Most pickleball players have a stronger forehand than backhand.
One of the nice things about pickleball is that its’ much easier to run around to your backhand than it is in other rackets sports. Mainly because the court is so small and in just a step or two you are ripping a forehand and not too far out of position for the next shot.
But sometimes, you really need to hit a backhand. You may be facing a server with very good accuracy and they are able to find your backhand like clockwork and/or if you run around to hit your forehand you will be very far out of position for the next shot.
Just like with any shot in pickleball, as you move up the levels of competition, you will hit a level where your weakness can be easily exposed and that will certainly happen with your backhand if it’s weak.
In this video/blog we cover some of the key elements you must master in order to develop a strong and reliable backhand that can’t be easily picked on.
We’re going to show/discuss how to clean up your backhand drive so that it’s consistent and how to hit a correct backhand groundstroke.
I see a lot of people just swinging at their backhand with no intention of how to hit it correctly. They really don’t know how to hit it.
Backhands are very important because you’re going to be hitting them as a return.
A lot of people won’t practice their groundstrokes but I think it’s a good thing to actually practice hitting nice and deep driving groundstrokes so that you can get a better return off your opponent’s serve.
There’s a few key things that are really important to have an effective driving backhand as a ground stroke backhand and these things are really key to getting a lot of pace and also being more consistent.
I see a lot of players just swinging at the ball. They’re just trying to make contact. There’s not a lot of footwork and there’s not a lot of movement in their shoulders or their torso.
It’s crucial that I get my body turned so my chest is facing to the side (perpendicular to the net) as opposed to facing the net straight on.
So, my shoulders really have to be perpendicular to the net.
I’m going get the most power when I step in with my right foot since I’m a right-handed player.
A lot of players I see are just hitting a backhand using all arm and that’s all they’re doing.
I see the ball come and step in with my right foot and now I’m going to take a swing from low to high. I’m going to start low and then I’m coming across my body and following through across my body.
You should hit the ball in front of you all the time. If you hit it to the side of your body it’s a little late and you don’t want to hit it behind you either.
Regardless if you’re aiming down the line or cross-court the contact point always has to be out in front.
Then, follow-through, extend, and finish with your paddle up above your head.
Foot work is another important thing to consider and also the spacing between you and the ball.
This shot is going to be very hard to get consistent and hard to hit with a lot of pace if you’re hitting it way too close to your body.
This is why when that ball is coming I really want to get my feet set in a way that I create the right spacing which is about a foot or two in front of me.
I’m following through across my body so I’m transferring my weight. My weight transfer is leaning forward and I’m coming across my body as opposed to just hit using all arm.
I really want to create this this weight transfer so I could swing through and use my core and also my legs.
Make sure you’re turning that body and turning your torso and your waist and you’re not just hitting with this open stance.
You really want to get this closed stance, especially on the backhand, so that your right foot is slightly slightly ahead of your left and then you really want to swing through on that back end.
Hopefully that helps you improve your backhand stroke!