Mechanics and learning practices associated with the tennis forehand: a review

J Sports Sci Med. 2013 Jun 1;12(2):225-31.


The forehand ranks closely behind the serve in importance in the sport of tennis. Yet, while the serve has been the focus of a litany of research reviews, the literature describing forehand stroke production has not been reviewed as extensively. The purposes of this article are therefore to review the research describing the mechanics of the forehand and then to appraise that research alongside the coach-led development of the stroke. The consensus of this research supports the importance of axial rotation of the pelvis, trunk, shoulder horizontal adduction and internal rotation as the primary contributors to the development of racket speed in the forehand. The relationship between grip style and racket velocity is similarly well established. However, it is also clear that there remains considerable scope for future research to longitudinally examine the inter-relationships between different teaching methodologies, equipment scaling and forehand mechanics. Key PointsSports biomechanics has played a key role in assisting tennis coaches to understand the mechanical characteristics of the forehand.Research has confirmed the largely positive role of modified courts and balls in increasing the technical proficiency, number and success of forehand shots of beginner children.Suggested research directions include prospective or longitudinal studies into the inter-relationships of different teaching methodologies, equipment scaling and forehand mechanics.

Keywords: Coaching; groundstrokes; methodology; pedagogy; skill development.

Publication types

  • Review