The put-away forehand is an essential skill for tennis players to win critical points during a match. A proper put-away forehand allows for easy, high-percentage shots that virtually guarantee a point in your favor. Gabe Jaramillo, tennis coach at Club Med Academies in Sandpiper Bay, Florida, explains the proper grip, spacing and timing to master the power behind this put-away shot.
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From beginners to experts, the most common and preferred grip for the put-away forehand is the semi-western forehand. This grip gives you more variety and acceleration with the racquet when you hit this shot, which adds spin and power.
When executing a put-away forehand, you need correct spacing. If the swing is too far, too close or too high, you will lose power on the shot. Flow is also very important when it comes to spacing. When approaching the ball, you must glide. If you rush, the ball will get behind you and the swing will become too tight to your body.
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To make the put-away forehand shot unreturnable, you need power or weight behind your swing. Twisting your upper body while you glide to the ball activates the elastic energy that will allow the racquet to almost swing by itself. The acceleration of the racquet depends on how much of your weight you load behind the ball.
The last factor in hitting a great put-away forehand is timing. You don’t want to hit the ball late when it is too low. You want to hit the ball early when it’s at waist level. Also, the earlier you hit the ball, the less time your opponent has to get set and return the shot.
Watch the above video to see some of Jaramillo’s drills, and put his tips for mastering the put-away forehand into practice.