Last week I posted a two-minute clip of me hitting backhands under the title “It’s time to fix my backhand. Your thoughts?”
I received 111 responses 👀👀👀.
Thanks to each and every one of you for taking the time to offer feedback. They are all posted below. Some are more positive than others, and some are quite funny! I appreciate them all.
Firstly, here’s the video again…
Craig’s Backhand – 2 Minutes
Some responses have several things to fix, while others drill down and focus on just one area.
Here are the common themes that I see running through the 111 coaching responses – and my thoughts.
1: My Grip Is Too Tight
I agree with this 100%. I feel it. I tend to squeeze the racket with all I have got which hurts me in multiple ways. Sometimes I even feel pain in my wrist hitting backhands, but not forehands. So yes, I will definitely try and relax the tension in my hand more. This will have a domino effect on helping other areas.
2: My Grip Is Not Far Enough Around
I agree with this too. I will use my opposite (right) hand more to “click” the grip further around. I really do like to brush up the ball and hit “heavy” topspin to yank my opponent off the court wide to Position A (wide to the Deuce Ct). I sometimes do get it further around, but was simply trying to hit through the backhands in the video.
3: I Am Too Stiff
Yeah, agreed. It’s probably caused by shanking so many around the edge of the racket. As you can see in the video, I am using the Head Speed, which is a dream racket to hit backhands with. I need to loosen up with all my body and let the racket do the work.
4: More Coil
Comments such as rotating my upper body more so that my opponent can see more of my back resonate with me. I don’t feel like I really rotate into the point of contact with everything that I have got. Probably because I am too stiff. I will definitely try and rotate my shoulders around more in the backswing.
5: Right Hand Tucked
I definitely see it on the video but I did not feel it was a problem when I was hitting the ball. Yes, it definitely needs to be more away from my body out the back. Certainly, that will help with balance, leverage, and power.
6: Extend The Follow Through
This is not that easy for me to naturally do. I tend to feel more comfortable staying more sideways, but you definitely see the best players with one-handed backhands extend the follow through a lot further around than I do. Relaxing in the follow through should help me with that.
7: A Steeper Swing Path
Yes, I am actually very aware of this. I tend to come too much straight at the ball, which feels late and awkward when not timed well. I can certainly see the benefit of getting under the ball more and really ripping up the back of it.
8: Late Contact
I fight this one a lot. It’s probably a domino effect of being too tight and not preparing correctly but I feel I hit my fair share, and then some, of late backhands. Got to clean this up by preparing earlier and locking into a better position.
9: Use My Legs More
The coaching advice below says to stay lower and sit down more, or wider. I definitely feel that my legs don’t generate enough, or are not fully connected to the kinetic chain of energy. I have to be more aware of driving with them first.
10: Eyes Staying At Contact
This has always been a tough one for me. I think keeping my head and eyes still at contact longer will definitely help. I can feel that I probably look for the result too early, much like a golf swing.
Thanks to everyone that contributed to to this fun project. I am going to go and work on my backhand and come back in a couple of weeks with a new video for us to look at.
Stan Wawrinka’s Backhand
A lot of people mention Wawrinka’s backhand as a blueprint. Here it is.
We will never get tired of it
— We Are Tennis (@WeAreTennis) August 9, 2020
111 RESPONSES FOR CRAIG’S BACKHAND
Hey Craig. I love your one-handed backhand! I would like to see you use your legs a lot more which would allow you to relax your arm a bit more through the swing. From a split step, Instead of turning your hips to the side, it could be more of a leg load where you twist back and down to load your kinetic chain. You still do your unit turn at shoulders but its not a full body 90 deg turn…
When you turn your hips (and rest of body) to the side you eliminate the ability to generate power from your legs. There is no hip/shoulder separation. Much better for your body and your game. Then right before ball strike you uncoil transferring through your core giving power to your arm. Just my 2 cents.
