Let’s talk about how to use the correct wide footwork on the one handed backhand
Poor one handed backhand footwork is one of the main reasons players struggle with this shot. Especially on wide balls. However, there are some quick and easy tips to fix your footwork, and turn your weakness into strength.
The first tip is to have a powerful crossover step. From your ready position you want to take a crossover step to the ball.
If you are a righty, this will mean that you step across with your right leg to your backhand side. This step will allow you to cover more ground than a conventional shuffle.
The next tip is to get on your front foot if you can before hitting the ball.
A great crossover step will help you do this, because you can cover more ground before stepping in. Make sure you are working hard to be balanced and get your weight on your front foot as you make contact.
The more you can get on your front foot, the more powerful and penetrating your backhand will be.
Now that you know to get on your front foot, you need to know how to use the correct wide footwork after you step in. You have 2 main options.
When the ball is wide, your first option is to square up. To square up, simply bring your back foot around and finish in a nice, wide base. This will allow you to be balanced, and to push off easily so that you can recover back to the middle.
If the ball is extremely wide, you can try the jump around pattern.
Instead of letting your momentum bring your back leg around slowly, you can jump around with both feet leaving the ground as you square up. This movement is very advanced and will require practice. Push off your front foot after contact and then leave the ground, bringing your back leg around so that you can finish in a wide base.
This will let you reach those really wide balls and surprise your opponent with a strong reply.
If a ball comes wide and high to your one handed backhand, you need to use the back to front footwork pattern.
Move out to the ball and load up your outside leg as the ball approaches. Jump up into the air and make contact with the ball. By rising up into the air to the level of the ball, you will be able to better handle it in your strike zone. This will allow you to swing across your body more.
Put these tips on how to use the correct wide footwork to good use, and you should see rapid progress. You’ll quickly transform the wide one handed backhand from a tricky shot, into a very powerful weapon.