Learning how to effectively use the non-dominant hand in tennis could just change your tennis game & most certainly your confidence. Right after you give up on the idea that the change is weird or you feel weird using it. My adult tennis camps are filled with adult players barely using the non-dominant hand on their forehand side. Because of this their contact points are late and behind them. And we all know what faulty contact points mean? Faulty shots.
You may watch professional tennis or play at a club with competition juniors poised on set-up to load or take back their racket with one hand & positioning the other one as a balance point out in front. It’s the ultimate win-win for your best forehand.
Adult players take the non-dominant arm for granted. Like it’s no big deal. They’ll even cop to feeling a little weird when the coach mentions using it. The truth is your forehand is your most widely used tennis stroke.
For you to effectively use the non-dominant hand on your forehand to become a weapon means the shot needs; ball tracking, initial shoulder turn, balance and a crisp clean contact point in front of you. Not on the side or behind you. Using the non-dominant hand effectively makes your forehand pop & people take notice! It’s likely my biggest verbal cue to adult players during a holiday tennis camp on forehand day.
Have you ever seen a surfer ride a wave? They’re using two hands to balance out the body to ride it successfully.
The non-dominant hand helps initiate the shoulder turn
Here’s a little-known secret: powerful and accurate forehand strokes start with your shoulder rotation. Your non-dominant hand is your partner in crime here. As you prepare for that killer forehand shot, your non-dominant hand leads the way, prompting your shoulders to turn towards the incoming ball.
The result? An increase in the power (racket head speed) behind your shot and improved accuracy.
And that’s not all. Proper shoulder rotation / turn enhances your balance and control, making it easier to maintain your composure during those high pressured rallies.
The non-dominant hand creates space between you and the ball
The non-dominant hand tracks the incoming ball
When that fuzzy yellow ball comes flying towards you, it’s your non-dominant hand that guides you like a compass. Its role in tracking the ball is often overlooked but absolutely critical.
As an adult player, this visual aid can be a game-changer. By using your non-dominant hand to point at the incoming ball, you can accurately gauge its trajectory. This visual reference empowers you to anticipate the ball’s path, giving you that split-second edge to decide your shot selection and placement.
It helps find your center of gravity as one hand holding a racquet goes in one direction so the non-dominant hand sets in the opposite direction getting you centered and poised to explode towards the ball.
The non-dominant hand helps balance yourself
Staying balanced on the court is crucial for adult tennis players. It’s your non-dominant hand that keeps you grounded. Think of it as your stabilizer, counterbalancing the movements of your dominant hand. This helps you stay centered, preventing you from overreaching or wobbling, especially during quick movements and lateral shots. A well-balanced stance is the groundwork for a powerful and controlled forehand, something every adult player strives for.
Establishing your contact point
Ever wonder why some of your shots feel off?
Using your non-dominant hand effectively holds the answer. It acts as your reference point, guiding you to make contact with the ball in front of your body.
By positioning your non-dominant hand correctly, you ensure that you’re consistently hitting the ball at the optimal contact point. This simple adjustment can significantly improve your shots’ consistency and accuracy, ensuring that you consistently hit your best forehand even when you’re in trouble.
In the world of adult tennis players, your non-dominant hand is the unsung hero of the forehand stroke. This post focused on the right handed player but for lefties it’s as easy as posturing your right hand in front.
It helps you track the ball’s trajectory, start the oh-so essential shoulder rotation, and maintains your balance.
Furthermore, it plays a pivotal role in positioning the contact point for your shots. By embracing the power of your non-dominant hand, you can elevate your forehand stroke to a new level, making it a weapon you can rely on.
See you on court~