Building the Modern Forehand:
Differences Across the Grip Styles
By John Yandell
Given the diversity of grips and complexity of technical styles, how do we tell what is basic and what is a variation?
To state the obvious about the modern forehand: the wide variety of grips, backswings, swing patterns, ball heights, spins, and shot placements make trying to identify, understand, and develop the fundamental elements exceedingly confusing, difficult and complex.
If you talk to knowledgeable coaches and successful teaching pros, you'll hear a wide variety of emphasis and opinion, and even directly contradictory viewpoints.
This is in part because of the speed of the swings and the limits of human perception. But it is also due to the great diversity in style between players, as well as the different variations the same players use to do different things with the ball in different circumstances.
How do we, as students of the game, identify and distinguish the basic elements from variations dictated by grips, court position, tactics, shot choices, etc? Put another way-how do you build your own forehand, incorporating the fundamentals that underlie world class shot making, in a way that is appropriate and effective for your grip style, at your level?