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Tennis Groundstrokes Tips – The Basic Swing Pattern

Hey guys. Today I want to talk to you about
the basic swing pattern that you need to understand to master all of your topspin groundstrokes.
As you probably already know, the way you should swing the tennis racket is heavily
influenced by the physical laws involved in hitting a tennis ball. The swing pattern for
the topspin forehand, the topspin one-handed backhand, and the topspin two-handed backhand
is actually almost identical. In the following super slow motion animations, you will see
that the swing pattern goes from high to low and then high again. So the basic swing pattern
that you need to remember is high-low-high. And most recreational players unfortunately
don’t get this right. So it’s very important that you guys start working on it.
Alright, let’s go ahead and start with some visual learning and we’ll go ahead and start
with the forehand. We’ll have a look at myself hitting a forehand here. We’re going to have
a look at the high-low-high swing pattern. What you can see here is that my hand and
racket go up high first as I make my unit turn, and then the racket and the hand drop
down low below the level of the incoming ball. Then on the forward swing, I start swinging
upward again to finish with the high swing. So that’s how the high-low-high swing pattern
looks like here from the sideview. Let’s have a look at it again. What you can see here
is that my hand goes a little bit above my shoulder height. I take my hand a little bit
higher than probably most professional players. Taking it up to about shoulder level is a
good guideline for you guys. Then once I drop down, the racket goes very low. As you can
see right here, the racket is not too far away from the ground as I start to swing up
again with the last portion of the swing where I go high again.
Now let’s have a look at the one-handed backhand. Here on the one-handed backhand, you can see
again that my racket and hand move up high a little bit in the beginning — roughly shoulder
height — and then the racket drops down low again below the level of the incoming ball.
The ball that I’m hitting here is coming a little bit higher. So I’m not getting my racket
quite as low as I did on the forehand, but I’m still getting it below the level of the
incoming ball. And then from there, I swing up high again with the high finish. You can
see my hand again is roughly at ear level at the end. So that’s what the typical high-low-high
looks like on the one-handed backhand. Now you can also see very well here that my body
and my hand go down together, and then up together. That’s another very important part
here of the swing. But what I want you guys to understand and to get a really good visual
feedback is the high-low-high swing pattern. And I really hope that this animation here
can give you a great idea, and for an image in your mind that you can use to work towards,
which usually really helps. Now let’s have a look at the two-handed backhand.
Here on the two-hander, we’ll see the same thing. The racket is going to go up high a
little bit first. There are several pros on the tour that don’t take the racket up too
high on the two-hander, and that’s perfectly fine. I would recommend that you guys roughly
take the hands up to about shoulder level and then drop the racket from there. You really
want to drop the racket low again below the level of the incoming ball, and then the swing
goes up high again. As you can see, the arc on these swings on the forehand, one-handed
backhand, and two-handed backhand is almost identical with the high-low-high swing pattern.
The reason you want to have the racket up a little bit high in the beginning is that
you want to use gravity to pick up a little bit of racket head speed. You can hit a perfectly
fine shot if you take the racket back low, but you’re just going to lack a little bit
of power because you’re not going to make use of gravity as the racket goes down.
Alright, so much here for the two-handed backhand. Now let’s have a quick look at the three animations
in comparison. So here we can see the comparison of the swing pattern for the forehand, the
one-handed topspin backhand, and the two-handed topspin backhand. As you can see, the swing
pattern is almost identical and goes from high to low to high again. Getting the swing
pattern right is absolutely crucial for your topspin ground strokes and I highly recommend
that you go ahead and start working on that. First thing of course will be to check and
see if you already have the swing pattern. You might have it already. But most likely,
a lot of you guys are not going to have the swing pattern yet. If you’re missing a lot
in the net, then maybe you’re not getting the low to high part correctly. And then you
go ahead and start with some shadow swingsand you work on it. And another thing that really
helps us actually saying the words out loud so you can say high, low, high as you’re making
that particular part of your swing. I am pretty sure that if you guys go ahead and work on
this, then your topspin ground strokes are going to improve a lot.

