Ask Nick: Tips for Forehand Extension

Thursday, May 09, 2013 /by
AP Photo
AP Photo

Hi Nick, I’m a freshman at a Division III college; I’m 6-foot-3 and pretty thin. I wanted to know if you had any tips that would help me work on extending my arm through the contact point on my forehand. Thank so much!—John Kneisley, Arlington, VA

Being 6-foot-3 is not a hindrance to hitting your forehand with your arm and racquet away from your body, and your arm being straight when contacting the ball. I do not know your grip for your forehand, but I can give you a few simple tips. First, make sure your arm and racquet are slightly away from your body on the backswing. Hit the ball out in front—if you make contact when the ball is behind you, it will affect your forehand swing. Here’s a good drill for your and your coach to practice reaching out for the ball:

1. Sit on the edge of a chair with your body totally facing the net.
2. Have your racquet back in position to start your forward swing.
3. Have your coach pitch the ball to you, forcing you to reach out because you cannot
step to the ball.

4. Stand up and repeat the same drill.

Repeat this drill from time to time, and you will form a habit of hitting your forehand with your arm straight out, away from your body.


Nick Bollettieri found the IMG Bollettieri Academy in 1978. He has coached 10 players that have gone on to rank No. 1 in the world.

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