5 Easy Steps To Hit A Pickleball Backhand

The words “easy” and “backhand” rarely go together because, for many pickleball players, the backhand is a challenging shot and one they like to avoid at all costs–even sometimes running all the way around a ball for a forehand shot instead. But having a solid backhand is a key component to everyone’s overall game, and it must be improved if you’re going to win pickleball matches.

This article discusses how you can improve your pickleball backhand in just five easy steps.

Step #1 – Early Preparation

“Wind the spring, and let it fling.” The first step in getting a better backhand shot is to prepare your body and paddle as soon as you notice the ball coming toward your backhand side. As the ball approaches, your body should turn in a wind-up (spring-like) motion with the back of the paddle in position to hit the ball. Unlike tennis, you don’t need a big backswing to hit the ball across the court. So, a twisting motion should provide plenty of force for the shot.

Step #2 – Non-Dominant Hand for Support

Players often flick their wrists at the ball during a backhand shot. This can cause many problems, mainly not providing enough power on their shot. Instead, use your non-dominant hand to help support your backhand shot. Even if you’re hitting the backhand with one hand, you can use your non-dominant hand to help your body turn and provide support on the paddle. If you want to hit a two-handed shot, that’s perfectly okay too. There is no wrong answer when trying to decide. However, your non-dominant hand should play a role regardless of your choice.

Step #3 – Step Into Shot

The third step is to step into the shot. This means stepping with your right foot if you’re a right-handed player and your left foot if you’re a left-handed player. Not stepping will cause you to hit a weak shot and could force you to lunge your body and become off-balanced. 

Step #4 – Make Contact Out Front

If you’ve been playing pickleball for any amount of time, you’ve heard this tip. It applies to all shots in pickleball. Yet, players often fall back as they hit the ball or allow it to pass their bodies before making contact. When hitting a solid backhand shot, making contact with the ball while it’s out in front of you is essential. If you give yourself enough time to get into position, coil, and then step into the shot, then this shouldn’t be a problem. 

Step #5 – Follow Through

We see it time and time again. A player gets into position, steps into the shot, and makes solid contact but then doesn’t follow through with the paddle. Doink! The ball hits the net ending the rally and any possible chance of a point. The follow-through is one of the most essential parts of your pickleball shot, yet so many players short-arm it instead and miss out on so many good shots. 

The way you want to follow through on your shots is to lift the pickleball paddle up and through the ball. This provides topspin and helps you get the ball over and down onto the other side of the court. If you find yourself whipping the paddle around your body on a follow-through, then you’re not doing it correctly.

There you have it. We hope these steps help you improve your backhand and dominate on the courts.You can see these steps in action in this video from Total Pickleball. And continue checking Pickleball University as we continue sharing more strategies and pickleball information.

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