Backhand Lessons for Intermediate Players
For many tennis players, even at intermediate level, the backhand shot is still one which is mainly used in defence. A lot of players do not have the confidence to hit a backhand shot as an attacking play during a match. How often do you think, as an attacking shot, you will hit try and hit the ball to your opponent’s backhand, as it is sure to be weak? Well chances are, they are going to be thinking the same about you. So, we want to develop the backhand shot, into something which can be used as a progressive shot, in terms of winning the point and backhand lessons for intermediate players, well help a lot with this.
Imagine you have played a good point up until now and you have forced your opponent into hitting a short ball over the net. If this was on your forehand side, you would have little hesitation in playing an approach shot and getting to the net if required, to finish the point. However, many intermediate players are not willing to do the same on the backhand.
The first thing to ensure when playing a backhand approach shot, is to not allow the ball to drop too low, before playing the shot. As soon as the ball starts dropping, you lose your chance to be aggressive, so always try and meet the ball at its highest point, which should be around shoulder level, not waist level.
Although you want to be aggressive with a backhand approach shot, it does not have to be as powerful as your forehand so do not force the shot by hitting it too hard. If you contact the ball at its highest point, the racket will naturally brush over the top of the ball and create some topspin, without the need to force it. If you try to hit the ball too hard, you will lose accuracy on the shot. Be prepared, having hit the backhand shot, you may need to hit a volley at the net, to finish off the point.
Clearly, not every ball is going to sit up nice and high for you to attack and when taking backhand lessons for intermediate players, it’s important to look at balls which stay low. Whereas for high balls, we can use a topspin backhand, for low balls, a slice shot is required.
For this shot, you will need to use the continental grip and on the backswing, the racket will need to be higher, than when you are playing the topspin shot. This set-up, will allow you to come down and into the ball but the follow through is equally important. The follow through on the backhand slice approach shot, needs to be extended, as this will give you more control over the shot and result in a much deeper shot, than if you played the shot in stabbing motion, with very little follow through.
With a nice, deep backhand slice approach shot and good follow through, you can maintain your momentum from the shot, into the net and attack the return shot from your opponent.
Backhand approach shots are never going to be easy to master but backhand lessons for intermediate players, such as this, give a great insight, into exactly what is required to perfect the shot.
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