Jack Sock has a fierce forehand with a really “weird” swing. It’s simply not something you teach people to hit, but the fact is that it works amazingly well for him since he can impart massive top spin from anywhere on the court. How does he do it? And could we learn anything from it?
The best way to describe the forehand is to look at a video. The following is slow-motion footage from Essential Tennis.
If I saw this kind of wrist-like motion on a lesser player, I would think it’s due to bad technique, but Sock’s forehand is a formidable weapon and although it’s arguably not a great-looking shot – you can’t fault his results. This doesn’t mean you should emulate it, but is rather a lesson that you can make your shots work (unless they’re deeply fundamentally bad).
A lot of coaches try to teach one kind of stroke and sometimes tries to change something that works for a player, but it isn’t particularly correct in the “coaching manual”. This is obviously something you need to consider on a case-by-case basis, but if you don’t think it through properly it can be damaging to a player’s confidence and enjoyment of tennis.
If you look at it deep down, Sock’s technique is good of course. He prepares his swing in time, he steps into the ball, works on the shot with his upper body, his follow-through is great, etc – everything comes together. It hurts my wrist just by looking at it, but that’s a personal thought – nothing else. If Sock feels comfortable hitting that shot and it’s working for him – what to say but “wow”?
What do you think of Sock’s weird forehand? Please comment below.
If you wonder what racquet and strings Jack Sock is using, check out this article.