For some reason many players fear the backhand shot, to have a weak backhand is common amongst amateur players and can often be very costly. The reason for this is that there are alternatives to playing a backhand shot, for instance many players run around the backhand to play a more favoured forehand.
However, if you develop your backhand then more options are open to you to either gain better position or put your opponent under pressure. You should train with your tennis coach and ensure that you develop your backhand.
The One Handed Backhand
- Develop A Straight Hitting Arm At Contact
Many players make the mistake of hitting a backhand with a bent arm. For the one-hander it is essential your arm is straight when you make contact with the ball.
If you try to play this shot with a bent arm it will most likely result in the racket moving too far left to right and not enough forward to upward, this results in balls that land either short or wide.
Only with a straight arm can you be able to develop the correct swing path and gain the correct power on your one handed backhand.
- Stay Sideways During The Hit
Playing the one handed backhand does not involve much body rotation, watching the pro’s you will notice they all stay sideways throughout the shot, especially at contact the body should be fairly still.
Too much rotation, gives the same results as playing with a bent arm. To eradicate this is to stay focused of staying sideways even after playing the shot.
The Two Handed Backhand
- Uncoil Your Front Leg
A common error on the two handed backhand is to stay too low, in order to engage the whole kinetic chain you need to need to use all the body components, especially the front leg.
If you watch good exponents playing the shot they uncoil from the ground upwards with the whole body. Although not possible on all balls you do need to do this whenever possible.
- Swing Inside-Out
Another common problem with the two handed backhand is an outside-in swing path. This means the racket starts the forward swing too far away from the body and then moves closer to the body.
Most good groundstrokes follow an inside-out swing pattern, meaning that the racket swings close to the body at the beginning of the forward swing to away from the body at contact.
A way to practice this when not in training or match play is to stand in front of a mirror and check your swing out. Do you swing in the correct manner? Sometimes a problem can be solved by realising that you have a problem.
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