Hi coach Craig! Your backhand is excellent, as long as you don’t find yourself an opponent too tough, it’s your footwork that needs work. You want to work on your backhand in a situation where balls are coming at different speeds, lengths, and rotations. That will brush up on your footwork, timing, and spin (which is my guess most of the other coaches will say you need to work on – spin that is).
If it ain’t broke don’t fix it. Looked great. Solid contact. Great directional control.
- looks like grip is more continental than eastern – don’t really see a grip change
- late on stroke – faster footwork
- the grip looks a little tight
- a little more torso turn
Wish I had your backhand although you do play with the wrong hand 😁. I’m the furthest thing from an expert but I felt like many of your shots, while very, very good, were pretty flat, i.e., didn’t have a ton of topspin on them. Maybe that was on purpose but that’s just what I saw. Plenty of pace and depth and good placement 90+% of the time, but I didn’t see the ball diving down like I’ve seen with other pros’ backhands due to the ridiculous amount of topspin they generate.
- Your shoulder turn. Your opponent should be able to see your back. A little more turn required.
- Your right hand. You should try and force this backwards towards the fence to limit your shoulders opening up through contact. It looks like your racket comes across the ball.
- Your racket doesn’t release through contact. Try and finish with the butt cap facing up.
First, your backhand looks good and you are hammering the ball. Here is something you might want to work on. Extend your right arm and hand a little behind you as you swing. This could help your racquet face travel along your target line a little bit longer by delaying the point at which your chest opens up and faces the net. This might gain you a bit more consistency and accuracy, especially when going down the line. But as I said above, you are already hammering the ball and they are landing in the court. Cheers and thanks so much for your excellent content.
I would say you need to move your grip over a hair more to improve topspin. Take racket back a little further to improve power. Possibly a hair more of a trigger finger to improve stability. And maybe a touch more R arm counterbalance and a touch more leg loading and drive. Highest priority would be the grip adjustment. But it’s more than a serviceable backhand as it stands.
Something that I have done to get more force on my backhand:
- Ready position – I start with it more in front and higher – this enables me to get my racket back faster and ready. I used to carry the racket too low in my ready position.
- Your back elbow is too close to your side on the take-back – very similar to my problem. I have moved my back elbow up away from my body – which enables me to keep the racket away from my body – so I have more room to move my racket through the ball to get the topspin. This also put my racket up – similar to Stan Wawrinka – so I get the leverage when I release my hips
- The other thing that you could work on is getting the right foot behind the ball so when you step in – you have much more force going forwarded into the ball
- One other thing – your follow-through is really short – you need to extend and stretch out when hitting
I don’t know if that will help – it helped me with my backhand. I really enjoy your stuff. Many someday I will be able to meet you in person.
- I would recommend a bit more of a grip change- think semi-western for backhand. This isn’t absolutely necessary. However, trying this and even going back to your current grip will make a huge difference. By trying I mean more than 15 min- think 1-2 weeks.
- You are not dropping racket enough below the ball. See Stan Wawrinka, Thiem, or any pro with high topspin backhand.
- Extend your right arm back as you follow through. Streeeetch those pec muscles. See Wawrinka, Federer, Dimitrov backhands.
- keep hitting arm relaxed
- load more on the back foot
- Have you maximum hitting energy slightly after contact rather than on contact
Ok. Your backhand is efficient. But I would like you to show me how you hit high, low, and fast balls.
Take two weeks off then quit…
First you need to get a hitting coach in with you, the ball machine is nice to grove but with your level of backhand, I feel that your need more footwork pressure with a hitting coach at the volley’s or groundstrokes.
From watching the video I feel that you need to step out more off your right foot when you are hitting cross court. You square up nicely when hitting down the line. On each shot, you tend to stand up so remember bend your knees $5 dollars please and get more load and explode into your backhand and I am sure you will take you backhand to another level.
- How do you feel your grip tension level is on your backhand?
- What do you think about your front left knee is doing on every swing?
- Do you feel comfortable locking your knee like that on every shot?