David Frank



  1. FYProduction Posted on July 28, 2012 at 6:27 pm

    Good video! Please talk about the high-high swing also, such when the ball bounces above shoulder. The low-high swing causes the ball into the net when the ball's high already

  2. FYProduction Posted on July 28, 2012 at 6:30 pm

    You'll locked up the wrist if gripping too hard. If too loose, then you loose feel. Pain perhaps you're missing the sweet spot when making contact?

  3. Online Tennis Instruction with Florian Meier Posted on July 28, 2012 at 6:40 pm

    I will cover different situations in future videos. This one was about your basic rally balls. Best Florian

  4. Online Tennis Instruction with Florian Meier Posted on July 28, 2012 at 6:42 pm

    This is very difficult to diagnose from the distance. There could be lots of reasons for this. Maybe your technique is bad, maybe your string is too stiff…lots of possibilities. maybe try a softer string first

  5. david56681 Posted on July 30, 2012 at 7:09 pm

    thanks Florian, always waiting for your videos 🙂

  6. Online Tennis Instruction with Florian Meier Posted on July 30, 2012 at 7:11 pm

    Glad to hear that! Please tell your tennis friends as well 😉

  7. Sanjay Aryan Posted on September 17, 2012 at 5:53 pm

    Excellent video. Thanks

  8. Online Tennis Instruction with Florian Meier Posted on September 17, 2012 at 6:43 pm

    You are welcome! Please share it with your tennis friends. Thanks Florian

  9. NiCoOo Posted on September 26, 2012 at 2:56 am

    i was told i shouldnt drop my racket head down at anytime when doing groundstroke swing , is it true or that guy giving false suggestion ?

  10. Milo Ackerman Posted on October 14, 2012 at 4:43 pm

    I can honestly say I've never seen anyone bring your racket up that high before hitting the ball!

  11. Milo Ackerman Posted on October 14, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    This is really just a suggestion, this style is very unorthodox. As a fellow instructor who played in college, I don't suggest bringing your racket back so high.

  12. Online Tennis Instruction with Florian Meier Posted on October 14, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    Fernando Gonzales gets it up pretty high as well 🙂

  13. Milo Ackerman Posted on January 9, 2013 at 4:53 am

    My point exactly.

  14. Rick Martin Posted on February 3, 2013 at 12:54 pm

    Seems like there's too much loop in both swings and requires a lot of timing – making things very difficult for the recreational player.

  15. TOFFO9G Posted on March 7, 2013 at 3:50 pm

    Très bonne leçon sur les fondamentaux gestuels du tennis

  16. Rick Martin Posted on April 2, 2013 at 10:22 pm

    How does this looping swing work w/ early racket preparation? Doesn't it require you to wait until the ball is nearly at the near or approaching you? Are you able to mix up your stokes by adding a slice backhand?

  17. caiocollalto Posted on April 25, 2013 at 7:39 am

    Now that was a very stylish backhand 🙂

  18. MMA TUBE 1 Posted on May 26, 2013 at 10:16 pm

    the problem is this is 2d image , swing path goes in 3 dimensions

  19. pwnd785 Posted on June 21, 2013 at 1:38 pm

    does muscle play much of a role in a powerful hit or is it all technique

  20. Online Tennis Instruction with Florian Meier Posted on June 21, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    Technique is very important but being strong also helps. Key is to get strong without getting too big like a body builder 🙂

  21. viator22 Posted on August 6, 2013 at 10:44 pm

    I'd disagree that it's gravity driving the increase in speed with a looping high to low swing pattern. It seem more likely to be the involvement of the lats instead of extreme dominance with the pecs and anterior delts.

  22. The Velvet Voice Posted on September 10, 2013 at 8:42 am

    Thx so much for these tips Florian! Can't wait to get out there and practice!

