Coaching tip of the week: Forehand Stroke Efficiency
(By Larry Hodges)
Most top players extend their arm on forehands for extra power. And so should you. But have you noticed how top players can do these power shots over and over in quick succession, while weaker players struggle on the second one? A primary reason for this is the backswing.
Top players extend their arm just before they start the forward swing, with some keeping it mostly extended through the stroke, others using more arm snap so that the arm comes in. But there’s no reason to extend the arm on the backswing, which just slows you down. But many non-top players do this, so that their arm is equally extended on the backswing and forward swing. This is a mistake. On the backswing, keep the elbow relatively in to increase the stroke’s efficiency. It’s only when you have nearly completed the backswing that the arm can extend. If you extend it too early, the stroke will be slow and cumbersome, and when you do two in a row, you’ll be rushed and inconsistent.
Here’s a video of Ma Long looping – see how his arm is in during the backswing, then he extends it.