‘Remember my magic…!’
Many poor one handed backhands suffer from timidity.
Because if a player isn’t convinced by their own ability, or they put in too little confidence-giving practice, they may never fully commit to the turn, therefore cannot commit fully to the execution of a full, cloth-ripping stroke.
And the timidity of these one-handers, having failed to achieve a fully-turned body shape, inspires a fearful half-backswing and often it’s all done too late.
So they may end up with a rushed (half a) stroke, which they’ll then use as an excuse to revert to hitting the easier slice backhand, which I suppose is fine if you have no ambition to improve.
‘Wow! That’s quite a flowery generalisation!’
Yes. But on these pages hyperbole serves an instructive purpose.
Mimicry & Theatrical Elaboration
When practicing, it can be good to elaborate essential elements of the stroke, even without hitting balls… if youngsters can’t get on court, then get out in the garden and take correct swings at fresh air – play shadow tennis instead of shadow boxing.
Watch Guga in Practice.
In 1 he’s fully turned – and I mean fully – before the ball reaches the net.
- In 2 thru 5 he uses his hitting shoulder like a viewing gallery, over which he tracks the oncoming ball:
- Fully gripped, fully turned, fully triggered-up and fully prepared.
No half-measures in this stroke – Guga’s backhand is one of the very best and we’ll take a more in-depth look later.
So, approach your one-handed backhand like someone who can, and add some theatrical elaboration to your practice sessions.
Sabatini is another great example of Theatrical Elaboration – it’s as if she’s trying to teach you silently with her luxuriant hitting style.
Like peacocks, quality players want you to remember their technical plumes in bloom– ‘This is my stroke – remember it – learn from it.‘.
Fortunately for those with a keen interest in tennis technique, I remember many world-class technical plumes in full bloom!