Tennis Backhand Tips and Instruction for the Backhand Shot

A backhand tennis tip can make the difference between having a mediocre backhand shot and a powerful tennis backhand. Tennis backhand tips and instruction can help a tennis player fix their mistakes on the backhand.

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The tennis backhand shot is an important tennis shot that can be used as a defensive or offensive tool. This shot is generally used by players in baseline rallies or when a player wants to execute an approach shot. There are two main techniques in the tennis backhand, the two handed tennis backhand and the one handed tennis backhand. The decision as to what technique to use depends on the types of shots the player wants to execute as well as each player’s preferences.

Most tennis players leave the backhand shot in the back burner, and most tennis beginners are taught the tennis backhand after they have learned the forehand, the tennis backhand is usually the weaker shot.

Tips for a powerful tennis backhand

These tennis backhand tips will give you some ideas on how to hit a powerful backhand. The best technique to hit a backhand is to hold your racket in such a way that the face of your racket is not open during the point of contact with the ball. To accomplish this, you have to hold the racket in such a way that your palm is holding the top part of the racket handle. Then support the racket with your left hand (for right handed players) by holding the throat of the racket.

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The first tennis backhand tip is simple. Make sure your backhand shot gets an adequate warm-up and rather than trying to run around every backhand attempt to hit your backhand crosscourt. Getting into the habit of hitting too many inside-out forehands can exemplify the weakness on your backhand wing over time due to a lack of practice.

Racket Preparation for the backhand

Preparation is crucial for the tennis backhand, whether it’s the one handed or two handed tennis backhand, the principles are very much the same. Good preparation means recognizing the ball early, and getting a head start on the tennis ball’s flight path. This means that your eyes must recognize your opponents hit sooner so your body knows where to move. Understand that preparation is the first step that starts the tennis backhand, and lack of preparation will be detrimental to getting to the tennis ball on time and ready to execute the shot.

The preparation on the tennis backhand is very much the same on both the one handed and two handed tennis backhand. In both cases, the eyes recognizes the opponent’s point of contact, and as soon as that happens, you must initiate the preparation with the body first. Taking a wild backswing immediately after the opponent’s hit will not only cause you to mistimed the ball, but also you will not get the clean contact that you want on the tennis backhand.

Level of Intensity on Every Shot

Maintaining a moderate level of intensity is important on the tennis backhand. The backhand shot requires that you move your feet just as much as your tennis forehand. But in most cases, tennis players tend to move their feet less on their backhand, and their sluggish tennis footwork contributes to the lackluster results when compared to their forehand.
The level of tennis footwork required to move to the ball must be maintained, as movement to the tennis backhand is not just a walk in the park, it’s a legitimate tennis stroke that must be mastered and maintained just like the forehand. I frequently see tennis players treat the tennis backhand like a casual pitter patter shot and rather than try to execute the shot and commit to hitting the backhand, they just hit it anywhere hoping to hit a forehand on the next shot.

One should learn to build their plays around the tennis backhand and develop a game where the tennis backhand can play an active role in helping a tennis player win a point.

Develop an Agressive Mentality

Developing an agressive mentality is a key tennis backhand tip. The backhand doesn’t have to be a push shot. It’s not reserved for defensive play. Tennis players today are now using their backhand shot as a penetrating weapon just as much as the forehand, and the backhand shot must not be a liability. Too often, I find that tennis players resolve in hitting their tennis backhand as if it were a shot designated only for pushing the ball back somewhere on the court. This mentality will do nothing to improve the tennis backhand, and chances of playing better tennis this way is slim. To progress to higher levels, one must utilize the backhand shot just as much as one would for a tennis forehand.

Utilize the Kinetic Chain

An important tennis backhand tip is to use the entire body to hit the tennis backhand, and not just the arms. This means that you must get low, and in some cases very low to hit this backhand shot. The tennis backhand is usually hit with a neutral or closed stance, so the front foot will need to be the driver in the weight transfer.

I see tennis players often fail to get low on the backhand shot, and usually have little to no knee bend. The backhand shot becomes an “all arm” tennis backhand and the end result is a push. No wonder why so many tennis players complain of having a weak tennis backhand!

As a competitive tennis player, I was also guilty of using all arm on the tennis backhand. I fell into the classic trap of using all arm and making a last minute flick of the wrist to generate topspin to keep it in the court. It was a bad habit that kept my tennis backhand from being as powerful as I wanted it to be. It’s a habit that sticks with a person and is hard to escape from, just like the plague. It’s best to get started on the right path right away to avoid bad habits from lingering on the tennis backhand.

