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  Top » Catalog » The Bo Chronicles » THE BACKHAND OVERHEAD DRILL



By Bo Keeley


I just came from the courts to offer up this practice shot of the day.  It's one that, despite your years of experience, u may not have thought of.  Call it a backhand overhead.  Describe is as a tennis backhand serve.

Practice it by standing in deep backhand court and tossing the ball overhead as if backhand serving.  Strike it flat, or w/ various spins.  Come down hard on the follow-thru for a pass (down-line or x-court), or a kill (down-line or x-court.)  Next practice drill is to bounce the ball on the floor so it rebounds overhead, and clouting w/ the backhand.  Next drill is tapping oneself a ball off the front wall for a backhand overhead setup.  Next, hit a ceiling ball that comes to the backhand overhead strike zone - and pound it.

Can you cipher the value of this shot?  No, it won't be used much in games, however it's the single most strengthening backhand drill I know.  Also, the most difficult physiologically, so take it slow.  On the first day, try 10 each of down-line drives, x-court drives, down-line kills, & x-court kills.  Increase the number of shots each day by 10 %.

Remember to contact the ball above the shoulders, preferably above the head, with the backhand  It's a practice asset for black ball paddleball, green ball paddleball, & racquetball.  The reason is that it builds strength & endurance in the ‘painter' muscle group utilized when the arm's extended overhead. 

After a few days of practice, I believe your overall backhand stroke, whatever the state now, will have improved.  You'll have practiced the most difficult backhand stroke, making the rest easier.  Passes, ceilings, around-wall balls, kills, & especially volleys & general serve returns will pop w/ pace from the stance. Consider that the weakest area of return by your opponent is the shot forced to his backhand above the shoulders.

This article was published on Sunday 07 October, 2007.
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