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Finish Your Strokes in Tennis?

Hi guys Nick here from Intuitive Tennis. Do
we have to finish our strokes in tennis weather is to serve the forehand or the
backhand isn’t the ball already gone after we made contact and aren’t we just
basically decelerating the racket so do we have to finish at all and doesn’t
matter how we finish? Check out today’s video and find out. So let’s talk about
the finish or what some people call the follow-through. What’s it all about? Why
is it so important? Well to fully understand it
we first must realize that we are human beings
playing tennis and not a machine and so in theory it is true that once
the ball leaves the racket it really doesn’t matter what the racquet does
because the ball is already gone and that makes sense.
What many people forget is that as a human being the reason why you must
finish is there’s a delay between your intention and in this case your
intention is to hit the ball as hard as you can and the action of the muscle. So
in other words if I tell myself to stop right at the ball I’m going to start
slowing down the stroke much sooner probably somewhere around here. So if I
hit this ball if I tell myself I’m not gonna finish I’m gonna stop right at the
ball I’m not gonna be able to go 100 miles an hour and then suddenly stop.
That’s simply too fast for our brain to process so we’re gonna start
decelerating much sooner before the contact in order for us to stop and so
by telling our body and our mind to finish the stroke we get maximum
acceleration at the most important part of the tennis stroke which is the
contact. So let me demonstrate the delay of our intention and the muscle or the
hand executing this action so on this forehand I’m going to try to
stop right at the ball and let’s see what happens. You see I didn’t actually even manage to stop completely at the ball the
racket still went like this but I had to slow down this movement tremendously in
order for me to stop somewhere around here and so now if I tell myself I’m
gonna finish with my racket towards the back fence
I get free acceleration at contact and there’s no slowing down it’s one
continuous motion and I get my maximum speed. This concept works for any shot in
tennis and I’m going to demonstrate the serve now and I’m going to tell myself
on this serve I’m not going to finish I’m just gonna stop right at contact so
let’s see what happens. Okay so first of all I wasn’t able to stop right at
contact my racquet still went to about right here but for me to achieve this
shortened finish I had to slow down way prior to contact and because this
happens in such a short amount of time these are milliseconds. I’m unable to do
this consciously so again I have to tell myself I’m going to finish all the way
across all the way to my left side in order for me to gain maximum
acceleration at contact. Something like this. So in this case I finish all
the way and I get maximum acceleration on my serve. So it is extremely important
that you have the intention to finish your strokes but is it important how you
finish? Well yes and no and let’s take the forehand as an example so on the
forehand you’re gonna have your basic rally ball finish in my case is the
finish around the shoulder like this this is something that you see on the
WTA Tour most of the players on the WTA Tour have this around the shoulder
finish like this. Even many ATP players like Djokovic will finish very often
around the shoulder like this. However if you have a finish like let’s say Federer
where you wrap the racquet around your elbow like this this is fine too or even
more extreme if you have a finish that goes around your waist like this like Gael Monfils this is okay too. So it doesn’t necessarily matter how you finish but
it’s very important that you finish all the way even in an extreme case like
Rafa if you have this buggy whip forehand where you go around the head
and then back this way. This is okay too. It all depends on your style of play.
However, your finish might change from shot to shot you can see the pro’s.
Somebody like Federer who is known for this forehand going around like this. That even in one rally he can hit three to four
different finishes depending on the situation of the point
what kind of ball he’s hitting what intention he has with his shot
so you’ll see him sometimes going like this you know behind his head if he
catches the ball a little bit behind him or sometimes you’ll see him hitting more
down on the ball like this if he’s maybe closer to the net and he has a high ball
that hits down on. So your finish is gonna change in each point many times
this happens subconsciously without you even noticing
it especially this shot this is a shot that comes out when the ball is a little
bit behind us and we simply go back here behind the head and we don’t even know
that we’re gonna do it. We don’t plan it. It just happens naturally. Does the
finish determine what kind of topspin get on the ball? Yes and no. So if we have
a low finish let’s say for example the Gael Monfils finish that’s really very
horizontal and it goes around the waist like this he still gets tremendous topspin on his forehand because remember topspin is determined
by if you look at the tip of my racquet if that tip of the racquet goes forward
I’m not getting much topspin. I’m still getting some, I’m not getting that
much topspin like this. If the tip of the racket goes over the ball this way
and then down I’m still getting topspin and not as much as Nadal and he goes
very vertical he has the tip of the racket go up like
this and then back around this head like that so that’s a lot more RPMs being
generated but it doesn’t necessarily mean that if you have a low kind of
horizontal finish that you’re unable to generate topspin and maybe the
trajectory of the ball might be a little bit lower but you still can generate
tremendous topspin with a low finish. Thank you guys for watching this video. I
hope you enjoyed it. Please leave a comment in the section below I’ll make
sure to answer. Like the video. Please subscribe if you haven’t already and
I’ll see you next time.

David Frank



  1. iKarla Posted on August 1, 2018 at 3:28 pm

    Wow this video was really helpful to me in my personal game, thanks so much. Could you make more videos about the forehand please ! Also, if you could do something about improving speed and accuracy with the serve I would really appreciate it. Thanks for another great video 🙂

  2. Scott Hazlewood Posted on August 29, 2018 at 3:11 pm

    Excellent video, Niki. The finish….if rec players are struggling with consistency on fh, may I suggest a quick fix….hold the racquet with the less dominant hand for a more pronounced finish. Repeat several times and then go back to your regular finish. Thanks.

  3. catalin simescu Posted on September 1, 2018 at 6:24 am

    You really make excellent videos. Thanks
    a lot and keep going !

  4. Schnooks Dad Posted on September 23, 2018 at 5:51 pm

    Thanks for free ATP level lesson….your videos are high high quality.

  5. ripleygordon Posted on November 28, 2018 at 10:59 am

    Great tutorial Nik, all aspects explained and demo'd here. Thank you. Gordon

  6. Tennis In 30s Posted on December 10, 2018 at 5:10 am

    Please share some comments to improve my strokes and match play. I am the fat one .

  7. Chris Constable Posted on December 21, 2018 at 8:55 pm

    Very clear video. Does the volley have a follow through?

  8. JangshinKwak Posted on February 14, 2019 at 7:34 am

    I suggest you make some repetition on the important point or give us a little pause to remind. I think these video is great, but it's hard to follow it right away. I had to watch it again or stop the video to understand. Very important thing, but very quickly passed by. None the less, I appreciate it.

  9. Omar Sultanov Posted on February 21, 2019 at 11:14 am

    The best explanation of this rather confused topic. I was close to this simplicity once trying to get this point across to the kids but never that pure crystal clear. Congrats! Very helpful, esp for beginners 👍

  10. Intuitive Tennis Posted on May 17, 2019 at 6:56 pm

    Learn The Croatian Serve 🇭🇷 (FREE COURSE)

  11. maciej53 Posted on June 7, 2019 at 2:36 pm

    Another reason for the follow through that I would raise comes straight from physics: minimizing the force on our shoulder. Even if we could stop our arm a millisecond after hitting the ball, having a long, relaxed follow-through minimizes the strain put on our arm. After all, force is mass times acceleration, so minimizing the latter by having a long follow-through lets us avoid needlessly damaging our shoulders!