The Backhand Drive
|1. Start in a good balanced ready position, with the feet a little wider than shoulder width, the knees flexed, the torso straight up and down and the racquet at waist level and pointing straight ahead.
2. The player has stepped to the side with the left foot and turned his shoulders until they are perpendicular with the net. The grip change happens simultaneously with this turning motion. The hitting arm is straight and goes straight back so that the racquet hand is positioned in the middle of the back leg. The unit turn will do most of this racquet preparation and only a small additional movement is needed. The plane of the racquet head is perpendicular to the court. The player has rotated up on the toes of the right foot. The body is still straight up and down from the waist.
3. The player has stepped into the shot so the tips of the toes of both feet are parallel. The weight has shifted to the front foot and the front knee is flexed. Note the key hitting arm position is unchanged. The arm and racquet have moved forward as a unit to the contact point, which is well in front of the front leg. The elbow lead is completely eliminated. The shoulders have stayed perpendicular to the net and the back arm opposes, moving in the opposite direction. This helps keep the torso in the correct position, sideways and straight up and down from the waist.
4. The hitting arm position has remained identical throughout the course of the swing--straight with the elbow and wrist locked at the turn, the contact, and now the finish. The wrist is at eye level, and the shaft of the racquet is perpendicular to the court. The shoulders are still sideways to the net. This combination of shoulder position and hitting arm position make the stroke effortless, consistent and powerful. The racquet face has stayed vertical all the way through the swing and this produces natural topspin. The player has come up on the back toes for balance. Note how the torso is still straight up and down from the waist.