16 Tennis Forehand Drills to Improve Your Forehand

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For many, the forehand is the most comfortable and strongest shot in their arsenal. It’s a shot we’re likely to learn first and feels natural when swinging with our dominant hand.

With that in mind, it’s important to fully maximize and capitalize on our strengths by using our forehand effectively to win as many points as possible.

How do we improve our forehand? Practice of course!

This is why we’ve put together this list of 16 tennis forehand drills. By using these drills, you should be able to refine your technique, increase your power and land your shots with pinpoint accuracy.

Let’s get right to it.

Tennis Forehand Drills

Drill 1: Lateral Forehand

This is a great drill to start with as it’s nice and easy and can make for a great warm-up. It involves moving from side to side, returning shots with your forehand as you progress closer to the net. Finish it off with a volley to close out the drill.

  • Difficulty Rating: 3/5
  • Equipment Needed: Cones
  • Solo Tennis Drill: No

tennis forehand drill

  • Step 1: Place 3 cones in between the center service line and the baseline.
  • Step 2: Stand behind the cone along the baseline.  
  • Step 3: Have a coach or training partner feed your four balls to your forehand side.
  • Step 4: Return the shot, move forward to the cone in front, circle around the cone, and return the next shot.
  • Step 5: Repeat this until you have hit a shot next to each cone.
  • Step 6: Have your training partner feed you one last shot for a volley.
  • Step 7: Head back to the baseline cone and repeat the drill as many times as desired.

TOP TIP: If you don’t have a coach or anyone to feed you balls, consider getting a tennis ball machine (such as these). This will allow you to practice drills where you need to be fed the balls without having someone there to feed them. These can be expensive, but definitely worth it if you want to practice tennis alone.

Drill 2: Inside-Out lateral Forehand

This drill builds off of drill one by adding a bit more complexity and movement. This is due to the fact it involves moving around your backhand to hit a forehand shot, whilst still moving side to side around the cones as you get closer to the net. Each shot will be an inside-out forehand, meaning you’ll be hitting your shots cross-court each time. Again, finish off with a volley to round out the drill.  

  • Difficulty Rating: 4/5
  • Equipment Needed: Cones
  • Solo Tennis Drill: No

tennis forehand drill

  • Step 1: Place 3 cones in between the center service line and the baseline.
  • Step 2: Stand behind the cone along the baseline.  
  • Step 3: Have a coach or training partner feed four balls to your backhand side. This will be the left side for right-handed players, and the right side for left-handed players.
  • Step 4: Move to return the shot however, position yourself so that you can hit a forehand, instead of a backhand.  
  • Step 5: After you’ve hit the shot, move forward to the cone in front, circle around the cone, and return the next shot as you did in step 4.
  • Step 5: Repeat this until you have hit a shot next to each cone.
  • Step 6: Have your training partner feed you one last shot for a volley.
  • Step 7: Head back to the baseline cone and repeat the drill as many times as desired.

Drill 3: Lateral Forehand Combination

Drill 3 is essentially the combination of drills 1 and 2. Instead of circling each cone, you’ll be sidestepping left and right, hitting cross-court forehands whilst moving forward a cone every 2 shots. As always, finish off with a volley when up at the net.

  • Difficulty Rating: 4/5
  • Equipment Needed: Cones
  • Solo Tennis Drill: No

tennis forehand drill

  • Step 1: Place 3 cones in between the center service line and the baseline.
  • Step 2: Stand behind the cone along the baseline. 
  • Step 3: This time, we want the coach to feed you 9 balls. 4 to your right, 4 to your left, and 1 to hit a volley.
  • Step 4: Sidestep from right to left, returning each shot with a cross-court forehand. For shots to your backhand side, be sure to position yourself so that you can hit an inside-out forehand.
  • Step 5: After you’ve hit both shots, move forward to the cone in front and do the same again, hitting two forehand cross-court.
  • Step 6: Repeat this until you have hit 2 shots at each cone and are up at the net.
  • Step 7: Hit the 9th and final ball with a volley and return to the baseline. Repeat this as many times as you feel necessary.

Drill 4: Forehand Timing Drill

It’s time to change things up a bit by focusing on our forehand’s timing. Again, we’ll need a coach or training partner to feed us balls, however, this time they’ll be stood behind us. The goal of this drill is to focus on the timing of your forehand, hitting the ball just after it’s reached its peak height (after the bounce) and is on its way back down.

