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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Racquetball Forehand Swing Mechanics

Grip your racquet like you’re shaking hands with it. The space between your thumb and index finger should form a “V”.
Stand facing the side wall with your hitting arm closest to the back wall (so you hit the ball toward the front wall). Your feet should be a little more than shoulder width apart, and your knees should be a little more than slightly bent. Your feet, knees hips and shoulders should all be square to the side wall.
Elevate your arm to the ready position. To do so, hold your racquet up level with your elbow which should also be level with your shoulder. From an overhead view your forearm and upper arm should be perpendicular. Make sure you hold the racquet straight up in the air.

Your left arm should be in front of you and somewhat relaxed. It is an important function of the overall swing so don’t take it for granted.
To begin the swing from the forehand side take a short step with your lead foot directly toward the front wall. As your foot lands the swing motion will begin. You do this by leading with the elbow of your racquet hand. It is important that the elbow leads into the swing to ensure proper power and control. The wrist lags behind slightly as your elbow maintains its momentum toward the hitting zone.

As you continue the swinging motion your hips should be rotating and your back foot should pivot. Try to imagine that you are squishing an insect with your back foot.

Also happening simultaneously to the motion of the racquet is your non-hitting arm is “pulling” you forward. Imagine that you are moving a pesky bush out of the way with it. Do not bring your non-hitting arm up to your chest as you swing. This is a very common error.

Continue leading with your elbow as you approach the contact point. The contact point for a straight-in shot (directly toward the front wall) from the forehand side is exactly off your front foot and full extension away from your body. Just before you reach the contact point snap your forearm and wrist through the hitting zone and follow all the way through so that your racquet is wrapped around your torso and pointing toward the back wall. Try to contact the ball at a height that is below your knee.

You should finish the swing with your belly button facing the front wall, and your upright torso directly over the ground between your front and back legs, evenly distributing your weight.

NOTE: It is important to understand your follow through and what it can mean. For example, if you follow through your swing and finish with your racquet arm high in the air, you didn't swing level (parallel to the ground). That is, you swung your racquet down toward the ground and followed through up toward the ceiling. This is commonly known as a pendulum swing. A pendulum swing keeps your racquet in the hitting zone only for a short time and can lead to a high amount of inconsistency. Always swing level.

video demonstration

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