We have all been there; got a good point going and you’re hitting the ball nice and clean, then all of the sudden your opponent hits you a high bouncing ball right into your backhand. What’s worse is that you have a one-handed backhand, and hitting anything above the shoulders is guaranteed to lose you the point. I’ve had many problems with this in the past and I’ve been searching for answers.
Recently, I’ve had the pleasure of collaborating with Coach Jack Broudy, who holds the key to the best tennis of your life; you can read my experience working with his technique here, one of my readers left a question for Coach Jack Broudy:
Having a one hand backhand, my opponents try to give those angled high balls to the backside to slowly pull me off the court. (I’m only 5’9 btw) I have trouble with these and usually slice them back. When the opponent comes in, it leaves me pretty much vulnerable. I’ve talked to teaching pros and got answers like taking the ball earlier, etc… But it’s not really working for me. Is there another strategy, technique, or some amazing trick I can use? It’s so hard putting pace on these shots and think this is one reason why two hand is so dominant on the tour.
I know exactly what this reader is talking about, it’s common for many players with a one-handed backhand. Don’t feel discouraged though! There is a solution, here’s a video Coach Jack Broudy explaining the problem and demonstrating the solution:
As you can see, the biggest problem the player in the first part of the video struggles with generating power off the backhand when it’s over the shoulders. But why? As Coach Broudy points out, the player uses nothing more than just shoulders and arms to try to create a powerful stroke. Essentially, hitting the ball in a linear manner is the least effective way of generating power for a high one-handed backhand.
What is the solution to this common problem for the beginner, novice, and advanced player? Each player has to use the entire body to create a powerful enough stroke to put some decent pace on the ball. Where does it come from? It’s in the legs, hips, core, and shoulders; all together working “non-linearly.” You know, coiling and uncoiling into every stroke generating natural power.
Now, after working on this tirelessly, I’ve nearly solved this riddle of high backhands (especially for the us one-handers). I’m finding more consistency in putting the ball deep in the court where my opponent is not expecting a solid return. I’m also finding that I physically struggle less with hitting high one handed backhands.
If you would like to learn more or improve other parts of your tennis game, check out Jack Broudy’s School of Tennis.
If you are struggling with some part of your game, let me know in the comments section and I’ll have Jack Broudy answer them for you!