- Do you feel stable and balanced at the end of your swing when using your front leg/foot like that and can you make any adjustments with a stiff front leg?
- Is there anything you feel you could do differently with how you use your front foot/leg when you swing?
- Do you feel like you are coiling your shoulders back around and early enough to allow you to release your swing at or just after the bounce?
- Are you swinging the racquet to your target on your backhand? You do look like the ball goes to exactly where you are swinging to, problem as far as I can see, is that your swing isn’t to the targets you look like you want to hit, especially on that cross court backhand.
- Do you have any injuries or stiff muscles/joints that are not allowing you to move as freely on your backhand?
- Your right hand could come back more instead of staying mostly down by your side.
- You stay pretty upright as you hit the shot.
- You could step into the shot more, taking it a bit earlier and bending that left knee more for more power.
- Your right foot could swing around so that you could extend more, and be more balanced at the end of the shot so that you can push off to return to the center and be ready for the next shot.
Nice one Craig – same here, lucky to grow up playing on grass at Kooyong and never had a topspin backhand till I got back into the spot 2-3 years ago. Now it’s my favorite shot @ 40 years old!
Things on yours:
- overall looks good, nice shape, good ability to direct
- the right hand could assist to take-back a bit further with additional rotation
- follow through with right arm extension
- depending on how they are feeling, some more knee bend for a stronger connection point??
maybe rotate your grip a bit more & extend the right arm back as you contact?
Not a bad backhand actually. Looking at the ball’s flight, you get a decent amount of top and good pace. There are three things which I think would improve what you are currently doing:
- Your non-dominant arm should be shooting directly behind you on the forward swing. This will add more balance than you currently exhibit as well as adding a few mph to the ball.
- Your grip is probably a bit too tight because, at the conclusion of the finish, the butt end of the racquet is not facing all the way toward the ball machine, and sometimes it is just the tip of the racquet head that points that way.
- This indicates a less than an optimal amount of internal shoulder rotation, with less of the windshield wiper motion and, consequently, less top on the ball.
- You could increase your unit turn so that more of your back faces the ball machine. Along with this, sinking down more as you step toward the ball with your forward leg will add a bit more shape to your swing.
- you want to lean a bit more into it by dropping a bit more your left shoulder.
- you want to step in more leading with the heel of your left for better weight transfer.
- don’t start with a backhand grip but start with a forehand grip and change it every shot
- turn your shoulders at least 45degrees from the baseline, imagine facing the back corner of the fence
- your right arm should be opposing your left arm even more, imagine touching your shoulder blades together
- your legs are too stiff, even when hitting waist high balls, sit down more, use your quads
- your racket arm is pretty straight but a little straighter without being locked would be better, this will go hand in hand with changing your grip ever so slightly more
- lastly but most important keep your head turned longer don’t try to watch your ball cross the net with your direct vision but rather your indirect vision.
- Overall, great form and unit turn. I would just be a little bit more active before the shot so your adjustment steps put you in the perfect position each time.
- Directional control was sometimes lacking so extending a little longer through the contact point and making sure that you meet the ball out in front rather than waiting for it to come to you.
- Try to open up your wingspan a little bit more so your non-dominant hand comes back to help with the balance and acceleration.
Got to see how you hit deep balls and short ones
Get some person to feed forehands and backhands
Firstly, a big thank you for all your great strategy emails during lock down.
Re your invitation to comment on your backhand. Well, firstly, I too have a one-handed backhand which fell apart once my wife pointed out that I stick my tongue out when I hit it. Still working on repairing it. 😄
So, thoughts on your backhand.
Ok, here goes. In my opinion, you hit a solid, deep backhand with good shoulder turn and preparation plus swinging from the shoulder. All deep shots beyond the service line. What’s not to like?
One suggestion for improvement would be to try hitting some shots higher over the net resulting in a higher bounce from any topspin generated. That might require a small inward movement in the grip and a longer relaxed follow through.
I also noticed that your footwork is slightly flat in between shots which could be worked on.
