#TBT — I Found A Forehand! Summer, 1980

On Throwback Thursdays, I often dig up old tennis photos, and those photos usually feature my backhand or my serve.  Those were my two best shots.

And then I found this one.  A forehand at last:


The photo was taken during a practice session on the day before the 1980 Texas Sectional in San Antonio.

What does it show?

Wilson Jack Kramer racket.

Adidas shoes and clothes.

Firm wrist.

Eastern forehand grip, though closer to semi-Western than Continental.

Stepping into the ball, as back in the day the key to the forehand was weight transfer from back to front.

Maybe even a lack of confidence as evidenced by the left hand hanging out there not very productively.

What’s missing?

Almost everything that characterizes a good forehand 40 years later:  Western grip, loose wrist, and, most importantly, power generated from body torque rather than weight transfer.

Four years later, by the end of college, I had corrected a lot of those mistakes and taken steps towards a more “modern” forehand.  It never became a real weapon but ultimately became less of a liability.

Not that I ever wonder “what if it had been as good as the backhand?” or anything.