Set the Correct Mindset

Our final tennis backhand tip is mentality. Right away ask yourself, “Do I want my tennis backhand to be a powerful shot or a defensive shot? Chances are your current backhand may be operating around defense, and the backhand shot may not be what you want it to be. Having a clutch on the tennis backhand side not only opens that wing to attack, it gives your opponents confidence that they can exploit your weakness at will.

Take a look at how you hit the tennis backhand. Do you immediately try to attack aggressively on your backhand wing? Or do you try to shy away from the backhand by allowing the tennis ball to play you on the backhand side?

Next, are you hitting adequate topspin on the backhand side, or are you hitting flat pancakes that have about one in ten chances of going in? Are you participating in the correct tennis strategy to enhance your backhand shot? Or are you taking too many risks on the backhand and opening up the opportunity to attack.

If you can answer these questions, you may be able to uncover why and how you can improve your tennis backhand, and with these tennis backhand tips hopefully you can resonate with yourself on how you can proceed with a better backhand shot.

When to use the one handed backhand and two handed backhand shot?

It is not recommended to shift from the two handed backhand to the one handed backhand or vice versa unless you are used to making shots using both of these backhand techniques.

The two handed backhand is more advantageous than the one handed backhand if you want more power in your shot or you want to disguise your shot. There is also a disadvantage of the two handed backhand, which is its limited reach. To solve this problem, you have to have your racket already at your back with your shoulder turned when you start running towards the ball. Avoid running to the ball first before completing the shot preparation (turning the shoulder). Coiling your body as a unit allows you to attain more efficient movement.

Just be reminded that both of the backhand techniques (the two handed backhand and the one handed tennis handed) have their own advantages and disadvantages. In most cases, you don’t have to choose between the two. The most important thing is to use the technique that you feel you are more comfortable with.

Tennis Backhand Slice Tips

Follow these tennis backhand tips for you to be able to hit a backhand slice correctly. To prepare for a backhand slice shot, bend your racket arm. This bending motion is important because the efficiency of your slice backhand depends in the magnitude of your arm extension.

If you want to increase the effectiveness of your shot, adjust your shot by extending your arm a bit late or extend it just seconds before the point of contact.

What to do produce a slice backhand approach shot?

If you want to hit a low backhand approach shot perfectly, you have to follow the tennis backhand tips given here. An ideal way to keep the ball low is to use a backhand slice shot after the ball bounces. Remember to hit the ball from a high to low manner making sure that you don’t come down on the ball too much. Avoid chopping the ball.

How to hit a backhand slice effectively?

If you want to execute an effective backhand slice, the first step is for you to change your grip to the continental or backhand grip. You have to start the backhand with a split step while having your left hand (non-racket hand) supporting the throat of the racket. Position yourself sideways and aim the top of the ball with your racket and swing in a high to low direction. At this instance, your wrist should be kept firm. Bend your body as you hit the ball, and at the same time position your non racket arm behind you to keep your balance. The follow-through of the tennis backhand is towards the direction of the ball.

How to hit a high ball to your backhand

These tennis backhand tips will show you what shot to use when your opponent’s ball is high. It is difficult to hit backhand with topspin when the ball is high. In this situation, it is not easy to brush up the ball hence producing good topspin. Thus with a high ball to the backhand, you can choose to hit a slice. A backhand slice can be a better shot unless you have excellent timing and strength.

Another option other than a slice or topspin backhand, is to hit a flat backhand just making sure that you don’t hit the net.

How to prevent tennis backhand shots in the net

What will you do if your backhand shot always end up in the net despite the fact that your footwork and balance is good? There must be some explanation as to why this happens. You have to analyze your execution on possible mistakes. The first thing to consider is your point of contact. If you are using the two handed backhand shot, make sure that you prepare early. The point of contact should be in front of your body.

How to prevent backhand shots from going long

To avoid sending the ball up high when you execute the backhand shot, these are the tennis backhand tips you should not miss. First and foremost, is to check your grip because it is possible that there is a problem of the angle of your racket face during the point of contact.

How to hit a low bouncing ball with the two handed backhand

Due to the two handed backhand limitation on limited reach, it’s not easy to hit a low bouncing ball with this tennis backhand technique. Although it is not easy, the best way to deal this is to add a one-handed slice backhand to your repertoire.

Which stroke is better, the two handed backhand or the one handed tennis backhand?

These tennis backhand tips explain the differences between a two handed and a one handed backhand groundstroke.

The two handed tennis backhand stroke involves body movements which must be coordinated between your legs, hips, trunks and arm.

Despite the two handed backhand popularity, it has also its own disadvantages. The first weakness of this tennis shot is its difficulty in producing slice. This can be a issue if you like to serve and volley. The other weakness is limited reach especially when the ball is short or wide, which means that you need more efficient movement to be able to reach the ball on time.


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