Showing posts with label backhand. Show all posts
Showing posts with label backhand. Show all posts

A little step can make a big difference

If you have a baseline winner in your pocket, you can set an exclamation mark when your opponent feeds you a shorter ball. After a calm setup, make sure you step into the court to take the ball early. That'll take time away from your opponent, and put additional power on the ball.

Here's an example of a backhand crosscourt winner:

A closer look at a backhand

After the lefty-righty comparison of my backhand, I thought I'd point out a few positive things about my backhand, and some things that could be improved. So here's the video again:

Some positives to take a closer look at:
  • decent footwork between the shots - allows me to prepare early
  • early shoulder turn and racket preparation - I won't feel rushed responding to fast shots
  • lifting the racquet head while waiting for the forward swing - dropping it before the forward swing gives me nice racquet head acceleration
  • point of contact in front of the body - that's where I get my maximum power thanks to full extension, and good control since arm and wrist are straight behind the ball
  • full follow through - I don't waste the energy I generated
  • my other hand stays back - increases stability (for one-handed backhands, obviously). 
If I had a perfect backhand, I would probably step into the ball a bit more, bend my knees further, and keep my striking shoulder more aligned after the point of contact. But this is what I ended up with for now, and it feels quite good - which is a good thing to aim for!

Hope this was helpful - let me know any thoughts you have, including constructive criticism :)

This left feels right

To complement the previous forehand post, and to prove that I am actually playing tennis myself, I thought I'd post a few backhand samples for your viewing pleasure. Since I'm a lefty, I decided to post 2 videos - the original, and a flipped version which makes it easier for righties to interpret the shot.

While some folks don't even notice when they play a lefty, others see it immediately. And part of the latter group thinks that lefty strokes look quite different compared to righties. But there are 2 easy ways for you to find out:
  1. Watch a few rallies on TV through a mirror. You'll be surprised how Federer's strokes would look like if he was left-handed, and how "normal" Nadal's game would appear if he was right-handed.
  2. Check out the 2 videos below. Hopefully you'll notice immediately which one is which :)

While my forehand looks decent when I flip my recordings, I'm quite happy with my backhand in both the left- and the right-handed versions. Over the years, I've been surprised by quite a few compliments for it. But - it usually looks a lot better than it feels :)