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Lesson Spotlight: Backhand

The tennis backhand technique is one that youth players often shy away from practicing. That’s why our TGA programs focus on developing this shot just as much as the others to make sure students are not only learning it, but also the correct way to execute it.

2 Handed Backhand Skill Progression

We start all of our students with a two-handed backhand, as it helps make sure the player’s positioning is correct. Coaches begin instruction by slowly demonstrating the different parts of the stroke: ready position, turn, impact, and follow through. After being introduced to the stroke, students get a chance to practice their technique in different station-based activities.

One of the many games our coaches utilize to get kids to use their backhand is Simon Says. Coaches will verbally call out different tennis shots, like backhand and forehand, and participants will have to quickly demonstrate the correct shot. This game helps form muscle memory with techniques, so instinct is more likely to kick in when tennis players have to use different shots during a match.

Coaches also use X’s and O’s on the ground to help remind students of where their feet should be for each shot. Keeping footwork in mind while practicing in class or at home is one of the keys to a solid backhand.

Wawrinka BackhandWhen looking at real world examples of the backhand stroke, students may notice that some players, like the Swiss Stan Wawrinka (pictured to the right) and Roger Federer, use a very different looking backhand shot. Their one-handed backhand is just as effective as the standard two-handed backhand shot we cover in class.

TGA Summer Camps are a great way for students to continue to improve their backhand shots while having tons of fun. To learn more about these programs and to find one near you, click here.