Hope that helps.
- What do YOU think is wrong with your backhand? Too slow, not enough spin, depth, inconsistent or error-prone in 1 or more ways? Something else?
- If Craig O’Shannessy was to run his analytics over your tennis matches, what would the results be particularly with regards to the backhand be? Maybe your backhand is not as bad as you think?
Lefties always look better, I am not sure why they look smoother.
I think this is an awesome idea for you to tap into your followers and get the power of the group to help you. I like your backhand and don’t have any technical tips. But I do have a couple of nontechnical suggestions:
- Include some slow-motion footage as well as regular speed. This will allow folks to really see the details and also to see small changes you’ve implemented a few weeks from now.
- Think about offering this process to your readership. You could allow folks to upload similar clips and invite readers to comment. You might even create a library of submitted videos and include some ideas on how to effectively sift through suggestions and implement the best tips for improvement. Readers could look through the library and pick videos they wish to comment on. Essentially creating a group lesson for whoever submits a video. You would be creating a community that is helping each other improve on stroke technique. I’ve not seen anything like that. And given your reputation as one of the top tennis data analysts in the world, you would likely get a huge response.
I think your backhand is great & wish mine was that good..;)
On the positive side you appear to hit with good power, direction and control, though sometimes perhaps slightly late in contact.
The things that struck me were, firstly, that almost all your power was coming from your arms and shoulders with little or nothing from your back leg or the torsal rotation, secondly, your right arm was pretty inert and, lastly, that your shoulder turn was insufficient.
Granted it’s not as straightforward rotating your torso and loading down into your back leg on a b/h as on a f/h or serve, and sometimes it’s just not appropriate on account of one’s necessary position relative to the incoming ball. Nevertheless, it’s something that will give more power and speed of delivery and, hence, if that’s what you want, more rotation of the ball for topspin. As for your shoulders, you’re turning mostly around 90 degrees from facing the net round to left shoulder towards the net (essentially the same as your hips) whereas if you were able to turn that thoracic region 130, 140 degrees, or even more (at least part of your back facing the net), you could develop huge momentum as you uncoil; that is, the energy driving up and out from your loaded back leg will link in to and accelerate your shoulder unwinding turn and duly flow into your arm, hand, racquet and therefore ball. This is a critical distinction between your arm muscling the ball and your arm being effectively a relatively inert link in the unwinding kinetic chain and through that the means of delivering this energy to the ball. This links in to the, to my mind, rather wishy-washy right arm motion – if you develop good rotational momentum as you unwind and make contact then your non-dominant arm will straighten out and act as a counter to the rotational energy you’ve developed, helping you to decelerate naturally.
Lastly, and this is part of the same motion, there seems sometimes, though by no means always, a brief “halt” on the rotation just as you make contact with the ball; it’s as if you’re dividing your swing into two parts, the first ending as the ball is hit and then the energy picking up the motion and having your arm continue as it dissipates – what it should be, of course, is a single continuous motion with the ball not a specific target but incidentally in the way of your swing path. The swing done correctly, your arm has no choice but to travel in a path you’ve earlier determined (depending on the instinctive interpretation of the ball’s trajectory and speed and what you want to do with it), impart energy to the ball as it encounters it and continue naturally to complete the swing path in the follow through. I’d suggest also that yours ends a little prematurely and with a suggestion of deliberate forcing of the ending (I may be wrong on that interpretation).
Yes, I know, everyone cites Federer as a great act to follow but in this instance looking at his backhand in slow motion may help to clarify some of what I’ve been suggesting. This link, for instance, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MTP99IHemNA is one example – look at his motion at, say, 03:15 on.
There’s a further point I’ve just noticed, which is that on making contact you then turn your head to watch the flight of the ball. Contrast that with Federer – immediately following contact he typically remains for an appreciable moment of time with his head “watching” the contact point until he naturally flows round into the deceleration phase. This gives more stability to the whole process and reinforces the focus on correct contact.
