View Full Version : Jimmy Connors-style backhand??

09-16-2004, 06:34 PM
I'm a 4.5 player currently struggling to find consistency on my backhand side. Over the past few weeks, I've experimented with a number of different grips and follow-thrus in search of a style that best suits me. I was watching an old video and and came across some jimmy connors highlights and noticed how he hit his backhand. He really turns his shoulder and drives into the ball, largely using his left arm to drive thru the ball. Connors' backhand did not leave a whole lot of room for clearance over the net. I'm wondering for a player like me...would this not be a style to emulate??

Secondly, in the past, I didn't really utilize the left arm like I should've on the backhand shot. Recently, I've started to utilize the left arm, however my left wrist (specifically on the outside part) was starting to get a little sore. I'm wondering, is this an indication of anything? Perhaps using the wrist too much on the shot? Or perhaps tightening up on the grip too much??

Mahboob Khan
09-16-2004, 07:23 PM
Connors was a lefty (he hit forehands with left arm). You meant to say that he used his right arm more in hitting his double-handed BH?

Yes, Connors has a great double handed backhand. I used 'has' because he still plays!

Yes, to be effective, it is important that your left hand should also play a role. Generally, the right and left arm should be in a 50-50 partnership. Here is a drill which will strengthen your double handed BH assuming your technique is correct:

-- Hit a basket of balls with your left arm only (lefty forehand); (this will strengthen your left arm which will then play an effective role in conjunction with your right arm);

-- Hit a basket of balls with your 2-handed backhand but leave racket in front on the follow-through (this will teach you hitting through the ball). Just imagine you are hitting three balls in a row allowing the racket to travel in the contact zone more!

-- Hit a basket of balls with your 2-handed backhand with normal "wrap around the neck" follow-through.

Do the above drill atleast 2/3 times a week and you will have a potent backhand.

You may also like to watch current players such as Serena, Venus, Jennifer Capriati, Hewitt, Agassi, Roddick, to copy good things off their backhands. You will discover that some Pros hit their backhands with relatively straight arms, and some with bent arms; some have loopy backswing (Davenport), and some have "straight back backswing" (Hewitt); some hit with square stance, and some with open stance depending on situations. If you want to recover, hit with open stance, if you want to drive the ball more hit with square stance. But, please, do not use close stance/cross feet. Close stance will hamper your swing and leave you imbalance.

Mahboob Khan, Professional

09-16-2004, 07:30 PM
Mr. Khan, thanks so much for the input. I will definitely try those drills out. And sorry about the mix-up, obviously Connors is a lefty (not righty)...that of course could make my post a little confusing.

Question: how important is the follow thru on the shot? I've noticed guys like like Nicholas Kiefer, kind of leave the racket out and don't really finish off the the swing.