Technical Clinic - Groundstrokes

Written by David Sammel on . Posted in Technical Help

More groundstrokes are played than any other shots. Every level of player needs to develop solid consistent forehands and backhands to play with confidence.

The objective is to focus on the performance, not the outcome. Forget about winning and concentrate on how to construct individual points. There are three paths you can go by but only one has a chance for success.


1. Eastern (shake hands) grip
2. Swing shape (discus throw)


1. Eastern (thumb behind) grip
2. Two forehand grips for two-handers
3. Swing shape (elbows up for two-handed)
4. "Cross" shape for one-handed

'Water level' theory for lifting groundstrokes:-

1. Contact ball in front of body
2. Arm's length away
3. From knee to waist high
4. Importance of correct finish to swing


Court positioning:-

1. Aim to stand one metre behind the baseline to prepare for your opponent's shot
2. Return towards centre of court after each stroke

Reception skills:-

1. How quickly do you turn your shoulders and take back your racket when you see the direction of your opponent's shot?
2. You must aim to prepare before your opponent's shot has crossed to your side of the net
3. Reacting quickly to your opponent's shot gives you time to play a smooth stroke

Cross-court theory:-

1. Where you aim your groundstrokes is vital to your success - follow these simple rules of thumb to achieve safe and accurate hitting:-

Hit at least one metre above net height - errors in the net are to be avoided at all cost
Hit most of your shots cross-court, especially if you are pushed wide as:-

2. The net is lower in the middle
3. The court is 82.5 feet long across the diagonal but only 78 feet if you hit down the line
4. If you aim cross-court you will hit with width, thus making your opponent run further

by Jim Edgar