I hope that’s of some help anyway – feel free to disagree with me, of course.
Earlier this week I learned of the 2015 Wimbledon second-round contest between Rafa Nadal and Dustin Brown and watched the entire thing (including, of course, the various views of you and your colleagues – the two who I believe coach Brown longer term – watching in growing fascination and excitement as the match progressed). It was wonderfully entertaining and, in fact, very informative as well. I’m very glad I learned of it and was able to watch it.
I ask because the backhands were pretty flat, but in your intro, you mention coming over the backhand, which perhaps you meant only in contrast to slice. Because all of those looked like drive backhands, no topspin. If you mean to drive everything, you’ve pretty much got that nailed but could get more pop with a bigger shoulder turn.
If you’re looking for topspin, more shoulder turn, lower slot position, and definitely more vertical swing path and higher finish.
Looser arm for both, it looks pretty tight. You’re pretty dang accurate, though, I’d pay money to crush those cones like you.
A couple thoughts on the backhand
Love the turn, take back and balance Craig! Seems like you have good control and feel with your ability to hit the corners.
my 2 cents worth, hope this makes sense
I can see you making the effort to shift your weight into the shot but sometimes it seems like you’re too late. Then you end up a little close and your swing comes across with a shorter follow through. If you throw a medicine ball, you shift the weight and use the leverage of your body to launch the ball. For the best power you wouldn’t finish with your body leaning forward over the front foot. Once you shift forward then you pull back a little against the body( uncoil ). Some times you’re still moving forward onto your front foot, then you get jammed up and have to fight the ball off. If you get set shift a little sooner then you’d be starting to uncoil and pulling back a little against the body. Should be less effort and you could have better spacing too. Now this is with the naked eye and a limited view.
Anyhow love the court, wish I could hit a couple with you. Keep up the great work Craig!
- You are probably using a continental or eastern backhand grip. This is evident from the finish and spin on the ball (less topspin).
- A semi-western backhand grip (or close to that) will give you more spin (bounce) and perhaps you could get more pace too because the spin will provide more control.
- You could perhaps have a bigger unit turn, lengthen the stroke more and finish with more flair (two hands making an angle of >180 degrees).
- Can’t tell how your footwork will be if you have to cover some distance before using your backhand. Your video shows you hitting almost static backhands.
- Try the open stance one-hand backhand which is sometimes useful for maintaining court position or for passing shots when you have less time.
- Check how you would hit the high bouncing crosscourt ball with your backhand (over shoulder height). Would you hit the ball off the bounce or shuffle back?
Your preparation is too slow. You should have the take back before the ball bounces. Your off arm needs to extend not be tucked.
You are a beast! Love your bh.
seems like you could close your stance slightly. seems like you could push your palm into the ground slightly. seems like you could “air the armpits” 20% more. I like your DL better than your CC BH. I love the tennis courts that you grew up on – PURE JOY.
Thanks for everything that you do for the game of tennis.
I had our club members BUZZING about your 93% stat on winning the first point.
I’m afraid I am a bit over the hill to follow up on your video. But I have copied and sent it to my two kids as something for them to consider.
It reminds me of what a tennis pro said to me many years ago. I was playing in a tournament at the Thousand Oaks Club at Santa Barbara, and he said to me something I have always remembered. He said, “Give me a ball machine and six months, and I would have a double-handed backhand”. Unfortunately, double-handed backhands did not exist in my day – maybe in the early 1930s, but not in my day.
It raises a question – why is it that arguably the best tennis player of all time, Roger Federer, has a single-handed backhand?
Looks nice and compact to me but could you get more power with a more fully extended follow through?
It was fun to do this. I follow your work and enjoy it. Congratulations also to your large amount of work and the many aspects you are looking at! (…would be so much fun to discuss the interpretations of your stats.)
From a quick review on Wednesday night, here we go: You are hitting 24 backhands, 19 crosscourt 5 longline and of those you hit the cones 3 times twice longline once crosscourt.