Alternatively, if you wanted to, you could even take the ball early (before the ball has reached its peak). It’s down to what you need to work on, however, if you’re a beginner, I would recommend focusing on the basics and hitting the ball on the way back down.

  • Difficulty Rating: 3/5
  • Equipment Needed: None
  • Solo Tennis Drill: No

tennis forehand drill

  • Step 1: Have your coach of feeding partner stand 5-6 feet behind the baseline.
  • Step 2: Place yourself in the center of the court on the baseline.
  • Step 3: Have your coach of feeding partner feed your high balls the bounce roughly between the service line and the baseline.
  • Step 4: Move forward to hit the ball with your forehand. The goal of this drill isn’t to hit the ball as hard as possible, but to work on timing. Aim to hit the ball just after it has reached its peak height after the bounce.
  • Step 5: Return to the baseline.
  • Step 6: Repeat steps 3-5 as many times as desired.

TOP TIP: Place cones on the other side of the court that you can use as a target. Aim to land your shots as close to these cones as possible.

Drill 5: Baseline Target Zones

Up next we’ve got a bit of old fashion target practice. This is a fun drill you can do with someone else that can help improve your accuracy whilst mid rally.

  • Difficulty Rating: 3/5
  • Equipment Needed: Cones
  • Solo Tennis Drill: No

tennis forehand drill

  • Step 1: Place 4 cones equally apart approximately halfway between the baseline and the service line. Give the space between each cone a number, i.e. 1,2, and 3.  
  • Step 2: Place yourself in the center of the court along the baseline.
  • Step 3: Have your coach of feeding partner call out a number as they feed the ball to you.
  • Step 4: Using your forehand, land your shot in between the cones that corresponds to the number called out.
  • Step 5: Repeat this as many times as you like, usually, 20 or so balls is a good number.

Drill 6: Figure of 8 Forehand – Cross Court & Inside Out

I hope you’ve got fast feet because you’re going to need them!

In all seriousness, this is a great drill that incorporates both footwork and forehand technique into one. It can be a little bit tricky at first, so make sure you take it slow and gradually build up speed as you get used to the movement and timings.

  • Difficulty Rating: 4/5
  • Equipment Needed: Cones
  • Solo Tennis Drill: No

tennis forehand drill

  • Step 1: Set up 2 cones along the baseline, with each cone around 2 feet away from the center mark.
  • Step 2: Have the coach/ feeding partner stand halfway between the service line and the baseline (on your side of the court).
  • Step 3: Place yourself on the center mark along the baseline.
  • Step 5: Have your coach/ feeding partner feed balls on the outside of each cone, alternating cones each time they feed a ball.
  • Step 6: Moving around the cones in a figure out 8, return each ball using your forehand. When a ball is fed to your forehand side, hit the ball cross-court. When a ball is fed to your backhand side, make sure you run around the backhand and hit a forehand crosscourt (inside-out).

Drill 7: Figure of 8 Forehand – Down the Line & Inside Out

This time, we’re going to be hitting a down-the-line shot, instead of hitting our forehand cross-court. Everything else is the same as drill 6, other than our shot to your forehand side.

  • Difficulty Rating: 4/5
  • Equipment Needed: Cones
  • Solo Tennis Drill: No

tennis forehand drill

  • Step 1: Set up 2 cones along the baseline, with each cone around 2 feet away from the center mark.
  • Step 2: Have the coach/ feeding partner stand halfway between the service line and the baseline (on your side of the court).
  • Step 3: Place yourself on the center mark along the baseline.
  • Step 5: Have your coach/ feeding partner feed balls on the outside of each cone, alternating cones each time they feed a ball.
  • Step 6: Moving around the cones in a figure out 8, return each ball using your forehand. On your forehand side, hit the shot down the line. When a ball is fed to your backhand side, make sure you run around the backhand and hit a forehand crosscourt (inside-out).

