Tennis: Take care of backhand side

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Andrea, Tennis coach

DESCRIPTION

Coach feeds balls to the backhand side. Player runs around and hits only forehands. Player performs tactical pattern based on 2 forehands inside out and 1 forehand inside in.

Drill specifications:

1-2 repetitions per set

1-2 patterns in a row is a number that each players should hit. Coach can put one of the players to feed the balls to be able to stand next to the players and deliver constant feedback. Waiting players should work on specific footwork designed for forehand inside out/inside in shots based on shuffle and crossover steps.

COACHING POINTS

Most of the players have weaker backhands than forehands so knowing how to use own strengths is an asset. Many juniors make a lot of mistakes from the backhand side but they do nothing to change this situation and come up with an effective solution. Building patterns is one of the ways to make players understand of possible solutions and achieve better effects of the shots from the ad side. Running around the backhand and using forehand is a common technique visible at all levels of performance so players have to learn this skill to become more offensive and commit less mistakes from own weaker side.

In this drill players work on tactical patterns based on running around the backhand and using specific forehands from the ad side. Cross court rally is a basic tactic in tennis so players should be able to hit consistent shots in this direction. Knowing that our backhand is not as effective as forehand players have to learn how to utilize own strength to increase own chances for winning the point. By performing 2 forehands inside out player puts more pressure on the opponent’s backhand so there is a chance for a mistake. Additionally, forehand inside out opens the down the line direction from the backhand side for the opponent so he will be tempted to take a bigger risk and go for the shot into our strength. Knowing that players will start using more forehands inside out to gain a tactical advantage over the opponent. The last shot in this pattern, forehand inside in is a shot that player has to perform really offensively. By putting the opponent into backhand corner with first 2 shots player changes the direction with inside in to hit a winner or force the opponent to deliver a put-away ball. Coach should explain to players that forehand inside in is a double-edged sword because good performance can give us a point but too weak shot can put us in a lot of troubles.

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