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backhand swing again :(

Published: 04 Aug 2009 - 19:41 by Guru

Updated: 08 Aug 2009 - 08:23

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 No matter how much i try to perfect my backhand swing, i never seem to get it right.

When hitting a shot on the backhand, I try to keep my raquet head high, open-faced, then swing through the ball, with the ball being about a raquet lenght from my body. 2 problems emerge:

  • My elbow snaps a lot when hitting the backhand this way, which is sometimes very painful.
  • After hitting the ball, the raquet seems to involuntarily rise way up high. It seems I'm not able to stop the racquet from completing its circular swing after hitting the ball.

This prevents me from returning to the T quickly, and the large racquet motion makes me fear that I would hit the other player very often.

I asked a question before about the backhand swing, and it seems I'm slowly getting the grip of it. It's just taking a lot of time to get rid of old habits. 

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From rippa rit - 08 Aug 2009 - 08:23

Guru - that is a great result.  You obviously applied yourself to the hints, and certainly did not go away until you were happy.

If that is what a verbal lesson can do, imagine what an E-Coach lesson would do for your game!

Keep it up!

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From Guru - 07 Aug 2009 - 21:37   -   Updated: 07 Aug 2009 - 21:37

 Yes, it is improving a lot. I played today several matches for three hours with a lot of people, most of which I could not beat the previous week. I could never imagine that fixing the backhand swing would have such a tremendous effect, I lost only one match out of nearly 10 today.

I think most of the improvement was due to the backhand only. I still cannot generate as much power as the forehand but I think it'll come to me with time. Thanks again! 

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From rippa rit - 07 Aug 2009 - 08:33

If you are referring to the knuckles in the backswing - the more you open the racket the more the knuckles have to face upwards, yeah, try that out as an experiment.  Then do a pretend backhand shot from a ball very close to the floor, and the racket face will have to be almost as sharp as a knife blade, and that shot would be impossible to retrieve without really turning the wrist causing the knuckles to face upwards.

One of the most neglected part of technique is the use of, and understanding of, the importance of the open racket face (often referred to as laying the head of the racket back).  Those players who make errors when retrieving low balls (lower than the tin) most likely could improve significantly by this swing adjustment.

Is your swing improving because of this feedback?

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From Guru - 06 Aug 2009 - 21:37

 I tried it today, rippa rit. It wasworking quite well, but I also spent a lot of time watching some players which are of the top club and national levels at my club, and I noticed that their knuckles at the end of the swing are not pointing upwards, which confuses me.

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From rippa rit - 06 Aug 2009 - 07:20

I did not mention the grip.  I have been assuming you have the correct grip.  Nothing I recommend will work when stroking the ball without the correct grip

Yeah, squash has been a big part of my life.  If you are going to spend time doing stuff, you might as well practice the right thing and that will lead to long term gains.

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From Guru - 05 Aug 2009 - 22:35


I kinda get the idea. I was doing the opposite, with the palm facing downwards at the end of the swing.

I'll try that tomorrow in the morning and will post feedback.

Thanks a million!!!! Squash seems to be so important to u!

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From rippa rit - 05 Aug 2009 - 22:16

Guru, I can see exactly what you are doing.  To get the supination idea, clench your fist, arm bent into an L shape, and rotate your fist left to right.  Do that a few times to get the idea.  Then turn your body side on, drop your right shoulder (if you are righthanded player) a little (to flex the hips), and repeat this action. On the backhand the knuckles will be on top to start the supination action.

Now, pick up the racket, holding it with the firmness of a clenched fist (no limp stuff), don't take your racket high in the backswing as that will most likely mess up the supination; you can gradually get more backswing once you get this supination action happening.

Before trying to challenge an opponent, practice moving around taking ghosting swings until you feel at ease with the swinging action.  Then, go on the court solo and stand in one spot, well balanced, gently throw the ball high onto the side wall, let it bounce, and hit one drive at a time until the hit feels comfortable.  Be patient because the first few shots might be a disaster until you get the timing and rhythm.  Don't stand too close to the ball, give yourself room to prepare (at least two racket lengths) and move into the stroke.

This feels like an e-coach lesson without a video or booking!!

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From Guru - 05 Aug 2009 - 21:02   -   Updated: 05 Aug 2009 - 21:03

 Yes, rippa rit, golf swing, that's the word!

What I don't understand is the supination. I read your pronation/supination article in the relevant content tab, but I just don't know how to "snap"my wrist, actually my elbow hurt me even more when I tried it.

Is there something wrong with starting the backhand swing with my racquet head high? Perhaps if I started from a different position it'll somehow be fixed?

Oh, and thanks for your reply btw. :D

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From rippa rit - 05 Aug 2009 - 09:26   -   Updated: 05 Aug 2009 - 09:33

Guru - I had a bit of trouble trying to visualise from your description what was happening with the swing.  Once I realised the words "keep my racquet head high" was actually the commencement of the backswing in your backhand stroke, it made more sense what was actually going on.  I think!

So, I think you are doing a golf type swing, vertical, without the supination, and it resembles what I would refer to as a helicopter type swing? To pull you off balance it must be pretty powerful or your stance is too closed.

You will see in the slow motion of this backhand shot more details of the swing.  The key words are

  • Backswing;
  • Shoulder to the T;
  • Sideon Stance;
  • Supination of the forearm in the downswing;
  • wrist controlled;
  • follow through.

If you are getting elbow pain that is not good and can lead to injury. That would indicate to me the wrist is not controlled during the downswing/contact phase and the tendons are being stretched beyond their comfort zone.

If this is too vague, I can only suggest an E-Coach lesson where I can view a video of your technique and give precise feedback specific to your style of play. E-Coach is simple now as the video attachment feature is set up specifically for you and handled all within squashgame as we exchange videos and instructions within your personal E-Coach Record.

Good luck.

PS - There are some other posts on similar topics listed under the Relevant Content tag on the top lefthand side column.

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