Tennis is a competitive sport enjoyed by players at all levels. The backhand is an essential stroke that is used to hit the ball from the back, or non-dominant, side of the court. The technique used to hit a backhand can vary from player to player, but there are some basic steps that everyone should follow to ensure a successful stroke. In this article, we will discuss how to swing a backhand in tennis.
The first step to hitting a backhand is to ensure you have the correct grip. A good backhand grip will allow you to generate maximum power and control. The most popular grip for a backhand stroke is the eastern backhand grip. To take this grip, hold the racquet with your non-dominant hand, and place your dominant hand below the racquet handle. Your dominant hand thumb should be pointing towards the ground and your fingers should be spread wide.
Once you have the correct grip, you need to get into the correct stance. You should stand side on to the ball and your feet should be shoulder width apart. Your weight should be distributed evenly and you should be balanced on the balls of your feet. Make sure you are in a relaxed and comfortable position, with your knees slightly bent.
When the ball is coming to your side of the court, you should move into the ready position. This is the position you will be in before you swing the racquet. Your feet should be shoulder width apart, your knees slightly bent, and your weight distributed evenly. Your racquet should be held in front of you, with your non-dominant arm bent and your dominant arm slightly extended. Your eyes should be focused on the ball and your racquet head should be slightly raised.
When the ball is close to you, you should start your swing. Start by pushing off your back foot and transferring your weight onto your front foot. As you do this, rotate your hips and shoulders towards the ball and begin to swing your racquet. Keep your arms straight and your racquet head slightly below the ball. As you make contact with the ball, you should follow through the shot, keeping your arms extended and your racquet head pointed downwards.
Once you have made contact with the ball, you should finish your swing. This is the process of bringing your racquet back to the ready position. To do this, you should rotate your shoulders and hips back to the starting position and bring your racquet head back to the ready position. As you do this, you should keep your arms straight and bring your non-dominant arm back to the bent position.
Good footwork is essential for successful backhand shots. You should move your feet to the ball as soon as you can, in order to give yourself enough time to get into the correct position and hit the ball. You should move your feet in small steps, keeping your balance and staying low to the ground. You should also aim to get into the ready position before the ball reaches the top of its bounce.
The follow through is an important part of a successful backhand stroke. After making contact with the ball, you should keep your arms extended and continue to swing your racquet. This will help to generate power and control, as well as giving you more time to adjust your timing and trajectory.
Practice Makes Perfect
As with any skill, practice is essential for improving your backhand. You should practice your backhand strokes regularly, focusing on your technique, timing and footwork. You should also practice different types of backhand shots, such as topspin and slice.
- Keep your eyes on the ball – this will help you to judge the timing and trajectory of the shot.
- Keep your arms straight – this will help you to generate power and control.
- Keep your racquet head slightly below the ball – this will help you to control the spin of the shot.
- Finish your swing – this will help you to stay in control and ready for the next shot.
- Practice regularly – this will help you to master the technique and improve your overall backhand stroke.
Learning how to swing a backhand in tennis is a key skill for any player. The technique can vary from player to player, but the basic steps remain the same. It is important to ensure that you have the correct grip, stance, ready position, and swing. It is also important to practice your backhand regularly, in order to improve your technique and control. With the right technique and practice, you will be able to master the backhand stroke and become a more confident player.
1. Tennis Australia, “Backhand”, https://www.tennis.com.au/learn/skills/backhand/
2. Nittany Valley Tennis, “Backhand Stroke Tutorial”, https://www.nittanyvalleytennis.com/backhand-stroke-tutorial/
3. Tennis X, “How to Hit a Backhand”, https://www.tennisx.com/how-to-hit-a-backhand/
4. USTA, “Backhand Basics”, https://www.usta.com/en/home/improve/game/basics/backhand-basics.html