Ph.D. looks at tennis science, engineering and technology.
 
MORTAL TENNIS - Greg Moran's tennis archive on how regular humans can play better tennis.
 
MENTAL EQUIPMENT - Explore the mental side of the game with Dr. John Murray.
 
TENNIS WARRIOR - Tom Veneziano's Tennis Warrior archive.
 
HARDSCRABBLE SCRAMBLE - USPTA pro Mike Whittington's player tip archive.
 
TENNIS EQUIPMENT TIPS.

Tennis Community Icon TENNIS COMMUNITY:


Tennis Book, DVD, and Video Index
 
Tennis Server Match Reports
 
Editor's Letter
 
Become a Tennis Server Sponsor

Explore The Tennis Net Icon EXPLORE THE TENNIS NET:

Pro Tennis Calendar & Event Links
 
Tennis News and Live Tennis Scores
 
Tennis Links on the Web
 
nodot
Turbo Tennis
 
Green Dot
 
Tennis Warehouse Logo
 
Green Dot

 
nodot
The Integrated Approach to the Forehand (Western Grip)

Ron Waite Photo
Ron Waite, USPTR

Last month, I laid out the framework for what I call The Integrated Approach to Tennis. If you have not yet read this column, I strongly encourage you to do so. However, as a brief review, Integrated Tennis has the following components:

  1. The player must be athletically fit and flexible.
  2. The player must be able to see the ball clearly and in some very specific ways.
  3. Every stroke must be produced and executed properly. There is no one right way to hit a stroke. Starting with your grip choice, there are a variety of factors that must be in place to hit the ball properly…with placement, spin, and perhaps power.
  4. Every player must have a game plan and the flexibility to vary this plan according to the opponent, the surface, environmental conditions, and what is working for the player on a given day.
  5. The player must have the right mental attitude while competing, practicing and be able to learn from victories and losses.

When all of these are addressed carefully and developed within the player (a process that never truly ends), the player is executing what I call Integrated Tennis. In teaching, coaching and competing, I have learned that all players win more frequently, and more importantly, grow more rapidly in their game when this integrated approach is in place.

In past articles, I have addressed my thoughts on fitness, seeing the ball and stretching for flexibility. I invite the curious reader to refer to the Turbo Tennis Archives…there is a link on the sidebar to the left of this column that will take you to all my past articles.

However, this month, I want to address the forehand stroke. Now, there are four typical grips used to hit a forehand, but I will address only one this month. Each month, I will take one grip/stroke combination and, in detail, explain the integrated approach to hitting the stroke properly. Eventually, we will work our way to the other key ingredients involved in Integrated Tennis.

Before we begin, it is important to remind you that every stroke begins with a grip, which dictates the entire integrated process. Given the grip, the player will find that stance, backswing, contact point, finish and recovery are unique to each grip selection. As you can see, every properly executed stroke is a combination of integrated elements.

I encourage players to experiment with the various grip/stroke combinations that will comprise the content of my articles, as we cover all the key strokes. You may find that some are just too different from your natural method of hitting a stroke that they should never be included in your arsenal. However, be patient. Use a wall or backboard to become familiar with the "new" stroke. You just may find that changing is not as severe as you initially imagined. You may also find that you want to include the "new" stroke for certain situations…using your regular or natural grip/stroke to be the most frequently used method.

This month, I will focus on forehands that are struck with the Western Grip. This grip is quite common in the modern game of tennis.

So the logical question the reader may have is: "What does this grip look like?" Well, below are some illustrations that may be of help in answering this question.

It should be noted that the dominant hand’s index finger’s base knuckle and the dominant hand’s "heel" are very important in recognizing and identifying your grip.

Here are two pictures that show what I mean by the "base knuckle" of the dominant hand. Note that I have included left and right handed images. You will note that I have darkened the knuckles with black magic marker.

Here are two images of what I mean by the "heel" of the hand. Again, there are left and right images, and the area that is the "heel" is darkened with black magic marker.

Given these areas of concern, I have shown below the two grips examined in this column. The first is the Western Grip. Again, you will see left and right handed images. In the Western Grip, the base knuckle is on the lower bevel and the heel is on the very bottom of the racquet. Please note that the black areas on the racquet grips represent the bevels.

The Western Grip is often times the grip adopted by small children as they learn the game. This is quite understandable in that the Western Grip works best when the ball is bouncing high. For children, most balls bounce high because of their lack of height and stature. However, this grip can be very limiting on low bouncing balls. In fact, some adolescents who experience rapid growth spurts will find that their forehand seems to become a liability for a while. In time, however, they usually adjust to the change in their own height and find a way of striking the ball at a proper height.

