Tennis Drills to Correct the Backhand Technique

Tennis backhand technique is one of the least practiced tennis strokes. Discover tennis backhand drills and technique of the backhand.

Tennis backhand technique is one of the least practiced tennis strokes. Discover tennis backhand drills and technique of the backhand

maria-sharapova-tennis-techniqueWhat are the key elements of tennis backhand technique and how to play tennis with proper backhand technique are among the most common issues facing a tennis player.

Whether you are looking for tennis backhand tips and instruction or want to develop proper tennis technique, we need to answer these key questions.

The Tennis Backhand Technique

In the tennis backhand, tennis players should focus on the most fundamental commonalities which the top pro players share in their own tennis backhand. By learning to model the tennis strokes of the pros, particularly the backhand shot – a tennis player can have a better grasp of the proper tennis technique.

Tennis backhand technique Explained

There are generally four strokes often seen in the game of tennis to start the game. The basic ones are the serve, the forehand shot, the backhand shot and the volley shot. The tennis backhand shot being the most difficult to be played and is of course difficult to learn. In the tennis backhand shot, there are the three distinct strokes to be played often: (1) the one-hand topspin stroke, (2) the two handed topspin stroke, and (3) the slice. As I already mentioned, the tennis backhand shot is the most difficult shot of this sport hence it requires intense intention, focus, concentration, hard work, and a lot of practice.

For most tennis players, the tennis backhand shot is an intimidating and the most difficult stroke to be played. For overcoming this difficulty, you have to be in perfect balance with a strong shoulder turn, the correct positioning of the racket and adequate time spent practicing the tennis backhand shot. There are some basic key points apply to all tennis shots that are as follows:

  • Watch the ball with full concentration all the time.
  • Always hit the ball using an attacking mentality by moving forward and making good forward momentum.
  • Always try to hit the ball on the rise after being bounced, rather than late

Tennis Backhand Fundamentals

The first element of backhand tennis technique is the initial preparation. For recreational and club players, the preparation for the tennis backhand should start immediately. The preparation involves turning the body sideways as a unit. Typically, the hips will turn and the lower body will help intitiate the sideways turn of the body, therefore creating a coil. The racket should come along with the ride at this preparation stage.

The second element of the tennis backhand technique is to develop a fluid and efficient swing. Professional tennis players keep their tennis backhands simple, yet remarkably efficient. This means that throughout the backhand shot, there are absolutely no hitches, stoppages or extraneous motion.

The third element of backhand tennis technique is to have a full and complete shoulder turn. This allows for maximum power. The power must be loaded into the core (lower body) prior to hitting the shot, this will help to increase the potential of the weight transfer forward into the shot.

Can an average tennis player develop good tennis backhand technique?

How difficult is incorporating tennis backhand technique of the pros into your own tennis strokes? And why would a player even try to aspire to learn the tennis technique?

A recreational and club player most definately can develop good tennis backhand technique. Whether the tennis player uses a two handed backhand, or a one handed backhand the fundamentals behind the backhand shots remain the same. Hitting a powerful tennis backhand is not entirely based on athleticism, nor does it require that a tennis player be as strong as the pros.

Topspin Backhand Shot:

The topspin tennis backhand shot is becoming the most popular shot for every tennis player. The basics about this shot is very simple. This shot is played by bringing the racket close and brushing the ball from low to high upon hitting the ball. Then the shot will take an topspin effect, which brings the ball down quickly.

The position of sweeping the racket from low to high will tell about the trajectory of the ball. By getting in this position you are able to play any tennis shot whether it is the tennis forehand shot or the tennis backhand shot.

Tennis backhand Drill: Mini Tennis

One of my favorite backhand tennis drills is mini-tennis. In this drill, both players cooperatively rally back and forth to each hitting topspin backhands. The objective is to impart good topspin onto the tennis ball while keeping the tennis ball inside the service box. This backhand tennis drill tests the player’s ability to generate topspin as well as maintain good control while hitting the backhand shot. This backhand tennis drill requires both finesse and soft touch in order to keep the tennis ball within the service box.

This tennis backhand drill works on accuracy, precision, finesse as well as the ability to generate the correct topspin to keep the ball inside the service box.

Each player must hit only topspin tennis backhands to one another, teaching them to keep the tennis ball inside the boundaries of the opposite service box. The correct rotation and ball spin must be applied, and players who lack adequate topspin on the tennis backhand will experience difficulty with this drill.

Only proper tennis backhand technique will allow a player to keep the tennis ball inside the service box every time without missing. This will also expose other problems with tennis technique, such as the tennis footwork on the backhand or the balance and positioning of the player. Since mini-tennis simulates the full tennis court, the same fundamental flaws in tennis backhand technique will be exposed in this drill.

With this tennis backhand drill, a player cannot get away with slapping backhands or any flat wristy shots. Only a smooth, fluid and precise tennis backhand will suffice.

Positioning and Body Orientation:

Body orientation must be proper while getting into position, the weight of your full body must be your toes. Once you see the ball heading towards your backhand, you should take a split step and also adjust the grip of your racket to play the tennis backhand shot.

As soon as you get your grip on the racket for the backhand shot, you must bring the racket and your shoulders back so that the fingers of the other hand must be on non-dominant side of your racket.

Your shoulders should turn so that your upper body will slightly be away from the ball while playing the backhand shot and your toes must be pointing perpendicular to the direction of the ball. The foot that is closest to the ball while playing the backhand shot should be positioned slightly away from your body while the opposite foot turning back from your body helping to get you in a balanced position to play the tennis backhand shot.

The racket should be held slightly below the point of contact as mentioned earlier. Topspin on the tennis backhand is generated by following a strict swinging pattern (low-to-high). The face of the racket should always be perpendicular to the ground. If the racket face is tilted slightly, the chances to miss the shot increases which makes it difficult to get your body in the balanced position while playing the tennis backhand shot.

Maximize Leverage on the tennis backhand technique

The tennis backhand is about maximizing leverage to your advantage. Since the body becomes a series of links, or chains (hence the word kinetic chain), the idea of the backhand tennis technique is to synchronize and involve as many levers as you can to power behind the ball.

The tennis backhand technique is not relative to how fast you swing (as it is on the forehand) but more about making clean contact and maximizing the leverage and line of the shot.

The reason why most tennis players should try to model the top tennis backhands on tour is simple. It’s a tennis stroke that can make the difference between a mediocre backhand and a powerful backhand.

Contact Point

Your eyes should remain focused on the ball as you are getting into position to make contact with the ball. Full concentration is needed in order to attempt the tennis backhand shot efficiently.

While contacting the ball, your racket should be properly oriented. Your body and your footwork must be proper to get into the position while hitting the backhand shot. If your racket is tilted to some angle, then there are greater chances to miss the backhand shot.

Just prior to contact, many players just see the area where they want to play the shot. You mustn’t do this. You must watch the ball using full concentration and keep your eyes locked onto the contact point. In fact, the common mistake of pulling away from the shot too soon is being pointed out by many renowned coaches on different occasions.

Tennis Backhand Follow Through

Just like other sports, you must follow the ball through after you’ve struck the ball. Don’t stop right after hitting the backhand shot, because if you stop suddenly your body will lose its balance, giving an advantage to your opponent to strike at your backhand side. Hence you must maintain the balance of your body, and complete a full follow through. This in turn will help you to maintain your body in a balanced position.

These are some basic key points to learn about the tennis backhand shot. For more assistance you must watch different lessons and videos online to learn more about the tennis backhand shot. You must practice this shot more and more as this is the most difficult shot to be played by any tennis player.

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March 9, 2015