Tennis Backhand Technique: Extension For a Heavy Hit (Top Speed Tennis)

Tennis Backhand Technique: Extension For a Heavy Hit (Top Speed Tennis)

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Hi guys, I’m Clay Ballard with Top Speed
Tennis, and I don’t know if you guys have been watching Roger Federer playing some great
tennis lately, but you may have noticed how on his backhand, he’s getting great extension
out in front of his body, and how he’s really getting a lot of snap in those backhands. A lot of speed, but he makes it look very
effortless. We’re going to talk about in this video how to get that great extension,
how to add some snap to your backhands, and start playing with more power and less effort,
it’s very simple to do. So let’s go ahead and get started. All right, so one of the most common mistakes
I see with the backhand, or really with any shot, is getting jammed up. And what I mean by jammed up, we get too close
to the tennis ball. Let’s actually grab one out of the basket here. Let’s imagine this ball is coming, and instead
of getting great extension out away from our body, we get this ball very close to our body,
we get jammed up, and we get the racket very close, and we’re trying to make room to
hit this shot. Now this is going to cause you to lose speed
for two different reasons. Now number one, in order to try to create
some more room, instead of using the momentum of our body to drive through the shot and
to add to the speed we’re getting with our racket and our arm, now we’re falling back
to try to create more room and enable us to hit these shots. We’ve run up too close on the ball, we haven’t
moved our feet quickly enough, and now we’re falling back to try to create some more room. Now our momentum is moving in the opposite
direction than we’re wanting to hit the ball, and it’s losing some speed. So you may remember from the wrecking ball
series we talked about getting the momentum of the body to transfer into the ball, and
you’re going to get those really heavy, hard-hit shots that are going to penetrate
deep into the other side of the court. So that’s very crucial when hitting not
only the backhand but the forehand also. The second piece of this is you’re losing
out on leverage. So as I’m falling back, this ball’s too
close, if you look at my lead arm it’s not extended and I’m losing out on leverage
from this arm. So my elbow is a lever, and if I use this
lever properly I’m going to extend that, and it adds some snap to that forward motion. So now let’s go ahead and talk about how
to fix both of these issues, and I’m going to lead you through a series of drills to
help you incorporate that. OK, to start out with this drill we’re going
to lose the racket, we’re going to lose the ball, and we’re going to start at the
baseline here. What I want you to do, is I want you to take
two steps away from the baseline and put your feet together. Now your lead foot is about five to six feet
away from the baseline. We’re going to start here, and we’re going
to work on transitioning our body weight into the shot so that we’re adding some power
and are getting that heavy hit on the ball. So start with your feet close together, and
now what I want you to do, is I want you to take a step forward with just your foot. Now we’re going to have an angle going away
from the court now, this would be when I’m loading up in the backhand position, and I’m
coiling up to get ready to hit this shot. But I’m just putting my foot forward and
I’m keeping my upper body back. Now from here, I’m going to get that U-type
motion that we talked about in the forehand also, and I’m going to transition that power
into the ball. The first step, five to six feet behind the
baseline, one step forward and I’m going to get a little bit of the U-type motion with
my hips to transition my weight forward, and then I’m going to simulate where I would
be at contact. So I’ll do that again in full speed for
you. I’m loading up, step forward, now my body
weight is moving into the court. So your hips are making that U-type motion,
and they’re really transitioning that weight into the opposing side of the court. That’s going to add a lot of speed and really
get that heavy hit behind the ball, which is crucial in getting a lot of power in your
backhand. Now for the second part of this, we’re going
to go ahead and add the racket. So from here, again, five to six feet behind the baseline. I’m going to take that step forward, this
is when I’m loading up, so I don’t want you to do this as you’re stepping forward
and already be moving forward with the racket. We’re still coiling up to stretch all this
out in our mid-section and build that power, and then as we’re stepping here now as you’re
coming forward, that’s when the racket is going to move forward all the way out here
to contact. Now you’ll see that I’m making contact
a couple of feet in front of my body, or even exaggerating a little bit for this drill,