  23. Alexander Boldin Posted on October 11, 2013 at 4:30 pm

    watch my video
    Tennis Swing Trainer YouTube
    and you can see and practice the swings in 3 dimensions

  24. Alexander Boldin Posted on October 11, 2013 at 4:39 pm

    Hi, Florian
    watch my video
    Tennis Swing Trainer YouTube
    Maybe you could get an idea to use such devices in your onlinetennis instructing?

  25. tennisislandtv Posted on October 11, 2013 at 5:51 pm

    Great video. A lot of helpful information

  26. Mario Alvarez Posted on February 6, 2014 at 3:28 am

    This morning I leart this pattern in my first tennis lesson, great video and explanation.

  27. Lauren Milner Posted on February 8, 2014 at 12:24 am

    Great video!

  28. Jimmy Wang Posted on May 15, 2014 at 3:22 am

    This type of swing is for intermediate and advance players.  It is one of the most difficult transition for someone who began the game with wood raquet to today's new livier high tech equipments.  I had to totally relearn and threw everything I've learned away to fit today's game.  Thank you so much for sharing since I adopted Chris Evert's game to begin with which I had to make changes later while getting beat by my peers since her style of play have much lower margin for error. 

  29. sagatbalrog Posted on May 21, 2014 at 7:19 am

    great stuff. ima try it

  30. alienblob21 Posted on October 21, 2014 at 5:55 am

    do you ever think your swing is too long?

  31. ericd92708 Posted on October 28, 2014 at 6:29 pm

    At contact with the ball  is the racket face perpendicular to the ground or is racket tilted slightly down and contact is top of ball and withupper part of racket face ?   THANKS, FLORIAN

  32. name Posted on November 19, 2014 at 1:07 am

    wow. this guys is good.

  33. tennisman2k Posted on January 7, 2015 at 12:21 pm

    florian , i purchased your doubles course paid for in full , but i never downloaded ,,
    i need help 

  34. Elliott Skorupa Posted on May 27, 2015 at 6:23 pm

    Excellent, very helpful in visualization.

  35. Smoothie Cris Posted on July 17, 2015 at 6:13 am

    Thank you so much I joined the tennis team but our coach didn't really teach -_- but this makes so much more sense . I've been trying to flick the racquet to get topspin at a flatish angle or sometimes extreme like flicking over the ball. Now I know its more a forward push thank you

  36. Pavlo Busko Posted on April 17, 2016 at 10:10 pm

    The back-swing is way to big its super inefficent

  37. Amanuel Endalkachew Posted on June 27, 2016 at 4:18 pm

    thank you

  38. Chrisande Agonia Samson Posted on December 13, 2017 at 11:55 am

    I recommend you guyses to watch on Feel Tennis Instructions

  39. Chrisande Agonia Samson Posted on December 13, 2017 at 12:03 pm

    If you want to hit an effortless forehand/backhand , i recommend you to watch on Feel Tennis

  40. Joran Bergwall Posted on January 30, 2018 at 9:39 pm

    And if the ball bounce up high don't drop the racket down behind you. You are welcome.

  41. Cummings Athletics at The Cape Posted on March 12, 2018 at 12:53 am

    Great content. Well done!

  42. Tennis Racket Pro Posted on March 23, 2018 at 11:52 am

    The best video ever! i have more explanation in this subject in detail, here .. https://tennisracketpro.com/how-to-swing-a-tennis-racket-never-miss-again/

  43. spartyutube Posted on March 27, 2018 at 11:08 pm

    Hi Florian, what is the swing pattern for a high putaway for a short shot? I always seems to hit those long 🙂

  44. eboy thot Posted on August 29, 2018 at 3:01 pm

    this swing is way too time consuming ..

  45. Lord Byron Posted on February 3, 2019 at 6:27 am

    Good advice … thank you.

  46. Ethan M Posted on May 10, 2019 at 8:14 pm

    I'm assuming the reason for the U-shape swing motion is because it's easier to get the feet in position with the racquet held high. Otherwise, the player could economize, and start with the racquet low.

  47. Sri Reddy Posted on June 1, 2019 at 3:27 pm

    Awesome 👍 tip. Very helpful