Instead, imagine swinging across a table when executing your forehand
One of the common problems I see students make is allowing the racquet face to “droop” well below the wrist and hand when trying to execute a forehand (see photo). I refer to this as scooping at the ball because it resembles what you would do to scoop ice cream out of its container. Scooping at the ball can cause you to experience a lack of directional control, lots of mishits (balls hitting off the frame), and little or no pace on your shots. The ball ends up into the net most times.
Scooping at the ball can be the result of many things, including:
- Getting too close to the ball, not understanding your proper contact zone
- Lazy footwork, not moving into proper position in time
- Trying to hit more spin
- Using a racquet that is improperly balanced (too much weight at the top of the frame) or the grip size is too big
- Or simply a weak wrist
A simple solution is to visualize your racquet moving across the top of a glass table that sits just above your knees. You don’t want to shatter the glass with your “drooping” racquet head. Your ideal contact zone is in between your knees and your rib cage—where you would catch a ball thrown to you. Contacting the ball in this area gives you more stability, better balance, and the ability to create more torque (core movement) during the swing (see photo sequence below), which gives your shots more pace.