Backhand City

abrahamKim  •  20 Jul 2021

I rested from tennis yesterday. Just did some cardio (jog) yesterday, but I was itching to get out to the courts today after not playing since Saturday.

So instead of jogging first, I went straight to the courts and started practicing the forehand. I can actually now hit so consistently with this swing that it’s surprising when I don’t get it over the net.

I still spent about 30 minutes practicing the swing though, because I noticed that more and more my full body was becoming integrated with the forehand rather than just the wrist, arms, and shoulders. Slowly, my hips and legs and feet are all getting into it.

Halfway through I began practicing the backhand. This is a swing that you use when the ball is to your non dominant side. I’m right handed so this is on my left.

When the ball is approaching that side I have usually awkwardly tried to get onto the other side so that I can hit it with the forehand, or I would use my nonpracticed backhand and expect things not to go well.

Today was the first day that I deliberately practiced this swing. I’d spent the previous four solo practice sessions focusing on the forehand and the serve. But after Saturday’s double session I was so confident in those two things that I decided it’s time to get become competent in the backhand.

Surprisingly, I was able to start hitting the ball over the net and in bounds pretty consistently within just this session. I’ve got 12 tennis balls now, so I get 6 times more chances of hitting before I need to go fetch balls again.

At what I thought would be the end of the practice I did a trial run where I actually measured my performance. I hit using the backhand 12 times and counted. Scored 6-2-4 which stands for 6 successful hits that landed in bounds and had a good arc. 2 that either didn’t go over the net or went out of bounds. And 4 that were technically in bounds but was lacking – either a poor contact hit or too high of an arc.

I was about to go home satisfied, but I got a bit of a skip in my step and decided to practice my serve. Why not? And then I got carried away and practiced the serve and the forehand and then the backhand again. I was super fatigued, but feeling empowered. This is how I would feel during my games with other people. Tired, but in it.

I decided to take another measure of my backhand. I scored again 6-4-2. Not bad. The first score wasn’t just a fluke.

Tomorrow will be my 6th solo practice session, I’m again planning to make the backhand the central focus. Later on in the week I hope to focus on serving so that I can hit harder serves come gametime this weekend.

I returned home to a delicious tomato, egg noodle that my girlfriend had cooked while I was gone. When I entered the door she laughed and said, I’m five minutes late.