Updated: Sep 3
You’ve probably been searching around the web for quite some time now, trying to learn as much as you can about how to hit a tennis backhand. Or maybe you’ve even tried to get more consistency from YouTube, but it didn’t turn out as well as you hoped. Indeed, if you’re like a lot of beginner Tennis Players, then you probably ended up hitting more balls into the net.
Don’t despair. You, too, can start missing fewer backhands, and all you have to do is tweak your tennis strategy a bit. Generally, you must avoid making the following five common Tennis Backhand mistakes. Read on…
Tennis Backhand Mistake #1: Hit Like A Pro
Just guessing, but I’m betting that close to half of beginning Tennis Players Make this mistake. You watch the top players and then try to copy their fantastic technique. Worse yet, some blogs and videos on the web teach people to try and replicate the professional Tennis Backhand!
If you see someone advocating to hit like the current top players, run. That’s because encouraging you to play like a professional player is unhealthy for your Tennis Game.
Professional Tennis Players are unbelievable athletes who train for hours per week and have close to ten to fifth-teen (or more) years of experience.
You have NONE of those things, Yet.
I want to drive like Lewis Hamilton, but something tells me I can't without losing control of my car. The same goes for a Tennis Backhand. You haven't yet got the highly tuned F1 vehicle to match the speed and aggression you may want.
Focus on simple technique that compliments your game style and your current physical, mental and tennis skill set.
Leave the professional backhand to the professionals.
Tennis Backhand Mistake #2: You Don't Hit Many Backhands
This is another common mistake because players don't hit many backhands. Next time you watch a warm-up at the club, count how many forehands the players hit and then how many backhands. It's, on average, a 9:1 ratio. However, if you want to get more consistency with your backhand, then you need to make sure you don’t just hit forehands. Instead, focus on alternative shots. Hit a forehand followed by a backhand instead.
Tennis Backhand Mistake #3: Over Analysing
Don’t feel bad if you make this mistake. That’s because even some of the most prominent players in the Tennis world do this.
Just look at ME. I regularly admit to overthinking my Technique when things are going wrong.
Bang, a ball goes long. I think about my grip, Smash, and a ball in the net, and my focus go to my feet.
All I am doing in this scenario is increasing my frustration, stress and anxiety. I am thinking too hard about how I am hitting the ball. The issue is, my conscious mind is engaged here, and he's an overthinker. I haven't got time when I play to over analyse everything.
In other words, this is a case of “do as I say and not as I do.”
So instead of thinking about 'HOW' you're hitting the ball, think about 'WHAT' you're trying to do with it, push your opponent back, for example.
Focus on height, want to move your opponent more, and focus on making contact out in front of your shoes.
Try and focus on something you can SEE or FEEL. This will help you think a little clearer and stop trying too hard to hit the perfect shot, and it doesn't matter how it looks, as long as it's practical.
Even better, don't think at all. Trust your subconscious mind to play - I will explore this more next week in a Blog. Subscribe to the site for free to be alerted.
Your mental health will thank you for it.
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Tennis Backhand Mistake #4: Changing All The Time
This one is a little tricky, simply because you could be ideally on track and doing all the right things with your double-handed backhand, but suddenly you realise it's stopped working, so you revert to the single-handed backhand.
That works for a while, but then boom! Your single-handed backhand breaks down, so you go back to two hands. If it happens to you, don’t worry – you can get back on track with your Tennis Backhand.
All you have to do is not panic, and it's your weaker side of the body. You are going to make more mistakes on this side. Your opponent will also highlight this side to try and pressure you into making mistakes or to hurt you mentally.
Just keep faith in whatever backhand you have chosen to play with, cut out these five common backhand mistakes and hopefully, you will reduce the number of errors you're currently making anyway.
Not sure if to play single or double-handed. Stick around to the end of the blog post where I can offer help.
Tennis Backhand Mistake #5: Too much confidence in your backhand
From what I’ve seen by talking to a whole lot of tennis beginners is that not very many people make this backhand mistake.
I have seen beginners try and hit impressive down-the-line winners, try and hot heavy topspin backhands after being pushed back by a punishing forehand.
When I ask why you chose to play that shot, it's never met with 'oh, I feel terrific today, so thought I would go for a world-class backhand!'.
It usually is. I had no idea what else to do, so I went for glory!
However, they who do find it exceeding frustrating because it never works. I’ve even known people who’ve just wanted to completely give up on playing because after, they can't deal with tough shots to their backhand.
Fortunately, you can avoid it reasonably quickly simply by learning how to defend, use slice, shorten your swing, block, punch, jab or anything you can to get the ball into a safe place.
Players rarely learn playing in defence! Again it's a common issue with poor coaching. At the club level, you're going to spend a lot of time off balance, out of position etc.
You need to learn how to defend probably more urgently than how to hit a winner!
Yes, it’s true – now you too can improve your backhand quite quickly, especially if you avoid these common backhand mistakes. Try it out today to prove it to yourself!
I will be releasing a video this next week, be sure to head over to www.youtube.com/mytenniscoaching and subscribe and hit the bell to be notified when it goes live.