I used to play table tennis and badminton before i wanted to learn tennis. TT and Badminton don't require the wrist to be locked in all strokes. However, in Tennis, the wrist needs to be perfectly locked esp. in the forehand.

But when I started learning, I did not know this and i somehow learnt to play most strokes in tennis with a flick of the wrist as well which is actually not advisable. How do I unlearn this so that I can learn the correct way of hitting a forehand?


It is not true the wrist needs to be locked during groundstrokes. Active usage of the wrist is probably the greatest technical advancement in the game in the last 30 years. You can convince yourself of this by examining the technique of all great players in the past 20 years. Here's an extraordinarily instructive and beautiful super slo-mo video of Federer's forehand, which is arguably the greatest shot of all time.

It is true that wrist-flicks are dangerous without good technique, and that the latter should precede the former, but I must emphasize the great significance of wrist usage.

Depending on your budget, you can either take lessons, or study videos of professionals' techniques and try to apply what you learn on court. If you are a beginner, the most important thing is to acquire is good form. Try to always hit with slightly bent knees and a stable upper body, slightly leaning forward.

The way to unlearn "bad" wrist-flicking is not to compromise your form. Usually, beginners try to compensate for poor stance by forcing the racquet with wrist. Avoid this, and use your wrist only to naturally enhance your strokes.

  • 1
    is right. Unlike in table tennis and badminton, your wrist should not create power in a tennis groundstroke. However, flexion in your wrist is important to both guide the path of the racquet and to create spin. When in doubt, look at Roger Federer's strokes. – Hausdorf Jul 21 '15 at 17:21
  • Great to know! I have the opposite question. I do lock my wrist on forehands; how do I learn to start using my wrist the right way? – Patrick Szalapski Jan 2 '16 at 1:11
  • @PatrickSzalapski first watch some slow motion videos of professionals to get a general idea of the mechanics of the stroke. Then start by hitting with a looser wrist - either against the wall or on the squares with someone. When you feel more at ease, move to the back of the court. From there it's the same journey for all players. – Arrow Jan 2 '16 at 9:09
  • @Arrow video is private and I can not access – MCG Nov 9 '19 at 21:41

As previously said, tight wrist is not common in pro-tennis. Beginners use it because its easier to get the ball-timing with it!
See, the timing of the ball to consider is in the point of contact with the string bed. Beginners don't instinctively knows where the sweet-spot of the string bed is at a given point in time, but they know where their wrist is! so if they "lock" the wrist, the brain projects/calculates the spot more easily!

Pros on the other hand gain great benefit from the "snap" of the wrist both for power/depth and for spin!


In tennis you should use your body to create power and spin. If you use your wrist as a main driver for your swing you could be more prone to wrist injuries. I know my share of people with wrist injuries due to having poor form. You should avoid using your wrist as much as possible. Try to rotate your torso and hip to get more power. Put your whole upper body into the shot. Your legs have a purpose too. Bend your knees. You need to use your entire kinetic chain, not just the arms. I recommend taking private lessons with a good pro if you can afford. There are also lots of videos on YouTube that show you how to hit with good technique. There is a lot of discussion on the use of the wrist in tennis. I am not a pro, and I am old, so I tend to play on the safe side.

More info here:



Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.