You are not physically stressed or challenged by the drill, so that is not the cause of the strong variation of the placement. You are strong and on the good ones the chains, feet to racket head have no weak links. You are hitting a more less typical fast court backhand, if possible on the rise and no extreme grip (to ensure clay court topspin). I do not think the technique is flawed in any way, of course you could try a few things how they felt, but overall not a critical point.
The main point in my view is that you hit some very good balls, right where you wanted them to land. One can see that the plan and the execution are congruent and in that regard perfect.
So what about the rest.
You are hitting some to late, some not in the sweet spot, one rotating to hard and the ball lands wide. This would be very different if it had been Dominic or Rafa. Their eye would have been glued to the ball, they would have been puppets on the string of the ball trajectory. In short the focus was not consistently there.
So one could stop here. But rather the work begins here: Was it the camera man and the film you were about to make that caused the distraction. Maybe. The script, that took your attention. The easy balls, that seemingly do not require full attention did not help in this respect. (Maybe you even did it on purpose ,-)) – Probably yes focus was the problem and reason for the inconsistency. What does the focus bring, it brings attention to the essential watching the ball throughout including the hitting zone to stabilize the motor execution.
So you don’t want analysis but advise:.
So for a next session:
Perfect would have been: 1. a narrow focus, eyes and visual skills/system that had been warmed up appropriately including the vestibular system. 2. What would have helped on top is movement awareness. That could have helped and initiated a learning process throughout the 25 shots. Actual improvement of the timing and smoothness of the strokes. Better movement to generate the forces needed at impact.
ad 1. I am not going into visual system warm up now.
ad 2. First feel your strokes, close your eyes or take an inner focus and hit a few dry backhands extra slow. First watch feel your feet, then the same about the trunk coiling and uncoiling, the next ist knee extension and hip rotation, than shoulder blade and forearm coiling and uncoiling and at the very end feel the weight and the acceleration of the racket head and the supination at the end giving your racket head the speed and power and right trajectory. Go through those parts of the and try to link them and redo whereever you do not get a clear image/feel of what is happening.
So you have now the right introspective feel for how it should be, might be when you hit the ball. (This can be repeated at any point)
Start the ball machine and focus on best possible attention and visual work (follow the ball trajectory, keep your head still). I am sure this will make hitting easier, than you can progress to include the ad 2. stroke awareness elements and check with the results generated.
If it works stress can be increased, to see where the chain brakes…
On the take back, raise right elbow, taking the racket in a longer swing path. Then as left arm moves forward the right arm extends back, “pinching” the shoulder blades together. Both will assist in more racket head speed.
Would be curious of the effects if Craig looked for a better front foot plant. Would help stabilize everything else happening afterward. For me the bigger my front foot step is (and the better my heel strike), the harder I can rip the ball. Like a MLB hitter.
Needs better coin, transfer the weight into the front leg, release, and let the shoulders open up post contact.
More pelvic rotation and follow through into court more with legs. Upper body doing all the work. Need a bit more racket head speed during shot (will improve if lower extremities more active) and you need more shape. I saw them drifting out. Swing a bit too linear. Your welcome.
Deeper shoulder turn, wider base. Don’t force the backswing, it will go back with the unit turn. Reconfirm and solidify your contact point. Let it rip!
Kind “robotized”… legs must be more relaxed, and let the swing flow… let your body do the work for you…
That is exactly my problem since when I was a school child. Good back-spin but poor top-spin on the back-hand. But I won’t give up! I guess I’ll watch your video many times as I’m also left-handed like you, I think this could help me a lot.
Bend your knees a little more and hit the ball from below to generate more topspin. Also, try to do more follow through once you hit the ball. This will allow you to have more consistency.
Overall looks good. I would suggest swinging a little more inside out. Use the right net post as a guide.
Get more side-on Craig!
