These are the three 3 big things you must be able to master to have an amazing inside-out/in forehand:
Footwork – The ability to quickly run around your backhand to hit your forehand; this is known as the inside forehand. Where you choose to aim it determines whether it is an inside-out (directing the ball diagonally/down the line) or an inside-in (aiming the ball cross court/closer corner). Many people just side-shuffle around their backhand if the ball is at a comfortable distance, but if you the ball is out of that range, your first step should be a backwards cross-step and then side shuffle. The cross step covers more initial ground.
The coiling of your shoulders and hips – It is crucial that for the inside-out forehand that you turn your shoulders completely to where your it is right below your chin. This allows you to load up efficient power into your shot.
When hitting an inside-out forehand once you are uncoiled and ready to hit the shot, you must uncoil and transfer your energy to the direction you want the ball to go – in this case, inside-out.
Same goes for inside-in forehands – you must uncoil and transfer your energy to that direction you want the ball to go to.
The reason why you transfer your weight to your desired direction is because your racket will follow your body’s movement. Uncoiling puts you into the butt-cap position where the butt-cap of the racket is pointing at the ball. That means focusing that energy towards your target will make your butt-cap point towards that direction as well.
In the fast game of tennis, your instinct is a very important asset that should be used in your arsenal. Some may have it, some don’t. However, everyone develops their instincts playing tennis for a long time. Tennis is not just a ball-bashing sport, it’s a tactical game. Here are a couple of good tips that you should apply next time you play tennis.
1. Sense danger – be aware that you just got yourself into defense. If you know you just hit a ball back that you know your opponent is going to attack on, bring your court position more back a couple of inches! That way you have enough time to defend the attacking ball.
2. If the story is the other way around, then if you know that the ball you just hit is going to trouble your opponent (let’s say a deep ball into the open court) then bring your court position up more right onto the baseline to get ready for the weak response. That way you will take time away from your opponent – making him run more. And also you can shake up his feet and hit the ball behind him!