Because of its advantage on high bouncing balls, the Western Grip is often times the preferred grip by those who play tennis on clay courts. These surfaces (red clay or green clay) usually make the ball bounce high…right in the "strike zone" for the player with the Western Grip.

The Western Grip forehand is best hit from an open stance. Now, in reality, no player can hit every forehand from a particular stance… particularly if he/she is on the run. However, whenever possible, try to hit from an open stance. The Western Grip, when hit from this stance, allows you to hit with maximum power while imparting lots of topspin. This spin makes the ball more likely to land inbounds…thus, giving you a larger margin for error.

Here is what the open stance looks like. Note that the camera position is where the net would be located.

Next, we must locate what is the proper contact point for this particular grip. When using the Western Grip, it is essential to make contact with the ball in front of your body. Again, this reality is, in part, why the open stance is so effective for this grip.

Below, we see the proper contact point for the Western Grip.

The last component in any stroke is the finish. I cannot emphasize how important having a consistent finish is to any stroke. Having photographed many of the pros on both tours, I have noticed that when the finish is not proper (even when other elements are as they should be) the stroke is usually weak or errant.

When practicing, it is imperative to pay attention to fully finishing each stroke…and finishing it properly.

Here is an image that shows the proper finish for the Western Grip. Notice that the finish is over the shoulder that is opposite to the dominant hand, and that, often times, the elbow of the racquet hand is facing the opponent.

One of the great aspects of hitting a Western Grip Forehand from the open stance is that it naturally allows for a quick recovery to center court. When running and hitting from an open stance, you will automatically stop your sideways motion by landing on your dominant foot. This action allows you to very quickly reverse direction and drift or run back to the center of the baseline…as the situation dictates.

One finally comment about all strokes (regardless of grip, etc.) is that they always benefit from a quiet head at the moment of impact. Like the golfer, tennis players should make a concerted effort to keep the head motionless at the moment the ball strikes the strings and for a second afterwards. Too frequently, I see players looking to see where their ball has been hit. In fact, you have much more time to get your vision back on the ball and the opponent than you might imagine. However, when we are feeling pressure or too eager to hit the big winner, we frequently forget to freeze the head at impact. This invariably leads to an errant shot. When you practice, don’t forget this important component to a successful stroke.

Remember, every stroke begins with a grip. We then take a backswing. Some of us have "longer" strokes than others do. My advice is to take the shortest backswing that you can. I promise you that you won’t lose power (and if you did, you could easily adjust by having your racquet tension lowered)…. What you will gain is the ability to make the little adjustments necessary to hit the ball sweetly. When playing in windy conditions, natural surfaces like clay or grass, or when playing on very fast indoor surfaces… I promise you that the shorter backswing will pay dividends.

Every stroke has an ideal stance and contact point that are really, in major measure, determined by the grip used. Finally, every grip/stroke dictates an ideal finish.

When all of these elements are in place for any grip/stroke, you are executing an Integrated Tennis Stroke. My strong advice is to videotape yourself hitting this forehand. You will clearly be able to compare your execution to the images contained in this article. With consistent practice and attention to detail, I am sure that this stroke will help you to become a tennis overdog!!!

Green DotGreen DotGreen Dot

Turbo Tennis Archives:
1996 - 2002 | 2003 - 2014


If you have not already signed up to receive our free e-mail newsletter Tennis Server INTERACTIVE, you can sign up here. You will receive notification each month of changes at the Tennis Server and news of new columns posted on our site.

This column is copyrighted by Ron Waite, all rights reserved. Questions and comments about these columns can be directed to Ron by using this form.

Ron Waite is a certified USPTR tennis instructor who took up the game of tennis at the age of 39. Frustrated with conventional tennis methods of instruction and the confusing data available on how to learn the game, Ron has sought to sift fact from fiction. In his seven years of tennis, Ron has received USTA sectional ranking four years, has successfully coached several NCAA Division III men's and women's tennis teams to post season competition, and has competed in USTA National singles tournaments. Ron has trained at a number of tennis academies and with many of the game's leading instructors.

In addition to his full-time work as a professor at Albertus Magnus College, Ron photographs ATP tour events for a variety of organizations and publications. The name of his column, TurboTennis, stems from his methods to decrease the amount of time it takes to learn and master the game of tennis.


 

nodot
nodot
Google
Web tennisserver.com
nodot nodot
The Tennis Server
Ticket Exchange

Your Source for tickets to professional tennis & golf events.
 
