Pickleball has a unique stroke known as the pickleball backhand. This stroke is essential for versatility and effectiveness in the game. It is often considered the “dark side” of the tournament, a shot many players struggle to master. However, with proper practice and technique like enhancing your Pickleball Speed, you can develop a robust and consistent backhand to keep your opponents on their toes. Let’s have a detailed look at it!

What is Backhand in Pickleball 

The backhand in pickleball is a versatile stroke when the ball approaches the player’s non-dominant side. It requires precise timing and coordination, as the player must pivot their body to strike the ball effectively using the side of the paddle opposite their dominant hand. This stroke is not just a defensive maneuver but can be an offensive tool to catch opponents off-guard. It may be a hard technique for Pickleball Seniors.

How to Use the Backhand 

Using the backhand effectively in pickleball involves more than just hitting the ball. It requires players to position themselves to maximize their reach and power. It means aligning the body and feet with the ball’s trajectory, keeping the eyes on the ball, and ensuring a smooth, controlled swing. The emphasis is on accuracy and using the sweet spot of the paddle.

Techniques and Mechanics 

The method of a strong backhand in pickleball includes:

  •  A proper grip.
  • A stable stance with feet shoulder-width apart.
  • A balanced body posture.

The swing should start from the shoulder, with the paddle moving in a fluid, controlled arc. The goal is to strike the ball firmly yet smoothly, blending power with precision.

techniques and mechanics

Special Tips for Using the Backhand 

To master the backhand, focus on drills emphasizing wrist flexibility and control. A relaxed but firm grip aids in maneuvering the paddle with precision. Practice varying the angle of your paddle to meet different ball trajectories and develop a feel for different shot types, enhancing your ability to react to game situations swiftly.

Benefits of a Strong Backhand in Pickleball

1. Enhanced Unpredictability: A strong backhand keeps opponents guessing, making your play style less predictable.

2. Improved Defense: It allows for effective handling of shots on your non-dominant side, bolstering your defensive game.

3. Offensive Opportunities: A proficient backhand can be a surprise offensive weapon, allowing for strategic shot placement.

4. Control Over Rallies: Experts of the backhand can give you greater control in rallies, helping the game flow.

5. Strategic Shot Placement: Enables precise and strategic placement of shots, exploiting opponents’ weaknesses.

6. Increased Confidence: Boosts confidence in handling a more comprehensive range of shots, enhancing overall game performance that is great plus point in Pickleball Olympics Matches.

benefits of strong backhand in pickleball

Incorporating the Backhand in Serves and Shots 

While the forehand often dominates pickleball, the backhand shouldn’t be relegated to the shadows. By incorporating it into your serves and shots, you unlock a versatile weapon that surprises opponents and opens up scoring opportunities.

Serving with Backhand

  • Unpredictable Spins: The backhand allows for unique spins like slices and topspins that are difficult to return. It disrupts your opponent’s rhythm and creates openings for aggressive plays.
  • Angles Galore: The Backhand offers a wider range of angles than the forehands. Aiming cross-court or down the line forces your opponent to adjust their positioning, making them vulnerable.
  • Change of Pace: Mixing backhand serves with your forehand throws off your opponent’s timing and anticipation. It creates opportunities for aces or easy returns to set up your next shot.

Backhand in General Play

  • Volley Deception: The backhand’s compact swing allows quick volleys that are hard to react to. Use this to redirect shots, control the net, and force errors.
  • Dink Master: The backhand’s softer touch makes it ideal for drop shots. Place dinks deep or short, exploiting your opponent’s positioning and forcing them to scramble.
  • Drive Down the Line: A powerful backhand drive can be a game-changer. It’s challenging to return, forcing awkward shots or even outright winners.
  • Strategic Placement: The backhand’s maneuverability allows for precise shot placement. Target open areas on the court, exploit weaknesses in your opponent’s stance and set yourself up for winning shots.

Easy Steps to Hit a Backhand

1. Positioning: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, facing the net. Turn your body slightly towards your non-dominant side.

2. Grip and Paddle Preparation: Hold the paddle with a continental grip. Keep your paddle ready at waist height.

3. Backswing: Initiate a short backswing by turning your shoulders and moving your paddle back.

4. Contact Point: Strike the ball before your body, ensuring the paddle face is perpendicular to the net.

5. Follow Through: Complete your stroke with a smooth follow-through, directing the ball towards your target.

6. Footwork: Maintain a balanced stance and be ready to adjust your position as needed for the next shot.

7. Practice: Regularly practice backhand shots to build muscle memory and improve accuracy.

These steps provide a foundational guide to executing an effective backhand in pickleball. Consistent practice and refining these techniques will enhance your overall performance in the game.

easy steps to hit a backhand

Common mistakes

Here are some common mistakes that players make on their backhands:

  • Slapping the ball: This results in a need for more power and control.
  • Not rotating your hips and shoulders: This limits your power potential.
  • Hitting the ball behind your body: This makes it difficult to generate power and control.
  • Not following through with your swing: This reduces the accuracy and power of your shot.

Practice tips

Here are some tips for practicing your backhand:

1. Start with slow drills: Focus on proper form and technique before adding power.

2. Practice against a wall: This will help you develop consistency and control.

3. Hit with a partner: This will allow you to practice your backhand in a game-like situation.

4. Expert feedback can help you identify and correct any technical flaws.

5. Be patient! It takes time and practice to develop a good backhand.


Mastering the backhand in pickleball is crucial for any player seeking to elevate their game. With practice and attention to technique, the backhand can become a formidable weapon in a player’s arsenal.

pickleball backhand


What is a backhand in pickleball? 

A backhand in pickleball is a stroke on the side opposite your dominant hand, typically used for shots on your non-dominant side.

How do I improve my backhand in pickleball? 

Practice consistently, focusing on your grip, stance, and swing. Drills that emphasize wrist flexibility and paddle control are particularly beneficial.

What grip is best for a backhand? 

The continental grip is widely recommended for backhand strokes as it balances control and power.

Can I use the backhand for serves in pickleball? 

Yes, a backhand serve can add variety and spin to your serves, making them more unpredictable for opponents.

Is the backhand important in pickleball? 

Absolutely. A strong backhand adds diversity to your play, enhances your defensive capabilities, and can be a strategic offensive tool.

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