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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Racquetball's Backhand Swing Mechanics

First grip your racquet in the forehand grip, as though you are shaking hands with the racquet. The space between your thumb and index finger should form a “V”. Now, to properly grip the racquet in the backhand grip, just turn the racquet in your hand 1/8 of an inch clockwise. Do not move your hand while doing this, only the racquet. If you hold out your arm to full extension the racquet will now be slightly angled toward the ground. This is the proper backhand grip.

Stand facing the side wall with your hitting arm closest to the front wall (so you hit the ball toward the front wall). Your feet should be shoulder width apart, and your knees should be a little more than slightly bent. Your feet, knees hips and shoulders should all be square to the side wall.

Elevate your arm to the ready position. To do so, hold your racquet arm up in front of your torso, your forearm slightly inclined toward the back wall. Make sure you hold the racquet straight up in the air. Do not curl your wrist. Your non-hitting arm should be slightly relaxed.

To begin the swing from the backhand side you take a short step with your lead foot at a 45 degree angle to front wall. As your foot lands the swing motion will begin. You do this by leading with the elbow and shoulder of your racquet hand. The wrist lags behind slightly as your arm maintains it’s momentum toward the hitting zone.

As you continue the swinging motion your hips should be rotating and your back foot should pivot. Try to imagine that you are squishing an insect with your back foot.

As you approach the contact point your wrist and racquet will snap forward. The contact point for a straight-in shot (directly toward the front wall) from the backhand side is exactly off your front foot and full extension away from your body. As your racquet snaps through the hitting zone follow all the way through so that your belly button is facing the front wall and your racquet is pointing toward the back wall.

You should finish the swing with your upright torso directly over the ground between your front and back legs, evenly distributing your weight.

It is important to understand your follow through and what it can mean. For example, if you follow through your swing and finish with your racquet arm high in the air, you didn't swing level (parallel to the ground). That is, you swung your racquet down toward the ground and followed through up toward the ceiling. This is commonly known as a pendulum swing. A pendulum swing keeps your racquet in the hitting zone only for a short time and can lead to a high amount of inconsistency. Always swing level.

video demonstration

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