Mar 292011
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In his March 2011 monthly newsletter, Racquetball Tim discussed how to hit a harder forehand by using a compact and focused swing. According to Tim, here’s the order in which things happen for a normal drop and hit forehand:

1.  Drop the ball AWAY from your body so that you have full arm extension at ball impact.

2.  Take a small step directly toward the front wall with your left foot.  Your racquet should still be up at shoulder level as you take your step toward the front wall. Do not drop your arm and racquet as you take your step.

3.  Lead with your elbow. The racquet lags behind as your elbow leads.

4.  The upper body and arm follow the hip rotation. When you finish your swing, your chest should face the front wall. This will make sure that you’ve rotated your hips properly.

5.  To make sure that you completely rotate your hips through the zone, clear your non-racquet arm out-of-the-way. Pretend there is a bush right next to you, between you and the front wall. Use your non-racquet arm to “move” this bush out-of-the-way. Do not bring your non-racquet arm up to your chest during the swing. It gets in the way, preventing  proper hip rotation, and limiting the amount of generated power.

6.  As the hips rotate, pretend there is a bug under your back foot. You need to pivot on your back foot  to squish the bug.

7.  When you’ve completed the swing your belly button should face the front wall with your racquet pointing toward the back wall.

If you’ve done these things and you still aren’t hitting the ball as hard as you want, you’re probably making one of the following errors:

Check your grip
At the point of contact (directly in front of your front heal for a straight-in shot) your racquet should be parallel to the front wall. If it’s angled slightly you’ll probably end up slicing the ball or putting topspin on it like tennis players do.

Drop the ball AWAY from you
Most people are comfortable contacting the ball close to them. If you want to hit harder you need to learn how to swing flat and level, which means you need to hit that ball at full arm extension away from your body.

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