improve your tennis backhand

Learn these tips to supercharge your backhand.

Decathlon

Improve Your Tennis Backhand

improve your tennis backhand

Decathlon

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Go from backhand novice to backhand expert in no time

A great two-handed backhand starts with the perfect set-up. The placement of your body to your grip, every step is important. This post focuses on the two handed grip technique primarily.
1. The grip

The most commonly used grips are the continental for your dominant hand and an eastern forehand grip for your non-dominant hand. As the ball arrives, split-step and then execute your turn.Your shoulders and your racquet will turn together. The leg closest to the incoming ball should step out a little as you turn, so you don’t close yourself off to the ball. You’ll need space to step into the shot.

2. So how much shoulder turn is best?

Enough so that you have to look over your dominant shoulder at the incoming ball. As you prepare to hit this shot, all of your weight should be on your back foot, ready to transfer to your front foot. This transfer of weight is what will give you the power. Take your racquet back above the level of the ball (10 o’clock or 2 o’clock, whichever is easier for you to visualise, is an ideal height). Your shoulders should be level and your knees slightly bent.

3. What should my hands be doing?

Relax your hand and let your racquet head drop below the height of the ball just before transferring weight to your front foot, and step into the shot. Don’t twist your racquet handle too hard. This looping motion needs to be fluid in order to generate racquet-head speed so that you can create both power and spin by brushing up the back of the ball. The butt cap of your racquet should be aimed at the ball. Your forward swing will begin as you transfer your weight.

4. Uncoil your shoulders

You’ll notice professional players have different arm positions at contact. The most effective for a club player is to have both elbows slightly bent. When you hit the ball, all of your energy from your legs, shoulder and arms should be driving forward and through the ball, toward your target. If you just use your arms you won’t have enough power to make the ball fly. Like all swings in Tennis it’s the transfer of weight from your whole body that gives you the speed and power.

5. Stay with the shot

Even after the ball has left the racquet, your momentum should be forward and your arms should be extended out toward the ball. Your stroke should have length. If you pull off the shot too soon, a lot of your energy will be wasted and you’ll hit a much weaker and less accurate shot.

6. Don’t forget to follow-through

On the follow-through, your elbows should finish high. Your non-dominant hand pulls your rear hip through the finish and you’ll face the net. Notice, at the start of this shot, you were looking over your dominant shoulder at the ball. Now you should be looking over your non-dominant shoulder—that’s how much shoulder turn is required. When you plant your outside foot, you’ll push off of it and recover with a shuffle or a crossover step, depending where you are on court and where your opponent’s next shot is going. If you’re looking for even more tips there’s plenty of videos on youtube that show how to execute a crushing two handed backhand.

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