Hey Craig. Change the playing field a bit. The BH is good. However add more variation (short, deep, height etc) from the BM on the BH side. Throw in a slice or two. Enjoy…and relax..Cheers
Stay down longer before “up”; block a bit more with right arm unless going X; is your left knee hurt?? stays straight too long; how about more energy into recovering and up that ball machine tempo. Is this your non-dominant hand? #noexcuse
Already pretty good but elbow a bit higher and also a bit more space between the upper arm and trunk. Build the momentum of the foreword swing with more trunk rotation prior to pulling the trigger with the arm.
Overall, you’ve got a solid foundation here. The real question is how to hit it bigger now. To do that, you would need more separation between your hips and your shoulders (to create a greater whip like effect). Message me if you have questions…well done sir!
Hit a bit more off the back foot. Get it down behind the ball before starting your forward swing.
Looks great. Only suggestion is to come over the ball at 1 or 2 o’clock (for a lefty) on the follow thru
May I suggest lowering the interval between balls released by the machine to get you moving. Also slightly more turn and load on the back leg- pull through with torso and let the racquet go. That feed is also begging for you to run around and hit a forehand tbh
Coming from a lefty with a one-hander as well, yours looks a bit rigid, loosen up! I would see if you can close the stance more and uncoil the upper body more as well.
Looks a good foundation. You tend to pull across which will make compressing the ball in the strings difficult. Watch how long pros stay through the ball and compare. You will get there. Great goal
You’re good to go as long as every shot to your BH is hit at that trajectory, height, and spin.
Looks a good foundation. You tend to pull across which will make compressing the ball in the strings difficult. Watch how long pros stay through the ball and compare. You will get there. Great goal.
Need to extend you’re follow through more – let it go!
You’re too open on about 90% of them, you need to organize and set your right foot better.
Bend and load. …that sounded dirty, sorry.
Use your legs more with a deep knee bend. Power starts from the ground up. You want to transfer power from those big muscles, a strong core, big take back and follow through on the swing and a wrist snap right when the racquet strikes the ball.
I am working in exactly the same thing. back swing higher, easier power, more flowing (Gasquet style) swing. yours looks a bit stiff.
You gotta rip all the way through it baby and keep that head nice and still. Practice makes perfect.
I find that a bit more intensity in these drills helps me focus better. With so much time between balls, there’s time to overthink the shot.
Awesome. Just showing up is a big chunk of it. Nice court too.
I think you could do with more topspin. Get under the ball more and perhaps turn the racket more anti-clockwise.
Bend your knees.
Start by learning a split-step, Craig.
Yeah. It’s pretty shi**y. Sorry.
Move your feet!
Looks good. I think you could probably extend through the ball a bit more though with your left arm and then also push back with your right arm. This should also help with body rotation.
Yes, more core engagement will help give more power and spin. Possibly stay a little lighter and lower in the legs, bending those knees to lean into the shot more.
- More coil on the unit turn
- Left elbow up to regulate length of backswing
- Your racket face doesn’t close on the drop, which makes it tougher to generate spin
- Staying more sideways through the hit will help with directional control.
Bend your knees more and step into the ball a tad later that way you’ll generate the power without needing to increase your swing speed. lovely consistency though
I’d say get your right elbow higher and hold your arms out further from you body as as you were holding a large beach ball between your arms – but I’m no coach.
Yeah not bad. Maybe extend more on the follow through?
Hi Craig. Looks a bit stiff. Maybe turn your grip a bit more to close face prior to impact. And try this drill to get more rotation. That will create spin and power.
Looks good! Keep your weight back On your right leg longer. Take the racquet back so your butt cap is facing the side( pointing the same direction as your bell button), not the net. Good luck!
Relaxing the upper body and having a good weight transfer sort of like at 1.08 it will help with power.More racket head acceleration through the shot as well when your comfort with the shot improves!
