View Full Version : Side Spin Backhand Drive

Tim Tennis
04-02-2004, 07:07 AM
I like to experiment with different mechanics, grips and swing paths. My latest is the side spin backhand drive. I have always thought that you could generate so much racquet head speed on the backhand side if you really loaded the triceps. I used a semi-open stance, an Eastern backhand grip and a good shoulder turn plus I pull the racquet back a little further with my other hand to stretch out and load my back muscles. My hand is close to my chest, my forearm is parallel to the ground. This creates a 90 degree angle between my forearm and my upper arm. Now the triceps are loaded. On the start of the forward motion the racquet face is so far behind the hand. The triceps start to straighten the arm out to catch up which adds tremendous racquet head speed. The whole key is that the racquet face still lags behind the hand upon contact with the ball. The amount of side spin this imparts to the ball is incredible. I found I could really power through the stroke, hit a fairly flat ball and still keep it in with all the side spin using a fairly level swing path.

Well I know no one is going to read and understand all this but I thought I would give it a try.

You got to love the game.

04-02-2004, 08:13 AM
When I want to put side spin on, I vary my follow-through to be more across the body, but often I get side spin when I don't intend it. What you describe, at least the racquet head being behind the hand (at an angle to the net ?) sounds very familiar. I think that may be how I get the unintentional side spin. I'll try to pay attention to it.

It does sound though as if you would lose a lot of control - do you go down the line with this shot ?

04-02-2004, 08:38 AM
usually I accidentally hit sidespin when I'm late on my backhand and I try to compensate somehow.

Bungalo Bill
04-02-2004, 09:05 AM
That is exactly what he is doing. Hitting with a racquet face that has not squared up with a slight crossing swing. If your "experimenting" with it and it works great!

But you must be very strong to overcome that deflection or shearing off the racquet. Especially to do it consistently!

In tennis, there is never a day that goes by that people aren't trying something, only to find out that in the end - it is all about fundamentals. Take a look at "Club Fed" he is pure fundamental tennis and look where it got him!

Tim Tennis
04-02-2004, 09:54 AM
Hi Guys,

Thanks for all the responses. I did not really expect any. I was afraid I totally confused everyone.

Cypo. You said, "When I want to put side spin on, I vary my follow-through to be more across the body." That is exactly what I do on the stroke but I was afraid to mention it for fear it would confuse the issue and make it to complicated. You asked, do you go down the line with it? Absolutely but I restrict/stop the shoulder rotation and release towards the target. On the cross court shot I let the shoulders come around much further but release towards the opposite corner of the court.

Bungalo Bill, how are you? You said, "But you must be very strong to overcome that deflection or shearing off the racquet. Especially to do it consistently!" As usual, I absolutely agree with you. Two things that help are 1) the racquet face is not that far behind upon contact, and 2) If you loaded the back muscles properly and are pulling through the stroke properly, you will smooth out the swing path providing lots of forward energy. This forward energy will actually change the angle of deflection more in the direction of the release. In fact that is what puts the tremendous side spin on it. Damn, as far as Roger, just think how good he would be if he had this shot. LOL PS. Thanks for responding. The fact you responded gives my post some credibility.

You got to love the game.

04-02-2004, 10:03 AM
I've never intentionally hit that shot, but occasionally it has happened and made for sweet returns on the ad side when the serve went straight into my backhand. I guess I'll try it with the across the body follow through next time I play.

04-02-2004, 10:21 PM
In order to put side spin on one handed backhand, you have to come across the body more. SO you are not really driving the shot as much. And to come across the body, your shoulder is going to open up much sooner, which means you will be hitting the ball late.

If it happens naturally while you are hitting the out in front, it may be ok. But I wouldn't force on it.

Tim Tennis
04-03-2004, 04:07 AM
Hi Guys,

Just to clarify the "across the body motion to generate side spin," it is not an exaggerated swing path but a natural occurence as you rotate the shoulders around as a result of the Semi- open stance mentioned previously. The main cause of the side spin is the racquet face lagging behind the hand as some of you have noticed when you are late on the backhand. Thanks for the interest and comments.