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The Intuitive Rotational Stroke & How It Relates To Getting More Power On The Forehand

January 21, 2020

Hi guys I’m on the lookout for a
secluded court because I’m going to be hitting some balls over the fence for a
very specific reason. I want to show you how intuitively we rotate our torso to
gain more power. So let’s check this place out I want to make sure there’s a
nice big area with nobody around right behind the court and this place looks
perfect I’m gonna hit some balls over the fence. So while I’m picking up the balls let me
explain to you why I’m doing this. So you see professional players will many times
hit balls into the stands either out of joy or out of anger.
And the shot they use when they do this doesn’t have a name it’s hit on the
forehand side and the purpose is to hit the ball as hard as possible and as far
as possible. And the interesting thing about this shot is that it is a completely
intuitive shot that nobody learns and nobody practices. So in today’s video
we’re going to get into the biomechanics of this shot and how it relates to
getting power on the forehand. The biomechanics behind this shot are
very interesting and players do not learn how to hit the shot they simply
pick up a ball and rip it as hard as they can and they perform certain body
actions in order to get power intuitively. And these intuitive actions
in order to get power is the loading and the unloading of the torso so what
happens is when we are ready to hit the ball as hard as we can we’re going to go
down with the upper body a little bit and we’re going to create a V via
between the outside leg and the upper body this works in a closed stance
position as well but your upper body bends and will create a V shape between
the leg and the upper body. So this is the loading stage now in
addition to that we’re not going to start with the racket down we want the
racket to pick up a little bit of momentum so we’re going to start with
somewhat of a loop and also we’re gonna be in a continental grip to hit the ball
as flat as possible and as hard as possible. So from here, we are simply
going to straighten the upper body and accelerate. The contact point on a shot
like this ideally needs to be lower somewhere
between the hip area and the knee. So check out when I rip one where I make
contact. So the lower the ball drops the more my
racket can accelerate into the slot. Now because the contact point is going to be
lower our right shoulder will drop and our left leg will usually lift off the
ground as we accelerate downwards Once we have made contact we simply
continue going this way and we rotate the torso fully And the body action that’s responsible
for the most amount of acceleration is the loading and the unloading so when we
go from here and now we leave from this side straighten the torso and rotate
at the same time see this action right here this accelerates the racket
tremendously and take another look so I’m going to load and now when I unload
a good credible amount of acceleration from this action. A slight variation of the shot I just
performed is sometimes seen on the Pro Tour. Back in a day when guys used to
come to the net with a bad approach shot against Ivan Lendl he would unload his
forehand in a very similar way and he usually aim for the guy’s head or chest. Another player who sometimes hits balls
like this in real matches is Nick Kyrgios And these are some of the hardest for
hands who will ever see. The speeds that are generated on these forehands are well
over a hundred miles an hour. However and most of the time shots like this are hit
either out of anger or out of carelessness. And it’s impossible to
sustain a shot like this over the course of a long match and because the
probability of missing is very high with this type of shot Do not try this shot in a real match
it’s not worth it you’re gonna make one out of ten if that. It’s simply
impossible to get the ball in it’s just too low percentage of a shot. However we
can learn a lot in how we get power on this shot and we can do the same thing
when we hit our forehand. On the regular forehand stroke we always need to have
control as our top priority. However if you are an advanced player you can start
thinking about adding a little bit of power and the great thing we can learn
about in this intuitive shot, where we go for maximum power is you can try to load a
regular forehand the same way. So as we are waiting for the ball with both hands
on the racket we can start leaning towards the hitting side of the body we
can start bending our torso forward we can create a slight V shape. We then
should be able to load and unload the forehand the same way and we will get
more power. So let me try one out I’m gonna feed myself a ball and I’m gonna
try to load it the same way. Load here and I unload. Let me try another one I’m
going to load it the same way by going down a little bit and then unload it. Let
me try another one I’m going to load it the same way then unload. And the wrist is not part of a powerful
shot like this anytime we use the wrist in tennis is for finesse when it comes
to power, the wrist does not play a role. You are not actively slapping the ball
or snapping the wrist. If you think about that logically you will not going to
generate the maximum amount of power possible with a fragile small piece of
the human body and if you try to use your wrist to get power for any type of
forehand a few things are going to happen. Number one it is going to shorten
the stroke overall because you are consciously doing an action at the
contact point. So usually what will happen is the stroke would be cut off
short. In addition to that the risk of injury is very high and the probability
of the ball going in is very low. The important takeaway from today’s lesson
is that intuitively we use the torso rotation to generate power. So if you are
actively trying to step forward towards the ball regardless of the penetration
of the ball and then in addition that you’re trying to hit forward while
staying sideways you’re doing yourself a big disservice to your forehand.
Instead of that utilize the body’s rotation to achieve more power and more


  • Reply 3Slippers October 25, 2019 at 10:54 am

    1) Swinging your non-dominant arm hard away first generates a lot of rotational force you can collect into your shot.
    2) I can throw a frisbee far further backhand than I can forehand. This surely has ramifications for generating your most powerful shot. Perhaps a windup twirling backhand unleashing into a power-pirouette? :]

  • Reply Intuitive Tennis October 25, 2019 at 11:03 am

    Who is the father of the modern forehand?

  • Reply Paul Freda October 25, 2019 at 1:59 pm

    I disagree that the wrist should not be used. It is the last element of the kinetic chain. And you can see in nearly all videos of top pros the change in angle between the arm and hand before and then after the hit which shows it dynamically releasing. BUT relying on just the wrist for power is ineffective and bad kinetics. JMHO …..but this video highlights an excellent idea to be explored from an intuitive instructional viewpoint !

  • Reply Kabir Shah October 25, 2019 at 6:37 pm

    Great video again, thanks! I wonder if you could make a video on when to time the loading of the leg. It seems relatively easy to do on drop feeds but a bit difficult to do in a really. I tend to arm the ball.

  • Reply peter October 25, 2019 at 6:40 pm

    Hi Nick, great stuff als normal, love your explanation!

  • Reply quinby123 October 25, 2019 at 7:57 pm

    I do this at the park all the time to get rid of my old balls and the dogs can chew on them.

  • Reply Natachi Nnate October 25, 2019 at 9:10 pm

    Perfect! I actually tried this today! Awesome video Nick!

  • Reply James Smith October 26, 2019 at 3:04 pm

    Great explanation of rotational power. However, one thing you didn't mention is WHEN you should initiate the uncoiling motion. I used to hit all my topspin forehands where I would start uncoiling after the unit turn when the racquet and hand was high and then loop down below the level of the ball in order to hit up and out.

    The problem is that the momentum force of he racquet would cause problems. Namely: the elbow going forward too much, excessive supination of the forearm, racquet face opening too much in the forward swing, and the racquet tip dropping too far below the hand. All this meant that even though I achieved great racquet head speed, it was useless because I struggled to time that and keep the ball in the court.

    I finally solved this issue when I realized that 95% of the uncoiling should happen when the racquet and hand is lower (in the so called "slot" position"). Now my forehand is much more consistent, the elbow stays back, the racquet face doesn't open, and I can still hit with plenty of power and spin. I had to video myself to see that I was timing the uncoiling too early and that by uncoiling later it corrected all of those issues.

  • Reply Sean Parker January 3, 2020 at 11:58 pm


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