Articles, Blog

TENNIS FOREHAND TIP | Swing Slower For Control

August 22, 2019

I’m really excited to bring this video,
to you because it’s going to really help you with your forehand. This is Jeff Salzenstein, and I’m going to
be bringing you another video tennis lesson, how to improve your tennis, and
the whole idea behind this video is that we talked a lot about racket head speed
and racquet head acceleration. In fact, we have a great video that’s going to help
you with that. We have a drill that involves swing volleys that can really
help you with your racket head acceleration or speed. The problem that players run into
sometimes, though, is that they swing too fast at the wrong time. What do I mean by that? They don’t know
how to accelerate at the right time, and decelerate after. A lot of times people,
swing and they come too fast across their body, and it causes mishits, poor contact, and a lack of ball control,
and I’m a big believer, as a coach, that ball control is one of the most
important skills to develop, but are there any tips out there to help you
with that? There really isn’t a lot of great information out there for you. But
hopefully, this lesson is going to really help clear things up for you. What I want you to think about on your
forehand is when you go ahead and hit the ball after contact, I want you to see
how long it can take before you get to your hand when you’re catching the
racket. Now, if you don’t catch your racket,
you’re going to swing, and then just try to slow down after you make contact. Now, that seems a little bit
counterintuitive, but I want you to have faith that this is going to work, because
I’ve tested this, and I’ve noticed that when you actually slow your swing down
at the right time, you gain more ball control. So, think about this: when you move over, I want you to hit the ball, and then see how long it takes you to get that ra-
to get that racket to this hand, and you’ll notice kind of a massage effect
that you’re going to feel, like you’re massaging the ball. So, I’m going to go
ahead and bring one of my students in right now to show us how that’s done. Aright, Max is going to show us how to
do the hand turn with ball control, but first, he’s going to swing really quickly
and really fast, and show you sometimes what juniors do. They think
they need to swing like the pros and swing really big, but in reality, a lot of
times, many shots that pros hit, they’re actually swinging slower than you think.
So, Max is going to accelerate here, and you know, it’s just kind of a slap
shot, you know. He’s got to be really perfect, he
even mishit that ball. He’s got to be really perfect. That was actually a great shot. He’s got
to be really perfect with the timing, otherwise, the ball is going to go into
the fence. Good. So now, what I want you to see is, I want you to see him slow
everything down, and work on his ball control, and you’re going to notice
something at the end of the shot that’s really cool. See how long it takes him to
finish the swing. It’s going to take him a long time, and you’ll notice even at
the end, the hand is relaxing out of the racket. Might even be able to give you a
slow-mo demonstration of this right here on this forehand. So yes, not hitting the ball as hard, but he’s
gaining ball control. So, when he’s nervous in a match, he can focus more on
moving the ball into different spots of the court: maybe it’s an angle, maybe it’s down the line, but he’s got
the control that he’s looking for. I really hope you got a ton of value out
of today’s short video lesson, and you can go apply it to your game right away. Now, if you want to be a part of our
growing worldwide tennis community, and get the best online tennis lessons on
the planet, go ahead and click below, and we’re going
to help you go to the next level. I’m really, really looking forward to
help you in the future with your tennis.


  • Reply durich1000 October 31, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    The tip should be to accelerate explosive racquet speed only at contact point, moving racquet head towards the net as opposed to across the body. Here he is moving racquet head across, and also racquet speed decrease even at contact point. This is a intermediate tip. For advanced players this tip does not work, as the only way to contrarest porperly or hit back a heavy spining and fast ball is with a lot of head speed when you establish contact with ball.

  • Reply takezo - baumblatt November 3, 2012 at 5:27 am

    thanks dude!

  • Reply Edwin McKain January 6, 2013 at 2:12 am

    I have the same issue, for some reason I'm hitting the ball too fast and it gets out of control :/ today was my 1st tennis session 🙂 yeeei , thanks for the video!

  • Reply Kevin Nguyen March 5, 2013 at 6:50 am

    Unfortunately, this video does not address how to hit a topspin forehand. The title is misleading to some viewers. However, the idea Jeff in this video is conveying is very crucial for everyone's tennis because one must indeed know how to control the ball before anything else.

  • Reply hitomip1 March 20, 2013 at 10:21 pm

    Very informative easy to follow explanation. Tks a lot

  • Reply Rosi Fathoni April 5, 2013 at 5:07 pm

    Guys, improve your tennis skills does not have to be hard (I used to feel it did). I'll give you some advice right now. Look for a training program known as Tennisolanox System (search on google). Seriously, thanks to Tennisolanox System I've become a better tennis player. I probably shouldn't even be talking about it because I do not want a bunch of other guys out there running the same "game" but whatever, I am in a great mood today so I will share the wealth haha.

  • Reply Barton L April 8, 2013 at 5:44 pm

    This video is so shit haha

  • Reply SHEEPYY SHEPHERD June 5, 2013 at 7:09 pm

    "Ball control" sorry:L

  • Reply Emilio Jaque June 15, 2013 at 7:51 am

    What if you feel you are late to an incoming fast ball? Maybe too difficult to execute do fast finish (requires lots of timing), but if you do a slow finish, more of a block on the fast incoming ball… then your return will go medium speed (not slow), because you are borrowing pace, and you will have an easier time controlling where that ball goes.

  • Reply BODYBUILDING EXPERTISE June 21, 2013 at 8:40 pm

    I think that it depends always from the ball coming from your adversary. Sometimes the drive is accelerated sometimes in order to get control, it's not. Maybe a middle of the road situation is the best solution. The best racket head speed, near to ideal speed has TOMAS BERDYCH a very good "clean hitter"!!

