Two-Handed Backhand – 008


Sources of Pow-a

There are various (re)sources that give power to a stroke – add extra wallop to your groundstrokes – and I’ll highlight 3 of them, but first lets re-focus on the main power source when hitting at the baseline.

Primary Resource

Here, Andy Roddick has been bullied onto the back foot. The previous closed delivery system (foot line) is therefore denied him, so he relies disproportionately on a swung/flung/thrown racket head.

This swung racket head is the primary source of power.

Thought you said that the palm of the grip was the primary source of power?’

The palm is the primary source of strength on a forehand grip (as well as a two-hander).
And that strength then helps to shift the racket head, for the traveling racket head is the primary source of power, which we can help along its merry way with additional re-sources.

Smart ass!’

That’s not the intention. And I’m not some oracle who doesn’t like questions, either.
I shot pictures of and studied pro tennis technique for twenty-plus years (and apparently I still am), wrote my own teaching manual, taught the game and developed a style of communication that makes high-altitude technique palatable for a relatively low-altitude readership – I’m trying to communicate, not intimidate with a show of cleverness.


Yes, really. And like hitting tennis balls, laying bricks, writing code or any other art, craft or discipline, I’m employing my own unique combination of innate ability and hard-earned skills.
So don’t be shy. Speak up whenever you have a valid question or even an answer – to the best of my ability, every effort will be judged on merit.
Just don’t Troll or sneeze on me.


Resource 2

We see again how the forward connect and foot-line – a closed delivery – enable Lleyton to lean in and add weight to his shifting racket head.

This weight forward is one additional resource to stick to the swung/flung/thrown racket head.

Resource 3

We’ve seen this animation before, but it has relevance on a number of levels. Rafa refuses to be bullied and he angles himself into the court off the back foot while retreating, making himself into a sort of power-resistant backboard.

Rafa Nadal – cranking up the shoulder spin

Although Rafa’s body weight has been neutralized by this back-peddle, so he can’t shunt body weight forward and into the out-front connect, he can add aggressive shoulder spin to the swung racket head, to further fuel the pumping fist of the dominant hand.
And that’s what he does – watch him spin the racket head through.

The above re-sources are found in quality strokes the world over, and – theoretically / potentially – the most powerful ones are those which contain the fullest measure of each.

But power isn’t everything.

Myriad on-court situations demand countless cocktails of deftness, angle and spin.

– So I suppose a good definition of the perfect stroke is… one that contains the perfect measure of elements, to perfectly achieve a given purpose, which perfectly suits the attitude, physique and capabilities of a given player.

Oh, right. Perfection achieved! – can we all go home now then?’

Nope. Language is like tennis strokes – there’s always room for improvement.

Two-Handed Backhand 009

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