What is the definition of The follow-through in tennis?

The follow-through in tennis is an essential component of a successful stroke. It helps generate power, control, and accuracy for your shots by ensuring proper body movement and racket position throughout the entire swing. The tennis follow-through is the concluding part of a stroke, which is typically initiated by the backswing, moving towards the point of contact with the ball, and finally into the follow-through.

Understanding the basics of follow-through in tennis can greatly improve a player’s technique and contribute to on-court success. The correct technique involves maintaining consistent racket speed, extending your arm towards the target, and allowing your body rotation to guide the fluid motion of your swing. It is crucial to avoid common mistakes, such as an abrupt or incomplete follow-through, to optimize your shot-making potential. Practicing drills, such as shadow swinging or working with a coach, can help develop and refine a proper follow-through technique.

Key Takeaways

  • A follow-through is a critical aspect of an effective tennis stroke, contributing to power, control, and accuracy.
  • The correct follow-through technique involves maintaining racket speed and allowing the body’s rotation to guide the swing.
  • Practicing drills and addressing common mistakes can help tennis players improve their follow-through for optimal on-court performance.

Basics of Follow-Through in Tennis


A follow-through in tennis refers to the continuation of the racquet’s motion after hitting the ball, ensuring the swing’s completion. It is an essential element of every tennis player’s stroke as it helps to maintain control, power, and accuracy. Whether during a forehand, backhand, or serving motion, the follow-through is crucial to the overall efficiency and effectiveness of the stroke.


The importance of the follow-through in tennis cannot be overstated. It serves several purposes, including:

  1. Maintaining racquet speed: Proper follow-through helps maintain the racquet’s speed, which is essential for hitting powerful shots. Why You Must Follow Through in Tennis demonstrates that consistent racquet speed is necessary for generating top-spin and maintaining control over the ball.
  2. Improving accuracy: As players complete their swing, a well-executed follow-through helps ensure a smoother motion and accurate ball placement. This enhances the player’s consistency and precision in their shots.
  3. Reducing Injury Potential: A correct follow-through can significantly reduce the risk of injury by distributing the forces applied throughout the swing, thus easing the stress on the player’s shoulder, elbow, and wrist. As mentioned in the An 8-Stage Model for Evaluating the Tennis Serve, the follow-through phase requires deceleration and eccentric loads, which can be better managed with proper technique.

In summary, the follow-through in tennis is vital for maintaining power, control, and accuracy in strokes while also reducing injury potential. Consequently, it is essential for players to focus on their follow-through and develop a smooth, fluid motion for every stroke in their game.

The Correct Technique


Good footwork is essential for a proper follow-through in tennis. It allows players to maintain balance and generate power during their shots.

  1. Start in a ready position with your feet shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent.
  2. As the ball approaches, use small side- and crossover-steps to position yourself correctly.
  3. Keep your weight on the balls of your feet, allowing for quick adjustments.


The swing is a key element for an effective follow-through. Here is a step-by-step guide:

  1. Backswing: For a forehand, turn your shoulders and hips, keeping the racket head high. For a backhand, use a two-handed grip and turn your shoulders as well.
  2. Forward swing: Accelerate the racket head towards the ball, maintaining a relaxed grip and maintaining a consistent swing path.
  3. Follow-through: After making contact, let the racket’s momentum guide the follow-through. On a forehand, your racket should finish high above the shoulder, while a two-handed backhand requires both arms to naturally finish across the body.

Learn more from this video on how to practice follow through in a tennis serve.

Contact Point

An optimal contact point is crucial for an effective follow-through. It ensures that the player exerts maximum control and power on the ball.

  • Forehand: The ideal contact point is around waist height and slightly in front of your leading foot.
  • Backhand: For a two-handed backhand, the contact point should be closer to your body and around waist height.
  • Serve: When serving, aim for a contact point at the highest point of your reach, maximizing power and spin potential.

Remember, each player will have a slightly different contact point based on their individual biomechanics, so it’s essential to practice until you find the most comfortable and effective position. For more guidance, check this video on how to follow through like a PRO in a forehand tennis lesson.

Common Mistakes and How to Correct Them

In this section, we will discuss two common mistakes in tennis follow-throughs: over rotation and incomplete follow-through. We’ll also provide tips on how to correct these issues and improve your tennis technique.

Over Rotation

Over rotation occurs when a player rotates their body too much during the follow-through, causing a loss of control and accuracy in their shots. Some common signs of over rotation include:

  • Losing balance: Players often stumble or fall off-balance after completing their shots.
  • Inconsistent shot placement: Over rotating makes it difficult to consistently place high-quality shots.

To correct over rotation, try the following:

  1. Focus on core stability: A strong core is essential for proper rotation and balance. Include core exercises in your training routine to improve stability.
  2. Emphasize proper footwork: Ensure that you are using the correct footwork during your swings, as it helps maintain balance and control throughout the movement.
  3. Practice proper follow-through technique: Avoid excessive rotation by finishing your follow-through with your racket high and your body facing the net.

Incomplete Follow-Through

An incomplete follow-through occurs when a player cuts their follow-through motion short, resulting in less power and control over their shots. Common indicators of an incomplete follow-through include:

  • Lack of depth on shots: Cutting the follow-through short can lead to shots with less power, often falling short of their intended destination.
  • Inconsistent shot quality: Without a proper follow-through, players may struggle with consistency in shot placement and power.

To correct an incomplete follow-through, consider these tips:

  1. Emphasize racket extension: During the follow-through, focus on extending your racket out and away from your body. This will help generate more power and depth in your shots.
  2. Practice drills focusing on follow-through: Incorporate drills that emphasize proper follow-through technique into your training regimen. This will help reinforce the importance of a complete follow-through in your muscle memory.
  3. Visualize the follow-through: Use mental imagery to picture yourself completing a full follow-through during your practice sessions. This can help reinforce the correct form and motion.

By addressing over rotation and incomplete follow-through issues, you can improve your overall tennis technique and enhance your performance on the court.

Drills to Improve Follow-Through

Shadow Swinging

Shadow swinging is an effective drill to improve follow-through in tennis. It focuses on practicing the entire motion of a stroke without actually hitting a ball. Start by standing in your ready position and choose a stroke you want to work on, either forehand or backhand. Then, slowly perform the entire swing in a controlled manner, paying close attention to the follow-through.

To get the full benefits from shadow swinging, it’s essential to practice with proper technique and incorporate the correct follow-through for your chosen stroke. Perform a set of 10-15 repetitions, and gradually increase the speed as you become more comfortable with the movement. This drill can be found on YouTube and is beneficial for developing muscle memory and reinforcing correct follow-through habits.

Target Practice

Another useful drill to improve follow-through in tennis is target practice. This drill involves setting up targets on the court and aiming your shots towards them. For example, place small cones or markers on the court, representing the areas where you want your shots to land.

To practice your follow-through, prepare for a forehand or backhand stroke and aim for the set targets. Focus on your follow-through mechanics, and try to make sure your racquet head finishes in the correct position. Here’s an example video to help illustrate proper follow-through for a forehand shot.

Perform several sets of 10-15 shots, alternating between forehand and backhand strokes. As you get better at hitting your targets, adjust their positions to challenge yourself and further improve your follow-through control.

By incorporating these drills into your practice routine, you can enhance your follow-through technique in tennis and ultimately become a more consistent and effective player.