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.