6 tips for a good offensive backhand

In tennis, your main weapon is usually your forehand, however, when the chance arises, it’s a good idea to score the point with a backhand like Benoit Paire or Dominic Thiem. To be able to imitate these players, you need to know how to perform a good offensive backhand. In this article, we’ll look at how this is done. After this, you’ll no longer be frustrated with your backhand, but scoring match points with single and two-handed backhands.

 

Preparation

Preparation is fundamental to your strike. Your swing needs to be big enough to provide enough power, this stage is key.

Two-handed:
Pull your racket back using your left arm, keep your arms outstretched. The once your arms are behind you, slightly lower the head of the racket under the ball’s level.

Single-handed:
With your left hand on the throat of the racket, pull it back whilst keeping the head of the racket high, until your right arm is outstretched. Next, lower the head of the racket while releasing your right wrist and lowering your left hand.

 

The stances

The second step is to take a strong stance to prepare the strike. Without this, you won’t be able to strike to the ball correctly.

Single or two-handed:
Swing to meet the ball, just before striking the ball, take a stable stance with your right leg by placing your foot in front and then move your weight onto this foot.

 

The strike zone

It’s now time to release your strike. The extra force that you’ve obtained thanks to your preparation will give the head of the racket extra speed. Your arms will outstretch to meet the ball.

Two-handed:
Your arms will move from behind to in front whilst bending slightly. For maximum efficiency, impact with the ball should happen with slightly bent arms 10-20cm in front of your body.

Single-handed:
Once the head of the racket is lowered, you can let go of the throat with your left hand to free-up your right arm. You will be able to move your right arm forward. For maximum efficiency, you need to keep the right arm outstretched and the impact should happen well in front of the body, between 20-40cm.

 

The transfer

To have an aggressive backhand, you must transfer your weight forward and into the ball.

Single or two-handed:
Before striking the ball you must place your weight on your bent right knee. The moment you release the strike, you need to push forwards and upward on this right knee. In order to have a straight leg at impact your foot can leave the ground. The left leg has to stay behind and you should land a few centimeters further forward.

 

Follow-through

After the impact, for a good transfer of the racket speed to the ball and better control, you need to follow-through correctly.

Two-handed:
Your arms should be outstretched in front, before coming back to wrap around your neck, above the left shoulder. During the strike, your shoulders will turn to face the net, a little more with the right shoulder slightly back compared to the left shoulder which will have moved forwards.

Single-handed:
Your arm will continue its forward and upward journey, and the wrist will move the racket head over the ball. We must finish the movement with the outstretched arm and the racket facing upwards. Your shoulders will rotate but it is important to keep the right shoulder slightly in front to avoid losing power.

 

The area of play

To win the point you need to do more than hit hard. You also need to play in the right place. Whatever the situation, you need to find an area to the side, either in an opening if you’ve forced your opponent into a corner of the court or on the opposite side. In the latter case, a straight down the line backhand is particularly effective.

 
If you follow these steps, you will be able to knock-out your opponents with your backhand. Every point is important, so you need to be consistent. If you’re struggling with certain aspects, then I recommend, concentrating on one or a maximum of two, and once you’ve mastered it add another. The most important steps for getting started are the first steps, the preparation, and the stances, without these, you’ll find it difficult to transfer speed to the ball.

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