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I've never had a good offensive backhand - the two-hander was always awkward and ineffective, so I mastered a slice. This is useful for rallies, but worthless as any offensive tactic.

 

I've finally started to develop a topspin one-hander, but I need to work on consistency. I'll hit a few shots with good pace and spin and I'll feel like Federer, then I'll clunk one into the bottom of the net or into the fence.

 

Thing is -- I think I'm doing the same thing! I'm very conscious of my footwork and swing from low to high with topspin.

 

 

Wonder why that happens from time to time...I don't think it's game-ready.

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Make sure your grip isn't shifting between shots. Put your other hand on the throat of your racquet and regripp it for every backhand to ensure this happens.

Stay after the outside / outside top edge of the ball to ensure you have true end over end topspin because it is way more predictable than a diagnol or side spin

Ok here is one of my Secrets for my backhand.

Do not Face the Net but hit the ball Facing the back fence use eastern backhand grip.  the rest should be easy to figure out.

I guess I can't tell when coach V is joking or not anymore.

Face the back fence? He might as well stand on his head too
Im not joking. this is how I teach backhands double & Single. Im not going into the Tricks/secrets of why it is....but the start is completely backwards. & then if you can hit it over that way the rest is easy. Like Brainless easy. I know this sounds Funny but IM Telling the Truth here.... the biggest part of the Single is preparation and the entire torso must be coiled but by standing backwards is a short cut in the learning curve of preparing .

Hey, I agree on you on the loading. You want to show your back to the net when you load the one-handed backhand. Otherwise it won't work like it should. Good tip!

Well, facing the back fence is a good way to line the torso and chest. I can see that working out because facing the back fence forces that to happen. This is probably the hardest part, along with the heel to toe weight shift forward.

Visibility of the ball is another factor. I have students look mostly out of  their right eye and have them angle their heads to 10 o'clock. This makes them do a take back at least to 6 or to 5 o'clock. I feed the ball from a shorter distance then gradually pull back farther and farther.

Some students will naturally turn their heads to get both eyes working for depth perception and get their chin over their right shoulder. Getting that front shoulder stretch is also another thing.

Tim you have figured out some of the other issues with backhands. but standing backwards fixes Time-ing, and balance as well.

CoachV tennis tip: all backhands are hit off of 1 foot. if you are righty then its the right foot. lefty left

I find this strange. The student's have time to adjust their feet including the extra two steps necessary to turn around before your "short feed" gets to them?

Seems like an unnecessary trick because obviously you wont have time to do that in a match. I can serve backwards too (facing the fence) and I think that is a cooler trick

I don't know if you're replying to me, John. But I don't have them make steps. Instead, I have them balance on their right leg and I put the feed right where they need to focus, hitting at ten o' clock.

Yes, standing backwards makes it possible to feel the start of the one hander, where the right shoulder is low and the racquet is high. That's the first timing beat.

Then they get to feel the low to high sweep more completely linked to the shoulder roll. The shoulder roll and heel to toe balance shift to the right leg is the second timing "beat".

The other exercise I have them do is to have them feed balls to themselves as they go heel to toe along the baseline, hitting one handed backhands. They feel themselves striding, shifting weight from left leg to right, hitting 5 or 6 backhands.

My guess is that you do not get your shots more often than you get them in. And when you do, you are probably muscling it in. This was the case with me. Based on my own experience, the important thing to remember is that you cannot hit ALL your backhand shots with topspin (or drive). Only when you are in a right position early enough you can do so, unless your last name is one of the fancy ones like Gasquet, Rafter, Lendl, or Edberg. It helps to realize and decide very quickly what your options are. One trick I use is to hold my racquet with my backhand grip (in my case, backhand eastern) to wait for my opponent's shot rather than with my forehand grip. If my opponent hits more to my forehand, I change this tactics. That may help.
I rarely slice backhands,  I hit all my backhands. Please Read my Five words tennis players dont know on my Group CoachVtopranktennis
No, if you understand how to compact the topspin drive, you don't have to have a fancy name to hit topspin/flat the majority of the time. Also, knowing open stance backhands and on the run backhand footwork helps. Watch the pros you mention carefully and see how they did it. No reason a smart person can't do the same. ;)

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