In today’s blog we’re going to go over the backhand topspin swinging volley.
Let’s go over some of the key advantages of the shot.
Number one, it can allow you to attack from below net level.
Number two, it creates topspin which keeps the ball in the court and makes it tough on your opponent as it dips down at their feet.
The third and final key advantage of this shot is that the ball will accelerate as it hits the ground because of the top spin. It will hit the ground and actually accelerate towards your opponent which makes a harder shot for them.
Before we go to the breakdown we just want to quickly talk about the grip. If you’ve played pickleball for any time, you know what the continental grip is.
For this specific shot, a backhand topspin swinging volley, it’s going to be pretty tough to create spin with a continental grip. Because of way your wrist is position it’s just going to be tough.
We would recommend a backhand eastern grip.
How to get that is that you’re going to take your continental grip and with your left hand you’re just going to actually rotate your paddle clockwise ever so slightly in your hand.
This is how the backhand eastern grip should look like.
As you’re hitting the ball for a top spin backhand, if you are in a continental grip, your paddle face is open. For you to close it even just a little it’s going to be really hard. So, as you’re trying to get topspin and keep it in the court it will be hard to do so if your paddle face is open.
This is why you’ll need to turn your grip a little so that you can get your paddle face more flat or more down. This way it’s going to be easier as you come through that ball.
Now let’s get to the breakdown.
Let’s say you’re anticipating the shot. Your opponent is at the baseline or maybe at the transition zone. They’re trying to drop that ball down, descending into your non-volley zone.
The first thing you have to do is you have to get low. Especially on the backhand side, this shot is very tough to hit standing straight up.
Because of the motion and the topspin you’re trying to create from low to high, if you get low and stay low this is a great, strong position, to be in.
The second thing is, as you get low, you’re going to drop your paddle down by your left knee.
Where you drop it will depend on where the ball is headed.
If it’s headed near the sideline you’re going to drop it off to that side. If it’s head straight towards your body you’re going to drop it down in front of you.
Get low and drop you paddle head down.
After you drop it down by your left knee it’s going to be a nice smooth low to high motion from your left knee all the way up across your body to your right shoulder. Not all the way behind your right shoulder but out in front of it.
You’re going to be hitting and brushing up and out.
As you make contact you’re going from low to high, left knee up to right shoulder (or right side of your head).
The extra pro tip that we have for you is that as your opponent is hitting this ball you’re kind of judging it on the fly.
You don’t know how deep this ball is going to land but you will know as it comes closer to you.
Let’s say they hit a really great shot and it’s way down by your feet and your contact point is really low and you’re trying to topspin this ball. Our pro tip for you is to really slow that ball down.
You want to slow your swing path and your swing speed down because if you swing really fast it’s going to be really hard to get it up and over the net.
You’re going to have to control it, hit a slow to medium paced ball as you come through.
On the higher ones, that are net level and deeper, you can swing faster and harder.
That’s just a little pro tip. The lower the contact point, the lower the ball, just hit a slower swing.
One other thing we want to mention pertains to the off hand, your non-hitting hand, especially on the backhand topspin swinging volley.
After you swing use that hand as a counter balance by throwing your left hand out at the same time.
This is not an easy shot. It’s definitely an intermediate to advanced shot but it’s something you can add to your toolbox.
Any shot that you hit with topspin is very penetrating. It’s going to skip and bounce off the ground and make it a lot tougher on your opponent.