Let us have a quick look at the tennis backhand in the modern game and then I will list a couple of great backhand drills that should help anybody improve!
The two-handed backhand has been the more common shot in the pro game for quite some time now. So is the two-hander a better stroke or why do pros prefer to hit it ?
The pro game nowadays is played mainly from behind the baseline with heavy topspin shots being exchanged. The two-hander makes it easier to deal with these high bouncing balls and that might be the main reason it is more common on the tour!
Have a look at Rafael Nadal hitting two-handed backhands
In my opinion one of the best two-handers in the game!
You can see how he uses his entire body to generate power in this backhand. He can hit this shot incredibly aggressive from all situations and especially against high-bouncing balls!
This is a direct result of a great use of the kinetic chain!
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So what about the beautiful one-handed backhand ? Is it going to disappear completely ? I don’t think so!
The one-hander has its own advantages. It allows for more reach and it is easier to hit heavy topspin shots with the one-hander!
Also one-handed players usually have a better slice backhand as well. Looking at recent tennis history we have Pete Sampras and Roger Federer dominating the game both with the one-hander!
One of the main reasons the two-hander is more common nowadays, throughout all levels of the game, is that it is easier for kids to use when they first learn how to play Tennis! Afterwards only very few kids end up changing to a one-hander.
Ok. So let’s have a look at some great backhand drills to improve your backhand!
Tennis Backhand Drills
Drill #1: Backhand Inside-Out
A great way to practice your backhand is to hit inside-out backhands. Now you might think you don’t know any great player that hits inside-out backhands in a match except for the Williams sisters and maybe a few other female pros. So why should you practice this shot ?
should follow an inside-out swing-pattern!
Therefore hitting inside-out backhands will actually help you improve all of your backhands! See my upcoming technique video series for more detailed explanations of this concept.
A good way to practice this is to hit a bunch of backhands inside-out from the forehand corner. Either have someone feed you balls or simply rally against your practice partner hitting forehand cross-court!
Drill #2: Hit From Inside The Service Line
In this drill you stand on the service line or even closer to the net and someone feeds you backhands or keeps hitting the ball back to your backhand. You try to hit the ball deep with your backhand.
One of the keys to developing a great backhand is to get the body and arm working together as a unit.Most players rely too much on the arm and forget that the body needs to lift to create topspin.
When you are standing close to the net hitting backhands you are forced to use the body more to get the ball over the net and this should help you improve your backhand. You can slowly work your way backward always trying to focus on using body and arms together for the shot!
For more detailed discussion of the tennis backhand and step by step instruction on how to improve your backhand check out my upcoming instructional video series!