Look at what the racquet head is doing just before to just after contact . Your more ” correct ” shots are x court due to your racquet moving across and low. Get your left shoulder to be going out to meet the ball on contact, rather than starting or moving away …
As much as you’ve done for me I’d be glad to offer a suggestion. In my humble opinion I would like to see a bigger shoulder turn at the completion of the backswing. It seems your shoulders get to about perpendicular to the net and all the people we look up to go a good bit farther in this position. I think you’re missing out on some easy power and flow to what’s already a good backhand.
Hope that helps and be blessed!
Obviously you need to get it down and back sooner.
Of course we’re talking very subtle changes. In addition to the shoulder turn already mentioned, I noticed two things, if your intention is to produce more topspin. 1) Cock the wrist and racquet downward more as you step into the shot, then follow through high, and 2) utilize your knee bend more to lift your torso and come through the contact point.
give you guaranteed net clearance and make a more explosive, aggressive backhand. If it goes too high, just drive the ball deeper with more top on it. The roll over looks pretty nice. Take back nice circular motion to build momentum.
Line up your hand better for a smoother grip. Play around with it until you feel the ideal combination of fluidity, strength and control.
I don’t see anything wrong on your backhand so far.
But the thing is… You are hitting an easy ball and not under pressure. One good way to measure your stroke is hitting a ball under pressure, like rallies and matchplays.
From 10-13yrs old, i was a double fisted backhander… Until my dad changed it to one hand when i was 14 because of roger federer. So i was able to master one hand in the early age, the problem was, in matchplays, thats the time my stroke is getting messed up and to the point that im just going for a slice. And that was my struggle for years… Until I became a coach and decided to fix it.
One comment though… Im seeing pre-mature rotation of your upper body during the contact point, (specially on crosscourts) but thats all so far… Hopefully you can upload a rally session of your BH.
one more thing, try to add more wrist snap from Ulnar Deviation (when you’re about to hit the ball from the backswing) to Radial Deviation on the followthrough. To add more spin
Good set up, good turn. I coach my team members with two swing cues. A backhand (for a righty) is like a left handed baseball swing, a little bit more launch angle than from the right side (forehand).
My other swing cue (which I used myself in tournament and league play), is all about attitude. A great backhand, imho, is “dismissive.” Look at Federer or Laver or my team’s late 70s hero Zugarelli. The backhand winner is a “take your weak stuff back to the house” kind of shot.
Ending a point with a topspin backhand, cross court or down the line, is a “take that!” shot. Slice backhands for chip n chase approaches to net are tactical. The backhand rip is like Strategic Air Command.
(But if my varsity had your backhand, as demonstrated, I would be a much more successful coach!) 🙂
Bring your back foot up behind front a little more upright … Like thiem pic.twitter.com/XKnS4TytjP
— angus c (@anguscooney) July 29, 2020
simply awful. you should refrain from posting GOAT debate stuff with that form
Stick to stats
Kudos to you, Craig for asking for feedback.
it’s good you need to put some style when You finish the shot.
A bit more flair on that follow through 🙂
You need to go to the net more.
hope can be a good thing maybe just switch to a Big Bubba and make every forehand a put away ?
I looked at your video and you definitely have a solid backhand. It’s definitely a case of fine-tuning a few things since the fundamentals are almost all there with a few “tweaks” that could help you better drive your shot. I am attaching pictures with a comparison of your body orientation against Dennis Shapopolov’s at different points during the backhand with some commentary.
Take back too close to the body. No elbow separation. You had nice preparation time with having racquet back early in these videos (may have been helped by knowing balls were all coming to backhand though.)
Weak grip – need to rotate it more. Need more hip and shoulder turn with back/hip closer to parallel than perpendicular to the baseline. Start the knee bend to launch Kinetic Chain.
Nice contact point. Occasionally in the video you were a little late on contact. You look a little stiff on the swing and need to relax your body and grip as you swing. Looks like Dennis has his weight going into the shot and yours is going more laterally at contact.
Hips haven’t rotated and racket follow-through is short. On the swing start with knees, then hips/shoulders and which will allow racquet to move quickly through the strike zone with high follow through. Look at difference in end of swing and balance.