An Interview With John Yandell
Why has the forehand become one of the big debates in coaching today?
Because people like to talk about what the top pros do. If the top pros are doing something that seems different or new, the lemmings want to jump on the bandwagon, so to speak.
Some coaches are shameless enough to say, "I will teach you the secret of Nadal's forehand. And if you want to be a top player, you have to hit like Nadal."
I'm not going to mention any names, but I've seen coaches actually claim that they have players that they've trained in this method, but then you look at the video of them, it's not what Nadal is really doing. I know one pretty well-known coach who is touting this as the only way that everyone, men and women, should be taught, including senior players. That could be right, but I don't think so.
I believe the forehand has more variability than any other stroke in tennis.
Absolutely. For starters, you have six different grip structures. And that can be combined with two hitting arm structures. And that can be combined with four stances. And that can be combined with tremendous variability in hand-and-arm rotation and in body rotation.