Forehand grip and swing for beginner players

Gaby Tennis forehand stroke, Tennis Fundamentals, Tennis Lessons Beginner Players

Check out our tennis lesson to learn the correct forehand grip and swing.

In this tennis class, Javi teaches how to properly hold the racket for the forehand shot and what the correct grip is for a beginning player. He also teaches the student how to technically execute the basic swing of this stroke.

The forehand is usually the first stroke that is taught to a beginner player since it is normally the easiest to learn. It is executed with the racket held in only the dominant hand, therefore the player can feel some control when hitting the first balls from the beginning. Before learning the technique for forehand it is recommended that the player discovers basic footwork and how to hit the ball on their own.

Forehand grips

Javi recommends holding the racket with the semi-western grip because it is the most versatile grip; however, beginner players may find it easier and more comfortable to hold the racket with the eastern grip at first.

There are three types of grips used in the forehand stroke:

Check out our tennis lesson to learn the correct forehand grip and swing.

Eastern grip

  • usually the easiest and most comfortable for beginners who hit the balls at waist height
  • with this grip it is more difficult to create the topspin effect and to hit the high balls at chest height

Semi-western grip

  • it is the most versatile of all since a player can create both topspin and flat shots with it
  • it makes it easier to contact balls at the height above the hip thus it is a good choice for intermediate players

Western grip

  • this grip is used by professional players who tend to return high balls at chest or shoulder height with topspin effect
  • it is more common on clay courts since the ball bounces higher than on other surfaces
We will be explaining each grip in more detail in future tennis lessons for beginner players.

Elbow close to your body

When starting to learn forehand it is better to keep the elbow of the hitting arm close to the body in order to have more comfort and security of play. At this level, the backswing of the racket should not be too great, as that can make controlling the rest of the stroke more difficult.

Key takeaways

Check out our tennis lesson to learn the correct forehand grip and swing.

The main learning points from this tennis lesson for beginners are:

  1. Use the semi-western grip to be able to play with both the topspin and the flat effect.
  2. Hold the racket at the bottom of the grip to have control and accelerate at the same time.
  3. Keep the elbow of the dominant arm close to the body so that it is more comfortable and safe to play by having the racket closer to the body.
  4. Open the wrist and the arm backwards but not too much so as not to lose control.
  5. Hit the ball in front of your body, facing sideways, and follow through with the swing to the opposite shoulder, gently collecting the racket with your other hand.

Beginner player should use semi-western grip for its versatility!

In this video Javi has explained the right forehand grip as well as shown 2 exercises to learn to swing at the easy balls from the baseline. In one of the exercises the player has been getting used to keeping their elbow close to the body by being tied with an elastic band.

Check out our tennis lesson to learn the correct forehand grip and swing.

Exercise 1

Use an elastic band to help keep your elbow close to your body

3 sets of 15 balls

Exercise 2

Remove elastic band and hit with your elbow close to your body

3 sets of 15 balls