How Synthetic Surfaces Can Help Improve Your Backhand Return

Recreation & Sports Blog

Practice makes perfect, and practicing a backhand shot on a synthetic playing surface can be especially effective. Synthetic courts offer a much more predictable level of bounce than other surfaces, like natural grass or clay. By perfecting your backhand technique on a synthetic surface, you will gain some distinct advantages. Once you have the shot in your locker, you can replicate it on other surfaces, so long as you adjust your positioning for the expected variation in bounce.

Tennis players of all standards tend to prefer forehand shots over backhand returns. They come much more naturally to most players because the feeling is more like paddling a ball back with your palm. The backhand is harder to execute but can be a highly effective weapon in your armoury. This is especially the case if you appear to be confident with your backhands. Opponents will try to exploit any weakness they perceive in your backhand return and continue to put the ball on that side of your body if you lack confidence. Therefore, gaining confidence by practising on a surface like synthetic grass, where you don't need to worry about bounce variation, will help you to win more rallies.

Find the Top of the Bounce

You need to hit a backhand return at the height of the bounce to generate maximum power and spin. If you hit the ball on the up then it will often result in a looping return that is easy for your opponent to deal with. Therefore, you should practice backhands on a playing surface with a regular bounce, working exclusively on this type of return so that you learn to hit the ball harder with the back of your hand.

Practising on synthetic grass tennis courts which offer a highly predictable level of bounce is ideal, especially if you are working with a coach who can hit balls to you that are very similar to one another. Alternatively, use a tennis serving machine set up to put the ball on you less dominant side so you can find the ideal point in the ball's trajectory to return it. Hit the ball exclusively with backhands for 30 minutes at least each training session.

Use Your Entire Body

An effective backhand uses the entire body's weight and rotational speed through the spine to generate force in what is called the kinetic chain. Therefore, one of the most important tennis backhand tips is to use your whole body's weight to hit the tennis ball. You need to be able to anchor yourself properly to achieve a kinetic chain and that means getting a good footing first. For this reason high-grip surfaces like synthetic grass are ideal for practising backhands on.

A tennis backhand should be struck with a neutral or closed stance. This will mean that your front foot will need to be fully planted ready for you to transfer your body's weight through it as you make the shot. Good grip is essential, so invest in a good pair of tennis shoes that are designed for synthetic surfaces if you want to play better backhands! By using your entire body, including your feet, to play a backhand, you will reduce the likelihood of using your wrists at the last moment to create speed, thereby increasing your shot accuracy.

Sliced Backhands

Once you have hit a few strong backhands, you can then produce some sliced ones which will keep your opponent on their toes – never truly knowing which type you intend to play. To achieve this sort of shot, bend your dominant arm at the elbow a few degrees and change nothing else. Sliced shots put spin on the ball and you will notice that these are more effective when the ball grips onto the artificial surface you are playing on, helping you to see when you're getting it right. On grass courts, this can be harder to spot.


20 July 2017

Enjoying Sports in the Great Outdoors

Hey! When was the last time you went outdoors and have some fun? I used to just sit around my home and do nothing except watch TV. However, all that changed one day, I decided it was time to go outside. I started by going out for long walks. Next, I signed up for a shooting club and learnt how to hit a target at 500 metres. I then decided to hit the ocean so I could learn to fish. I had a fantastic day out there on the waves. Having spent the last 6 months embracing the outdoors and various sports, I decided to start this blog.