The TennisXpert - Complete Tennis training information. Discover complete information on strokes, volleys, serving, strategies, and double play.

Using Your Wrist on the Backhand


Is the wrist used on the backhand?  Of course it is.  It's our dirty little secret. Take a breath, calm down, and put your eyes back in their sockets.  And if you're a tennis literalist, don't read any further. Rod Laver talked about using his wrist on his backhand, and the phrase "turn of the wrist" is found in old tennis books.  You lock the wrist at contact, yes, it stays that way.  And you don't "wrist it" by any means, you don't break the wrist from 9 o'clock to 3 o'clock.  But by rotating the wrist prior to contact as if you were tightening a screw you alter the angle of the racket face for contact. 

The wrist is the point of least resistance on all strokes, and on backhands it's especially weak because the hand breaks back, or inwards, against itself unlike forehands.  To prevent this you could adopt an extreme eastern backhand, which is like holding your racket with a forehand grip and then using the same side of the racket facet to hit a backhand. Sounds like a problem solver, but changing your grip like this creates problems, too.  The problem is it becomes harder to get the head of the racket around to make contact ahead of the hand.  The ball's at an angle, remember, and to hit it head on the racket head should be ahead of the hand, when viewed from the side.  Using an extreme grip leads to hitting the ball with inside out spin.  It takes extraordinary hand strength, and athleticism to make this work.

An easier way to get the racket head around first is to avoid the extreme backhand grip.  The ball may pop up on you but if it goes straight that's a good sign you're getting the racket head around well.  To avoid the pop up, adjust the angle of the face at which the ball hits the racket.  You can change the grip slightly, though not extremely, and/or rotate the wrist and forearm clockwise during the forward swing. In order to bring the racket face around while the arm both unfolds laterally around itself and extends, or expands, laterally around the body, the wrist has to help out.  Sometimes the wrist starts moving the head of the racket first (and then stops) before any part of the arm begins to unfold.  Sometimes the wrist dramatically brings the racket face into the ball right before contact, often done when the player has been indoctrinated in straightening the arm first for the forward swing.


Thoughts on Returning a Fast Serve

The return of serve is the key to being succesful in any tennis match....especially if you are facing a big server. Anticipation, positioning and hand speed are keys to surviving and winning points on their serve.


The Service Return and It's Importance

The most important shot in tennis after the serve is the service return. The service return can be summarized as either a block or swing but is a most difficult shot to master, especially if you are facing a big server.


Hitting your Groundstrokes with Topspin

The groundstrokes are the basic rallying strokes in tennis. Here are a couple of thoughts on hitting with topspin.

Tennis drills & Tips

  Tennis Drill & Tip Search   Tennis Tips
  Tennis Groundstrokes
  Tennis Volley
  Tennis Serving
  Tennis Strategy
  Tennis Doubles
  Other Tennis Tips


  Soccer Drills
  Workout Exercises
  Football Drills
  Basketball Drills
  Baseball Drills
  What Can I Compost?

Tennis Tips and Tricks assumes no responsibility related to or associated with any injury caused by use of the Tennis Tips or Tennis Drills on this site. © 2005 - 2020 - Website Design by XpertFx
6 Visitors Currently Online