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BACKHAND

1. Backhand scatters the shots

Excessive racquet head play in the hitting zone. The proper grip is the eastern backhand. This provides more stability at impact than any other grip and requires less wrist adjustments in order to produce a vertical racquet head at contact. A continental grip will force a player to hit primarily with a defensive underspin slice.

2. Hitting into the net and short balls

_Racquet face is turned down, the racquet is two high on the back swing, too flat of a shot need to lift the ball over the net. Swing against the fence, net or wall to determine if you have a vertical racquet face at impact. Focus the visual attention above the net not at it. Work to hit it over the head of your opponent in its arc over the net from your vantage point. The ball must travel well over the net in order to get depth consistently. Proper weight transfer will leave you just after you hit with the weight on the front foot and the toe of the back foot the only thing touching the court.

3. The backhand goes high and wide

The grip may be too much of a forehand grip or even with the correct grip if the shoulder is leaning back the racquet face will not be vertical at impact. Another area that causes this is the elbow leading the arm through the shot as the ball approaches. The other common error to produce long and wide balls is standing unprepared, late, stiff-legged and adjusting to the ball with a loose wrist.

Step into the ball with the shoulder leading the way and leaning forward. Hit out in front of the body and bend the knees to allow or a low to high stroke. The knees will help hit with a natural lifting motion and avoid the wrist adjustments and crowding problems.

2. The shot goes off target to the left

An unnecessarily long backswing which causes the racquet head to come around late into the shot. The timing is late and generally the player swings just as wide through the follow through in a compensating action. It is more important to turn the shoulders and move drive through the ball than to take the racquet this far back.

There is also a tendency to delay the backswing too long and then hurry through the shot. As a result this causes a leading with the elbow and the racquet face is exposed in an awkward and unsupportable angle. This can cause tennis elbow and shots that are angled off to the left. ®)1¯

Start the back swing earlier by getting prepared for the shot and meet the ball out in front with the weight moving forward. Eliminate unnecessary motions on the backswing and utilize the non-hitting hand to bring the racquet back and turn the shoulders. Focus on the ball and allow the weight to transfer into the shot with the front foot pointing towards the direction the ball will be returned.

5. Shots go off target to the right.

The reasons for this problem include; the body opening up with the hips rotating, the head pulling up before impact to see the ball's return, swinging like a frisbee using too much wrist, slapping at the ball with a flat swing, and not hinging your shot off the shoulder.

To begin with, eliminate the horizontal forces by stepping out toward the intended target rather than feeling the pull sideways. Keep your shoulders in line with the path of ball. This will prevent the shoulders opening up. Work to keep the head down at impact, visualizing the return of the ball and the actual seeing it go in to the desired spot helps the mind relax and assures the body that it was completed correctly reducing the need to "see" it land. Stop the rotation of the hips at impact, this can be done by sending the non-hitting hand backwards or holding it on the back hip. The transfer of power will only happen from a solid base and the snapping motion provided by front side of the body. The hitting arm continues toward the sky after impact so the energy flows out to your target. After impact follow the path of the ball up into the air and the body moving into the court. The knuckles on the hitting hand of the backhand are the controlling factor of this shot. On the forehand of course it is the palm. Have the knuckles follow a low to high pattern through the drive through the ball.

6.Getting jammed or crowed by balls in baseline rallies.

Backhands must be hit further out in front of the body especially when hitting topspin. This is because the shoulder is closer to the net. A lack of confidence will cause the unwillingness to go forward into the ball which is necessary in order to hit it correctly. Footwork must be coordinated and adjusted properly on the one handed backhand and quicker than on the forehand because of the earlier point of contact. In addition the back swing must be prepared early to avoid wrist lay back or a wild long back swing causing a wild long follow through.

By anticipating the backhand return and protecting this side you can move through the steps in slow motion, getting ready, seeing the ball and driving into it as it enters the area of contact. By expecting and hoping to hit backhands your confidence will increase and the footwork and preparation will be one step ahead of the ball.

7.Unable to hit topspin.

Topspin can only be hit with a racquet face that is vertical at impact and moving in a low to high trajectory. A punching or pushing motion will do nothing but create errors or very weak shots as it destroys timing and feel the swing. The knees must bend on the backhand and the weight transfer must be moving forward out in front of the body.

Get the racquet face well below the point of contact as you begin swinging forward into the ball.

Swing up towards the sky and feel the lift forward and upward on an angle of at least 30 degrees to 45 degrees for deep driving topspin.

8. Underspin shots land short & into the net or high & long

_This is caused by a severe chopping down action from over hitting the high to low action of the underspin slice. This produces more spin but causes wrist shots and inconsistency. If the player compensates by opening the face of the racquet up further it results in short balls or the balls going long and high. The key is again to make the racquet face vertical at impact. In order to get consistency with all speeds of shots and angles the racquet face must be vertical and the body weight must be balanced to hit slice.

9. No power with two hands.

The reasons for this problem are to begin with the body must coil with a shoulder rotation rather than trying to arm the ball over. Using the whole body to hit through a two handed backhand requires fast footwork to get prepared and grounded, hitting with a eastern backhand grip on your hitting hand, knuckles guiding the shot, keep your arms extended, do not allow them to jam in close to your body, and being in balance to be able to uncoil into the shot. The difference with the two hander is the left hand dominates for the right hander, work on letting the left hand drop into a natural loop backswing. If you are two rigid with both arms you will hit with less power and struggle to get the ball over the net. Work on getting more racquet head speed by being able to pivot and move forward through the impact area balanced and relaxed.

10.Lack of power on the one handed backhand and miss hitting.

Using the hitting arm for power, being all arm usually makes the ball go short unless the racquet face is turned up at impact. This also reveals that you are hitting too close to the body and or hitting late with underspin rather than topspin. Proper shoulder rotation is the first step toward getting prepared with the racquet back and the body coiled to hit with power on the backhand. Get the front foot set by making adjusting steps and bending the knees into the ball. Drive into and upward as you lift and hit the ball having your body lean and follow the racquet path into the court. Hit at least head level, from your vantage point, with your opponent to avoid barely going over the net on baseline rallies.

11.Hitting long.

Hitting without topspin and hitting with an open face are the reasons for this problem. Getting a vertical racquet face at impact and lifting the ball over the net with a low to high swing motion will impart topspin and bring the ball down into the court. Play with a fixed wrist in order to strengthen the muscles and swing with the whole arm from the shoulder contacting the ball out in front. Make certain your front foot is pointing where you want the ball to go.



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