  • Reply Floris Van Der Burg June 28, 2013 at 12:15 pm

    Great video, but it does not really focus on how you can increase the topspin. It should focus a bit more on the grip and on the different movement of the racket opposed to an eastern forehand. Still amazing video, that explains very well how you can get more control if you already master a topspin forehand.

  • Reply Michael Warner September 4, 2013 at 1:05 am


  • Reply shayal96 September 27, 2013 at 7:12 am

    Great video, helps me a lot with my tournaments

  • Reply Chee Chong Hwa November 7, 2013 at 6:05 am

    Hi Jeff

    Useful video but the title is misleading 🙁 Perhaps it can be retitled "Slow down your follow-through for control "


  • Reply Sameer Talcherkar January 6, 2014 at 3:11 am

    This would be a great thing to do during pre-match warm up so that you can get the feel and timing of the ball.  For me its about feel, once I have it I'm much more confident in my forehand.  

  • Reply sooraj nikam March 1, 2014 at 6:11 am

    its spin forward

  • Reply verm Zhang March 15, 2014 at 1:56 pm

    thats that really helped! i need to practice ball control lol

  • Reply reinterpret_cast April 24, 2014 at 5:41 pm

    Looks like he's using western

  • Reply BODYBUILDING EXPERTISE August 16, 2014 at 2:40 pm

    Great video ! I play in fact all my ground strokes on the forehand side with a slight deceleration on my forehand. I also use this tip for shots where I want to be very precise, means, down the line shots to replace my adversary. Thanks Jeff ([email protected])

  • Reply pr4nk5tr August 24, 2014 at 11:08 am

    If I want more control, I do rather the opposite: Accelerate the racket head faster but use more spin.

  • Reply hondus brahms March 9, 2015 at 8:50 pm

    Another way to think about it is to stop your rotation and let the arm go as if it's not connected to the body then allow the body to follow the arm.  This will fix the problem as well.  Many people think they are supposed to rotate hard all the way through the shot until the finish – it may look like that but that's not what is happening.   When you rotate hard through the whole swing, you are pulling your arm through and that's bad, you pull the arm initially then let it go, then the arm pulls the relaxed body around.

  • Reply Nigel Vyse May 19, 2015 at 2:46 pm

    Easier with a Topspin pro. Saw some guy in the UK called Phil Hofmeyr demo one. Looked really cool! He is taking it on Kickstarter very soon.

  • Reply krakou2 October 7, 2015 at 1:10 pm

    just PUSH stop the pulling nonsense

  • Reply Frans van Terwisga December 22, 2015 at 3:37 am

    Although I agree ball control is important, but doing this might cause people to actually slow down before they strike the ball. I usually instruct to have a natural flow of motion rather than a forced flow of motion in unison with the torso rotation. After they get consistent I ask them to rotate their bodies a little faster instead of focusing on moving the arm faster. This will cause a more consistent 'whipping' effect in my opinion.

  • Reply dharmik thaker February 8, 2016 at 2:09 pm

    Nice video taught by them to us.

  • Reply Tennis with Thomas April 9, 2016 at 11:02 pm

    I find it funny that both the video title and description say forehand topspin, yet the video is entirely on ball control on the forehand. Has nothing to do with topspin at all. Please label the video correctly.

  • Reply Claudio Prado June 26, 2016 at 10:52 pm

    Great tip Jeff thanks a lot. It's so easy to understand and very valuable. Control the ball that's the secret for consistency.

  • Reply Nilu Vyasam September 23, 2016 at 8:57 pm

    Your good

  • Reply eTennis League October 12, 2016 at 4:26 pm

    Slap shot…great expression!

  • Reply md azam July 31, 2017 at 9:56 pm

    Jeff this is an amazing tip. I tried on this my son and found amazing result. Huge spin, deeper shot. You are a great Coach. One question, i told my son to make sure to count 2 nicely when he catches the racket after ball contact. If it is 1 , then the shot length is short. Unbelievable. Can you tell how we should count from contact to catching the racket?

  • Reply R Mark Ramsey Real Estate August 10, 2017 at 1:21 am

    Over-simplification. Look at the differences in backswing for a similar height ball. There is more going on here than simply "swing slower". The difference is a relatively flat shot (lower percentage), vs a shot w/more spin, i.e.; more net clearance, thus a higher percentage/more reliable shot. This is accomplished primarily via swing path.

  • Reply James Peters August 29, 2017 at 3:05 pm

    This is a great tip. Most of us need more control.

  • Reply Tennis Evolution - Online Tennis Lessons March 8, 2018 at 4:01 pm

    Forehand myths debunked: Former Top 100 ATP Pro, Jeff Salzenstein, is exposing 3 common myths that could be crippling your forehands potential. Most players make at least 1 of these 3 mistakes… Do you?

  • Reply Dominique De Vos March 28, 2018 at 8:16 pm

    He goes slower to his contact what gives him more controle !! Most of them go to fast to contact and there they loose the control!! The faster you go to something the harder you hit it !! And tennis is not about hitting but about playing the ball !! First control and then speed , so speed starts at contact when you have control and that’s why for me your trick thus not make sense. The faster you finish the more control you will have because of the spin that goes in it , not faster to contact and slow down the finish. It’s all about the finish!!! Speed and dept is in your finish not in your legs not in your hips not in your shoulders. That’s why I like your other video with the girl more were you say there different finish in the stroke!

  • Reply andy iswandy January 9, 2019 at 4:44 pm


  • Reply Tennisfreak54 January 11, 2019 at 2:56 pm

    It’s not because they come to fast across there body like you say at .42 sec!!! It’s because they go to fast to contact !!! By slowing down the finish he is also going slower to contact !!! So actually the ball control is found in the way to contact!!! Keeping control you find in the finish

  • Reply chris cross January 30, 2019 at 9:08 am


  • Leave a Reply