Welcome to Drill of the Week, a series on ACTIVEkids.com that explains individual and team drills for parents and coaches to help kids improve at the sports they love.
This week's drill prepares tennis players for fast-paced matches with the one-handed backhand, an exercise brought to you by CoachUp.com.
Tennis can be a fast moving game. Just ask Stan Wawrinka and Novak Djokovic. Wawrinka beat the No. 1 seed Djokovic to win his first French Open earlier this month. Aspiring tennis players who watched these two play know how high their skill level is. Watching their play on the court can definitely help young athletes learn about proper form and footwork. For example, after hitting any shot, whether at net or the service line, the next step should always be getting on your toes and preparing to split step to go and set up for the next shot.
However, sometimes due to the fast past of the game, you may not have the time to position yourself for the perfect shot, and it is important to be able to adapt. Although a two-handed backhand is more common, on the occasions where even the best players need more reach, the one-handed backhand is the swing to give you that power and control to hit the ball back.
Here are a few important tennis tips to pull off a successful one-handed backhand:
1. When you are positioning yourself, make sure to have a little more space between you and the ball than with a two-handed backhand.
2. The key is to make sure that you are hitting the ball out in front. Having more space will allow for you to come through the ball better, as you should be stepping and pushing off your front foot.
3. It is important to step through the shot to make sure that all your body weight is behind the ball, to drive the ball out and over the net.
Tennis players need to be able to adjust quickly and be ready for any shot. The one-handed backhand is a great tool when you don't have a lot of time. As in any sport, the best way to improve is repetition. Hitting the ball over and again while having a tennis coach offer insight and advice along the way can lead to that perfect shot! Private tennis training allows for more specific focus and improvements to be made to your game.
Tennis tips taken from videos, articles, and coaches are a great way to master a skill or new shot and give yourself more confidence on the court.
For a visual demonstration of the one-handed backhand drill, watch the video below.