Sunday, December 7, 2014

Slow Motion Backhand Straight Drive

Today I'm going to show you something. Yes, that's right. I have a short video clip for you. I've been working on the same area with a few people recently, so I figure this would be w worthwhile post for many of you. As I mentioned before, I use my iPhone 6 for coaching quite a bit. You can film in slow motion and it provides great feedback. For a while I used this sow motion recording and I tried showing and explaining where a swing went wrong. Eventually I realized I needed to film myself in slow motion so they can see what I'm talking about and compare their swing.

Here are the most common areas I focus on when teaching a backhand drive to someone. 

Wrist Cocked: the main area that most people have difficulty with on their backhand is getting the wrist cocked and keeping it cocked during the initial part of their downswing. You'll see that I lead with y elbow and the butt of the racquet while my wrist stays cocked and the racquet face open. It isn't until later in the downswing that my wrist extends (not backwards though). This allows me to create extra racquet head speed. 

Racquet Preparation and Torque: you'll also notice that I generate a lot of torque. Even though I'm not trying to hit the ball very hard and the ball is cold. I start with my racquet back by my left shoulder. I like to focus on getting the top of my grip near my left shoulder. I then rotate at my trunk and shoulders to produce more torque in my core, all while keeping my wrist cocked. 

Posture: The last area that I want to point out is my poster. If I was warm and hitting in a game I would be a bit lower and the ball would be bouncier, but I want you to look at my back. I'm leaning out over to hit the ball but I still have good posture with my back. It takes a lot of core and leg strength to be able to hit like this. Because of my strength and posture I can keep my shoulder and hips more squared up to the sidewall through impact. 

Here's a Youtube link incase the video above doesn't work too well.

If you have a slow motion camera, film yourself hitting some drives and compare it with mine. At least look for the 3 areas I talked about above. How do you measure up? 

When I work with kids on getting their wrist cocked in their backswing I focus on getting set. Find the right position to start your swing from. Then lead with the elbow and the butt of the racquet. The wrist should stay cocked until later into the downswing. When I watched two of the top women play on the the weekend at the World Team Championships, I saw even some dramatic differences within the top players. Nour El Sherbini from Egypt has a very cocked wrist on her backhand. Whereas Low Wee Wern has a more relaxed wrist, still cocked, but not as pronounced as Sherbini's. If you get to watch these two players again look for this. There is more than 1 way to get a good result. But I prefer Sherwin's backhand. I think Wern has more of an open grip on her backhand, meaning she doesn't need to cock her wrist as much, but this gets her into trouble on her forehand drop because her racquet face is too closed. But this is just my opinion. If you can get a backhand that resembles either of these two ladies you're well on your way! 

I may look at doing more video, and in particular slow motion in the future. Let me know iyour thought and f you find it helpful. 


  1. Love to see those slow-mo videos with the comment explaining and decomposing what are the right ingredients in the movements. I think it helps. thank you.

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