HOFER TENNIS
Tip of the Week Archive
ONE-HANDED BACKHAND FOOTWORK

For those of you who hit with one hand on the backhand, you
find your footwork need to be consistent.
   Your first movement towards the ball would be to step out
with the leg closest to the ball. You’ll then turn and run to
the ball if the ball is really wide, if not wide, then you could stay
in an open stance and slide to the ball.
   As you set up to hit the ball you should stay in an open
stance with the left leg (for right handers) slightly behind the
right leg. When the ball gets close enough, you will need to
plant that left leg and step across your body or left leg at
approximately a 45 degree angle. This will be a closed stance
backhand. Your foot & toe should point at that same 45 degree
angle.
   This footwork is necessary for the body to twist back on the
back swing. The excessive back swing on the one-handed
backhand produces most of the power. Your back will almost
be facing the net. Without the closed stance cross over step
into the ball your backhand will be weak and ineffective.
   After the shot is hit, it is efficient to let the back leg (left leg
for right handers) release and come around to stop the bodyâ
€™s momentum and to prepare for the recovery. I call this the
back leg release technique. The back leg swings around
making both feet square to the net as if in a ready position.
   From this position it is relatively easy to step out with the
inside leg, do a cross over step jump with the left leg (right
handers), and then slide the rest of the way back to the center
of possible returns.

Doug Hofer                      January 9, 2005
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