Bradford Athletics

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Bradford Tennis Tips - Strokes

How to Hit a Backhand Ground Stroke in Tennis

The backhand ground stroke is an essential aspect of tennis, as both a defensive and offensive shot. Follow these steps for a right-handed player. Reverse the alignment if you're a left-handed player.

  • STEP 1: Move from the ready position, pulling the racket back with the proper grip.
  • STEP 2: Use the Continental grip for a topspin or the Eastern grip for a slice, drop shot or lob.
  • STEP 3: Keep your right hand loose on the grip.
  • STEP 4: Tuck the racket toward the inside of the body, with both arms held close to the body.
  • STEP 5: Cross over with your right foot.
  • STEP 6: Dip the right shoulder to the front.
  • STEP 7: Release the racket head to take the shot, with a sense of throwing the shot from your right shoulder.
  • STEP 8: Finish the two-handed shot up and over the right shoulder.
  • STEP 9: Make a one-handed shot by extending your playing arm straight out.
  • STEP 10: Extend the opposite arm backward as a counterbalance.



  • Take small steps to position yourself after getting to the ball.
  • Try to avoid muscling the shot. Tightening your forearm can cause pain in the wrist and elbow. Let the racket head do the work for you.