Drill 8: 3X Circular Forehand – Cross Court & Inside Out

This is pretty similar to drills 6 & 7, however this time we’re going to be hitting 3 forehands in a row, circling around the cone between shots. Once we’ve hit 3 shots on our forehand side, we’ll move over to our backhand side and hit three inside-out forehands

  • Difficulty Rating: 3/5
  • Equipment Needed: Cones
  • Solo Tennis Drill: No

tennis forehand drill

  • Step 1: Set up 2 cones along the baseline, with each cone around 2 feet away from the center mark.
  • Step 2: Have the coach/ feeding partner stand between the service line and the baseline (on your side of the court).
  • Step 3: Place yourself on the center mark along the baseline.
  • Step 5: Have your coach/feeding partner feed three balls to your forehand side.
  • Step 6: Hit each forehand shots crosscourt, returning to the start position in between each shot.
  • Step 7: Have your coach/feeding partner feed three balls to your backhand side.
  • Step 8: Hit 3 inside-out forehand shots, returning to the start position between each shot.

Drill 9: 3x Circular Forehand – Down the Line & Inside Out

Again, we’re going to slightly modify the previous drill. This time, however, we’re going to be changing the placement of our shots by going down the line as opposed to hitting a cross-court on our forehand side.

  • Difficulty Rating: 4/5
  • Equipment Needed: Cones
  • Solo Tennis Drill: No

tennis forehand drill

  • Step 1: Set up 2 cones along the baseline, with each cone around 2 feet away from the center mark.
  • Step 2: Have the coach/ feeding partner stand between the service line and the baseline (on your side of the court).
  • Step 3: Place yourself on the center mark along the baseline.
  • Step 5: Have your coach/feeding partner feed three balls to your forehand side.
  • Step 6: Hit each forehand shots down the line, returning to the start position in between each shot.
  • Step 7: Have your coach/feeding partner feed three balls to your backhand side.
  • Step 8: Hit 3 inside-out forehand shots, returning to the start position between each shot

TOP TIP: As you can tell from the previous few drills, you can mix and match the types of shots however you like. Mix up your down-the-line, crosscourt, inside out, and inside in shots to create drills designed to target specific areas you’d like to develop.

Drill 10: Side Feed Forehand

Ok, time to change things up a bit. This time the coach or whoever is feeding you balls is going to feed to you from the side. They should feed balls at different heights and different distances so that you must react and position yourself to return the shot.

As always, you can set cones up on the other side of the court. These can act as targets, allowing you to work on your accuracy and placement at the same time. Don’t worry if you don’t have cones, just visualize where you’d like to place the ball and aim to get it as close to that as possible.

I love this drill as it combines reaction time, positioning, footwork, technique, and accuracy into one drill.

  • Difficulty Rating: 5/5
  • Equipment Needed: None
  • Solo Tennis Drill: No

tennis forehand drill

  • Step 1: Have the coach or feeding partner stand just outside the singles sideline.
  • Step 2: Stand just behind the center mark of the baseline.
  • Step 3: Have the coach feed you balls at different heights and distances.
  • Step 4: Return each shot across the net and return to your starting position.

Drill 11: Baseline Forehand

This is another great drill that incorporates reaction time, footwork, and positioning alongside forehand technique. The coach/ ball feeder will feed the balls at their discretion, aiming to place the balls so that you can hit a forehand whilst remaining along the baseline.

This is great as it mimics a real rally in that you won’t know where the next shot is going to land, so you need to be ready to adapt and move once you’ve returned the ball.

  • Difficulty Rating: 5/5
  • Equipment Needed: None
  • Solo Tennis Drill: No

tennis forehand drill

  • Step 1: Have the coach or your feeding partner stand on the opposite side of the court, just behind the baseline.
  • Step 2: Stand just behind the center mark of the baseline.
  • Step 3: Have the coach feed you balls placed randomly.
  • Step 4: Return the shots only using your forehand – even if the ball is far to your backhand side.
  • Step 5: Repeat steps 3 and 4 as many times as desired. I found that doing 3 rounds of 20 or so balls to be a good number.

Drill 12: Cross-Court Forehand

This is a great drill as it somewhat mimics a rally situation, where you aim to win the point with a big crosscourt forehand.

The goal is to return the ball once to the feeder, who in turn will hit the ball back to you, you then hit a crosscourt shot with a powerful forehand.  

