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Forehand Tennis Lesson: Should You Make Your Forehand Swing More Compact?

Today’s game, because of the ball pace, you’re
having to have shorter and shorter swings to deal with the amount of pace that you’re
getting. Also, to have a consistent forehand, you want to have a small stroke.
In this video, I’m going to show you how to make your swing more compact, so you can have
more consistency and deal with more power. The first thing we want to talk about with
having a compact swing is your take-back. Now, what I think is really important when
you have a compact swing is having a straight take-back. The difference is, I see a lot
of players, and they take this huge upward swing. When you take that, it’s going to take
just as much time to get the racket down and to the level of contact.
What would be better is just having this nice, compact, straight-back swing. You see guys
like Roger Federer, and even Nadal, they take the racket straight back. You also notice
players that have the bigger swings have to play further behind the baseline, making them
have to cover more ground. What we want to do to have a compact swing?
The key to having a compact swing is just making sure that when we take the racket back,
we’re going to take it back straight. I like to use the analogy is, having a table and
just taking your racket back on top on the table. We’re not going to lift the racket
off of the table. If you find yourself taking the racket way up, you’re going to also find
yourself hitting the balls late, and we don’t want that. Make sure we’re taking the racket
straight back. The second tip is keeping your elbow and arm
closer to your body. Now, here’s the key. This does not mean stuck to your body. This
just means slightly closer to your body. When we take the racket back, we don’t want to
have the elbow way out here and the racket way away from your body. This, again, creates
a big swing, that we’re trying to make more compact.
What we want to do is halve that. Instead of having the racket way out here, we’re going
to keep the racket here. I’m going to take the racket back with my elbow still not on
my body, but close to my body. A good way of measuring this is I like saying taking
your thumb and having a thumbs-up, and I’m just going to take my hand and stick it in
here. When I’m taking my racket back, I want to
make sure that I keep this distance, not too far, not too close. We want to make sure that
we’re not pulling the racket. It’s nice and smooth. It’s not going to get caught on my
body, but it’s not so far away that I can’t get behind the ball. That’s the key to making
sure that we have a nice take-back that’s not too far away from our body.
The third and final key is making sure that you have your swing, what I call is, on the
side of your body. A lot of times, I’ll see a player, they’ll take the racket back way
behind them. I like to say, imagine you have a brick wall right here, and I don’t want
to take the racket back and hit the brick wall. The key is here, I’m keeping my hand
on the side of my body here. I don’t have to keep the racket completely on the side,
but I’m keeping my hand on the side. When I take the racket back, then my swing is on
the side of my body. Make sure that when you’re taking your racket
back, you’re not crossing what I call the plane, that same brick wall. We’re not taking
the racket back here. See if we can keep the swing nice and compact, and on the side of
your body, the entire swing here. Make sure you go out and use these tips to
make your forehand more compact, more consistent, and more resilient against your opponent.
Thanks for hanging out and watching this video. If you want more content on how to improve
your forehand’s power, consistency, and placement, make sure you check the link below and check
out ForehandDomination.com to get all the latest content that I release on how to improve
your forehand. I’ll see you on the other side.

David Frank



  1. Ebi Dashti Posted on February 6, 2014 at 3:03 pm

    I have already added this video to my favorites , thank you very much

  2. GreaterGood510 Posted on February 6, 2014 at 8:54 pm

    Thanks for the tip, what level are you Kevin?

  3. GreaterGood510 Posted on February 7, 2014 at 2:09 am

    Somewhere inbetween 3.5-4.0, so I've been told.

  4. krakou2 Posted on February 7, 2014 at 3:55 pm

    straight arm can be compact, just point the tip of racquet more to the right and less behind you.

  5. GreaterGood510 Posted on February 11, 2014 at 9:30 am

    Slide step forehand winner dtl

  6. truejamesk Posted on February 12, 2014 at 5:49 am

    Thanks for the useful tip

  7. Tony Ganzy Posted on March 9, 2014 at 2:30 pm

    Love your lessons!!! Thanks Kevin!!!!!!

  8. hondus brahms Posted on May 8, 2014 at 6:54 pm

    Should have added a step 4 and that's to keep sideways longer than a normal throw – you don't step forward with the right foot like a normal throw and the only way to do that is delay your rotation by staying sideways.  This may happen naturally for an upward throw but it's worth mentioning.

  9. David Wang Posted on May 31, 2014 at 1:28 pm

    simple but useful, great job. thanks!

  10. Robert Samarra Collins Posted on July 27, 2014 at 5:20 pm

    very useful. thank you kev!

  11. Lord Byron Posted on July 29, 2014 at 4:30 pm

    Good advice dude. Totally agree. I would also add the backhand to that list of compact swing.

  12. Richard Milford Posted on August 2, 2014 at 9:44 pm


  13. Ivonne Giles Posted on October 9, 2014 at 9:07 am

    Your videos are awesome!

  14. BODYBUILDING EXPERTISE Posted on November 18, 2014 at 12:23 pm

    very good video, very good subject. Just in the moment I am testing the higher loop and also the lower racket tip back-forward mouvement. I think Berdych has the best way to prepare with the small "stop" before hitting, which gives additional security.

  15. Craig Sanders Posted on February 23, 2015 at 4:07 am

    Kevin, I am a 4.0 – 4.5 NTRP level tennis player that has hit with a teaching professional at least once per week for the last 2 plus years. I have made vast improvements. I play 4.5 – 5.0 level players 2-3 times per week. My intermediate goal is to be a 5.0 tennis player within 2 years, improving my consistency is key. This online video lesson on making your forehand swing more compact was a GAME CHANGER for me! Taking the racket back "on top of the table" and core rotation, i.e., touching chin to shoulder on take back and follow through has improved my forehand consistently immensely. I am able to swing with more fluidity and confidence, and ultimately my consistency is improving. I have watched a number of your videos for the past month and a half. I am VERY grateful for your knowledge, skill, experience, and willingness to share your teaching gift with the world. Tennis is a big part of my life and you have made a huge difference in my tennis game and in my life. I wish you continued and uncommon success. Thank you very much!

  16. Kazzzzzo Posted on September 29, 2016 at 10:34 am

    Elbow should be lifted (chest height) when preparind the forehand.

  17. Donny brook Posted on October 15, 2016 at 5:01 pm

    I think he could have skipped the first 3/4 of this video as none of that stuff in the beginning really matters. The point about keeping the racket and stroke to the side of the body and not behind it is good advice.

  18. Jorge Edisson Parreno Pineda Posted on November 16, 2016 at 8:19 am


  19. Peter Fennell Posted on March 27, 2017 at 2:34 pm

    Perfect advice K!

  20. portpass1974 Posted on April 17, 2017 at 10:44 pm

    Great lesson. A shorter, compact swing is vital for consistency.

  21. actdigitalmusic Posted on May 6, 2017 at 1:29 pm

    You are the best !! thanks a lot

  22. Yutae Gil Posted on August 4, 2017 at 4:28 pm

    One of the best tennis coaches on youtube. Simple and easy to understand videos on problems we all have.

  23. Mohamed Nageh Posted on December 13, 2017 at 8:04 am

    You can use the elbow cure by putting the elbow a little bit higher ( elbow not pointing down to the ground ) this is the best way to correct the large back swing with small preparation

  24. Pacer Dave Posted on April 8, 2018 at 6:29 pm

    Not a big loop but some to get a longer runway for racket head speed.

  25. MrCswint25 Posted on September 21, 2018 at 1:47 pm

    Thanks coach Kevin!