The Shoulder Line
‘On Line Three’
The travel line and foot line are both in evidence in this sequence, and most other quality backhands. But now I want you to concentrate on the shoulders.
With the full turn of the body comes a turn of the shoulders, which forms a line as Alex now looks down the court.
Line 3: The Shoulder Line
And most top class players hold this shoulder line steady – with only minimal movement – until after contact, when the driven/swung/flung/thrown racket head has given full direction to the ball, and it completes the journey around the body.
Run the sequence animation of Alex Corretja and observe that the shoulder does not pull the arm and racket over to the side – the shoulder facilitates the swing rather than being part of it.
When Alex has stayed sufficiently ‘long’ into the follow through, the racket head eventually pulls/leads the shoulder over.
In short, the racket head pulls the shoulder – not the other way around.
Might as well take a fuller look at the Corretja backlhand.
- Turns and…
- …shows his back to his opponent.
- Times the loop…
- …side-shuffles up the court…
- …in perfect time to meet his Connect 3, and
- …once unleashed, Alex lets the racket head go where it will
And what would be one im-perfect-ion to ruin everything?
‘A ball in the wrong place – an imperfect contact’.