The two very important things to learn are the grips and the footwork. Once you have these two things in place, with a little bit of practice you can start playing a good topspin forehand shot and slice. There are a lot of stuff related to forehand like how to hit a high rising ball, how to hit a running forehand, how to hit cross court or down the line shots; even how to move the racket at the contact point to generate topspin. This article doesn't cover everything but it tries to go into the very basics of where to start.
Grip: You can use any one of the eastern, semi-western or western grips. The eastern grip is the most conservative grip you can use to hit a forehand. The natural contact point for an eastern forehand grip is about waist high. This grip makes it easy to hit the tennis ball flat or to give a little bit topspin. Here you can learn about eastern forehand grip http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hgcx1vhdObs. If you want a lot of spin you can use semi-western or western grip. For Forehand slice shot, you need continental grip. Here you can learn about continental grip http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hr2f8dmiwpU.
Footwork: While hitting forehand your body weight transitions from one foot to another foot. You have to load on the right foot and land on the left foot. There is a very good exercise that this video shows http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ZV7LVrRq_8.
Preparation: As soon as you see that ball will be on your forehand make sure before ball hits the ground on your side your forehand should be in ready position. I will elaborate more on this.
Swing Path: From the ready position, you are supposed to drop the racket and then make a C to hit a powerful forehand. This a great video demonstrating this point http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dKtCtX-TAjw.
Finish Point: For beginners, just to stress on where to finish, try to finish your forehand shot by touching your racket on your back. This is just an exercise you don’t have to touch your racket on your back but idea is take the racket as far back as possible while finishing. This is a good video demonstrating this point http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b-C2VpinAVY.
Some great videos showing entire forehand from start to finish:
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