Rogers Cup Tickets Toronto 8/4-8/10
 
Western & Southern Open Tickets Cincinnati 8/9-8/17
 
US Open Tickets 8/25-9/8
 

 

Tennis MindGame

 
Popular Tennis books:
 
Smart Tennis by John Murray
 
Winning Ugly: Mental Warfare in Tennis-Lessons from a Master by Brad Gilbert, Steve Jamison
 
The Best Tennis of Your Life: 50 Mental Strategies for Fearless Performance by Jeff Greenwald
 
The Inner Game of Tennis by W. Timothy Gallwey
 
Most Recent Articles:
 
July 6, 2014 Between The Lines: Glory At Wimbledon 2014 by Ray Bowers.
 
Tennis Warrior: The Great Tennis Divide by Tom Veneziano.
 
July 2014 Tennis Anyone: Prevention by John Mills.
 
July 2014 Turbo Tennis: Perfect Volleys by Ron Waite.
 
June 21, 2014 Between The Lines: Spotlight Wimbledon 2014 by Ray Bowers.
 
Tennis Warrior: Tennis University by Tom Veneziano.
 
June 2014 Tennis Anyone: High-Low vs. Low-High by John Mills.
 
June 2014 Turbo Tennis: 'Sensible' Tennis by Ron Waite.
 
May 2014 Wild Cards: Michael Chang Wins Cancer Treatment Centers of America Tennis Challenge in Arizona by Vince Barr.
 
April 2014 Wild Cards: Revenge of the Yankees! Great Britain Dominates The U.S. In San Diego by Vince Barr.
 

 

 

 

 
 
Featured events in the Tennis Server Ticket Exchanges:
 
  Featured Tickets:
BNP Paribas Open Tickets Indian Wells CA Tennis Garden
Sony Open Tennis Tickets Miami Key Biscayne FL Crandon Park Center
 

  Featured Tickets:
Western & Southern Open Cincinnati Tennis Tickets Session 5 W&SFG Cincy Mason OH Lindner Family Center Financial Group Masters
Western & Southern Open Cincinnati Tennis Tickets Session 6 W&SFG Cincy Mason OH Lindner Family Center Financial Group Masters
Western & Southern Open Cincinnati Tennis Tickets Session 7 W&SFG Cincy Mason OH Lindner Family Center Financial Group Masters
Western & Southern Open Cincinnati Tennis Tickets Session 8 W&SFG Cincy Mason OH Lindner Family Center Financial Group Masters

  Featured Tickets:
US Open Tennis Tickets Men's Quarterfinals Session 21 New York City NYC NY Flushing Meadows Corona
US Open Tennis Tickets Men's Quarterfinals Session 20 New York City NYC NY Flushing Meadows Corona
US Open Tennis Tickets Men's Quarterfinals Session 19 New York City NYC NY Flushing Meadows Corona
US Open Tennis Tickets Session 18 Men's Fourth Round Women's Quarterfinals New York City NYC NY Flushing Meadows Corona
US Open Tennis Tickets Session 17 Men's Fourth Round Women's Quarterfinals New York City NYC NY Flushing Meadows Corona

  Featured Tickets:
Sony Open Tennis Session 5 Tickets Miami Men's Singles 1st Round Women's Singles 2nd Key Biscayne FL Crandon Park Center
Sony Open Tennis Session 6 Tickets Miami Men's Singles 1st Round Women's Singles 2nd Key Biscayne FL Crandon Park Center
Sony Open Tennis Session 7 Tickets Miami Men's & Women's Singles 2nd Round Key Biscayne FL Crandon Park Center
Sony Open Tennis Session 8 Tickets Miami Men's & Women's Singles 2nd Round Key Biscayne FL Crandon Park Center
Great American Beer Festival Tickets Denver CO Colorado Convention Center

  Featured Tickets:
US Open Tennis Tickets Session 2 Opening Round New York City NYC NY Flushing Meadows Corona
US Open Tennis Tickets Session 1 Opening Round New York City NYC NY Flushing Meadows Corona
US Open Tennis Tickets Grounds Admission Pass Flushing Meadows Corona New York NY National Tennis Center 8/26-9/9
Arthur Ashe Kids' Day Tickets Flushing Meadows Corona New York NY
Great American Beer Festival Tickets Denver CO Colorado Convention Center

 
 
"Tennis Server" is a registered trademark and "Tennis Server INTERACTIVE" is a trademark of Tennis Server. All original material and graphics on the Tennis Server are copyrighted 1994 - by Tennis Server and its sponsors and contributors. Please do not reproduce without permission.

 

Tennis Server
Cliff Kurtzman
Editor-in-chief
2323 Clear Lake City Boulevard
Suite 180-139
Houston, Texas 77062-8120
Phone: (281) 480-6300
Fax: (281) 480-7715
Online Contact Form
How to support Tennis Server as a Sponsor/Advertiser
Tennis Server Privacy Policy