but we’re making contact well out in front of our body, all the way over this baseline
here. So if you’re looking from the other angle,
if I’m going this way, the same thing here as I’m stepping forward I’m also making
contact out in front of my body this way. So I don’t want to make contact well out
here, I want to have that racket extended away from my body so I have plenty of space. That’s actually going to cut down on my
footwork too, I won’t have to run as close to the ball, and I can extend out and hit
that shot. So once we’ve done that, we’re going to
keep on doing that about 100 to 300 times. Again, to recap, five or six feet behind,
loading up, transferring that energy, and then we’re going to pause in each one of
these positions. I’m going to pause here for two seconds,
I’m going to here for two seconds, and really ingrain what this feels like. Once I’ve done this, now I’m going to
make this into one fluid motion. I’m coming back, all the way out into my
full finish, now my chest is leading toward the other side of the court, and my racket
is all way coming through. I’m going to do that about 100 to 300 times. Now finally I’m going to incorporate the
tennis ball, just by tossing the ball up. So I basically want to toss this ball in front
so that as I make contact it’s going to be over that baseline. It’s a little bit difficult to do, but you’ll
get the right idea. That one was a little too far back, let’s try another one. There we go, now that got my momentum coming
forward, they get me really extended as I’m coming through here, and now I can get that
effortless, easy, easy speed. Do about 100 to 300 of these really nice and
slow. You’re not trying to get a lot of power
into this, you’re trying to ingrain the motion. Once you’re comfortable with that, then
you take it out to a match. When you get really comfortable, then you
can go ahead and get a lot of that snap in there and start ripping those backhands. All right, so I hope you guys really enjoyed
this video. As a bonus for you all, I have a great video on the lag and snap backhand
motion. I’m going to talk about the perfect motions,
break it down into four pieces on how to move the racket so you can add tons of snap coming
through contact and start hitting the best backhands of your life. I’m going to attach a preview of that video,
if you want to watch the entire video, click the link that pops up in the screen or down
below in the description, you’ll get to watch that entire video absolutely free of
charge. So I look forward to seeing you guys much
more in the future. If you enjoyed this video click the like button
below, post your comments if you have any questions, and +1 this video on Google. I’ll see you guys soon. Hi guys, I’m Clay Ballard with Top Speed
Tennis, and how would you all like to absolutely rip your backhands? That’s what we’re going to talk about
in this video. We’re going to talk about how to get the lag and snap wrist action that
we all learned in the forehand series. We’re also going to talk about how to get
triple-hinge, pendulum physics. I know it sounds crazy complicated, but it’s
really simple. We’ve got four simple pieces that are going
to allow you to maximize those levers and get more speed on your backhand. Let’s go ahead and get started. All right, so the first thing we need to understand
is that when we’re doing the lap and snap technique, what we’re really talking about
is creating some levers in our arm. We’re creating a lever in our elbow, so
we extend from this lever we can maximize speed. We’re also creating a lever in the wrist,
so any time you create levers, you’re creating leverage, and as you release this leverage,
you’re creating speed. So as we keep our arm bent, and we go to an
extended arm, or as we have a bent wrist and we go to an extended wrist, we’re creating
speed and that’s where the lagging action and the lagging of the wrist…

9 thoughts on “Tennis Backhand Technique: Extension For a Heavy Hit (Top Speed Tennis)”

  1. Hello Mr. Clay:
    Hitting the one hand backhand with straightened arm and loosed shoulder is an important fundamental. Some pro call this the "slot position". As you have explained in other instructional videos, basically same concepts apply for the forehand. In the backhand you are leading with the back of your elbow which helps keeping the arm straight. In the forehand it feels at the beginning more unnatural, so the wrist and forearm has to be turned to get into the slot position. Could you produce a video comparing and analyzing simultaneously, with both frames side by side, your material for the forehand and backhand? I think it could be a novel material.


  2. Amazing series of videos. This in particular is helping me improving my backhand technique. I believe I have a very natural backhand movement, but sometimes I cannot refrain to let the momentum shift backwards, and still find rather difficult to adjust correct distance from the ball.

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