  • Difficulty Rating: 4/5
  • Equipment Needed: None
  • Solo Tennis Drill: No

tennis forehand drill

  • Step 1: Have the coach or your feeding partner stand on the opposite side of the court, in between the service line and the net.
  • Step 2: Place a cone towards the back corner of the court (opposite to yourself).
  • Step 3: Stand just behind the center mark of the baseline.
  • Step 4: Have the coach feed one ball to your forehand side.
  • Step 5: Return this shot towards the coach.
  • Step 6: The coach then returns the shot to you.
  • Step 7: Finish the “mini-rally” with a cross-court forehand, aimed towards the cone you set up.

Drill 13: Inside Out Forehand Drill

Up next we’ve got a great drill for using your forehand when the ball is being delivered to your backhand side. The idea is to place cones along the ground, which you then sidestep around to hit your forehand.

These cones allow you to practice the movement of running around your backhand, to hit an inside-out shot. Footwork, position, and timing are the focus of this drill, don’t worry about smashing a game-winning shot with every repetition.

  • Difficulty Rating: 3/5
  • Equipment Needed: Cones
  • Solo Tennis Drill: No

tennis forehand drill

It’s worth noting that the diagram above is for a right-handed player, receiving a ball to their backhand side. If you’re left-handed, the drill will need to be done the opposite way round.

  • Step 1: Set up cones around the baseline, in an almost ‘C’ shape as in the diagram above.
  • Step 2: Have the coach or feeding partner stand to the side, inside the singles sideline.
  • Step 3: Stand behind the center mark.
  • Step 4: Have the coach feed you balls (by hand) to your back-hand side.
  • Step 5: Sidestepping, move around the cones to hit a forehand cross-court.
  • Step 6: Circle around the cones to your starting position.
  • Step 7: Repeat steps 3-6 as many times as required, 20 or so balls should be good.

Drill 14: Inside In Forehand Drill

This is pretty much the same drill as drill 13, however this time we’re going to hit our forehand down the line, as opposed to cross-crout.

  • Difficulty Rating: 3/5
  • Equipment Needed: Cones
  • Solo Tennis Drill: No

tennis forehand drill

  • Step 1: Place cones around the baseline, in an almost ‘C’ shape as in the diagram above.
  • Step 2: Have the coach or feeding partner stand to the side, inside the singles sideline.
  • Step 3: Stand behind the center mark.
  • Step 4: Have the coach feed you balls (by hand) to your back-hand side.
  • Step 5: Sidestepping, move around the cones to hit a forehand down the line.
  • Step 6: Circle around the cones to your starting position.
  • Step 7: Repeat steps 3-6 as many times as required, 20 or so balls should be good.

Drill 15: Service Line Power Forehand

In this drill, you’ll be hitting your forehand from the service line. The idea here is to treat this drill as if you’re hitting the ball from the baseline – hitting a hard deep shot onto the other side of the court.

This should not only force you to add more topspin to your shot but to incorporate your knees as well, forcing you to get low on the ball. This in turn should help to generate more power into your forehand by getting low and using your legs to drive more power into the shot.

  • Difficulty Rating: 4/5
  • Equipment Needed: No
  • Solo Tennis Drill: No

  • Step 1: Stand along the back service line, with your feet straddling the center service line.
  • Step 2: Have a coach stand to the side, feeding you balls to your forehand side.
  • Step 3: Hit the ball using a forehand, accelerating as if you were stood on the baseline. Make sure you’re getting low to the ball and exploding forward.
  • Step 4: Repeat this in sets for 20-30 balls.

Drill 16: Baseline Forehand

Taking into account what we practiced in drill 15 – the knee bending and bending low onto the ball, we’re going to use that same technique, but now employ that on the baseline. Again, focus on getting low on the ball and using your legs to generate power into your swing.

  • Difficulty Rating: 4/5
  • Equipment Needed: No
  • Solo Tennis Drill: No

tennis forehand drill

  • Step 1: Stand along the baseline, with your feet straddling the center mark.
  • Step 2: Have a coach stand to the side, feeding you balls to your forehand side.
  • Step 3: Hit the ball using a forehand, accelerating as if you were stood on the baseline. Make sure you’re getting low to the ball and exploding forward.
  • Step 4: Repeat this in sets for 20-30 balls.

Final Forehand Drill Thoughts

Well, there we have it. Hopefully, you’ve got some good inspiration and a number of forehand drills to try out next time you head to the court.

If you have any questions at all, please feel free to get in touch via the contact form below. Thanks for stopping by!

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