What is a Backhand in Pickleball: Improve Your Pickleball Backhand With These Tips

Beginners usually focus on improving their forehand shots and are weak when it comes to pickleball backhand shots. Also, many people are only familiar with the basics of backhand shots, so they only make a groundstroke by moving their paddle. The fact, however, is that you have to use certain techniques and strategies to perfect your backhand. In this article, we have provided tips and tricks so that you can play the next game with a perfect backhand shot. We have also included a list of mistakes. So continue reading till the end to get the ultimate information on perfecting this pickleball shot!

What is a Backhand in Pickleball: Improve Your Pickleball Backhand With These Tips

What is a Backhand in Pickleball?

A backhand is a form of groundstroke. When this shot is made, the back of the player’s hand is facing the net and the palm is towards their chest in the initial moment.

The position of the back of your hand will be preceded by the palm. You can see the position of the hands in the picture.

Tips to Improve Your Backhand

Here are some of the tips that will help you to master the backhand shot in a pickleball game;

Continental Grip

The methods of holding a paddle might not be exciting or important to a beginner. But the truth is that a grip plays an important role in mastering the backhand shot.

For a backhand shot, the continental grip is considered to be the most effective. A Continental grip around the paddle’s grip is similar to holding a hammer while hitting a nail.

continental grip pickleball

To master your backhand shots, grip the handle of a paddle in v shape so that all of your fingers and thumbs are holding the paddle. The Eastern grip can be used for both pickleball forehand and backhand shots. The western grip is best used to play a forehand shot.

Body Position

To check your body position, ask your friend to take a picture of you when you’re making a backhand stroke. Then compare your body position with the ideal position of the body while making this shot.

If your body positioning is wrong then correct it and be more mindful of your positions in the next practice session.

To hit the best backhand shot, stand in such a way that your feet are parallel to the non-volley zone line. Turn your body to make it parallel to the sidelines. This is called Closed stance

body position for pickleball backhand

Rotation of Shoulder and Hips

Shoulder and hip rotation control the power generated to hit the ball. The shoulder and hip rotations are done in a sideway motion to add some extra strength to the paddles.

To further understand this concept, watch some pickleball matches and analyze the way pickleball players rotate their shoulders and hips to ace their backhand shots.

Focus on the Pickleball

While playing a pickleball game, do not divert your attention from the ball. When we play sports, our body automatically moves toward the ball. So keeping your focus on the ball will ensure you don’t lose any points.

With so many distractions around the court, it is easy to lose focus as a beginner. But as you upgrade your pickleball skills, you will eventually learn to focus on the ball with an eagle eye.

Practice is Important

We can’t emphasize this enough! The philosophers weren’t wrong when they said “Practice makes a man perfect.” Practice can make your Backhand perfect to an extent that you would never have to worry about it again

Take some time out of your daily routine or use your free time on a weekend to practice the backhand shot. Ask a friend to help you as an opponent. After a few practice sessions, you will realize that your pickleball backhand strokes have improved drastically.

It can be overwhelming to use so many tips for backhand shots at the same time. So, try to use one tip, master it, and then move toward the second one. For instance, practice the backhand shot using a continental grip. Once you master it, move towards body positioning and so on.

5 Common Backhand Mistakes

There are several pickleball backhand mistakes that beginners and even intermediate players make. You must avoid those mistakes at all costs for generating a perfect backshot.

Placement of Arms and Feet

This is one of the most common mistakes! You might be placing your arms far away from your body. When there is a gap between the arms and the body, you’ll get a strong backhand shot.

Since you may have to play the shot spontaneously during the game, it is possible for you not to remember the position of the body. To check the position of your body, you can record yourself while playing.

If you see yourself making this mistake, follow these tips to avoid repeating it; be more mindful and keep your arms in a relaxed position.

Many people don’t turn their feet in the direction of the sidelines. Not turning your feet and body will result in a weak backshot.

Wrong Grip

Some players might be using an Eastern grip to make the backhand shot.

But an eastern grip is only beneficial for a forehand shot. To avoid this mistake, practice the backhand shot with a continental grip.

Phasing Out

Most players don’t play the game with focus. They aren’t mindful of their body positions, shoulder movement, and hand grip. Resultantly, they deliver a weak backhand shot.

Removing your eyes from the ball will also cause damage. Your body follows the direction of the eyes. Therefore, the body will move away once you lose eye contact with the ball.

To avoid these mistakes, practice meditation before the big match. Remove everything from the mind and keep your eyes on the ball.

Spectators can also break your focus. So try to avoid them as well.


People often think they will completely master the backhand shot by watching a YouTube video or by reading a blog. In reality, you will never be able to master pickleball backhand unless you practice it.

Gather the information from the internet. Schedule your time, grab a friend, and start practicing the back shot over and over until you can confidently use it.

Power Over Accuracy

Most people think that the backhand is similar to the forehand. Therefore they play the backhand shot with high power. This will lead to a strong backhand shot which is not good for you.

Instead, concentrate more on finding the best power percentage for yourself. Analyze how your ball must hit the paddle.

What will cause the opponent to lose a point? During your practice session, hit the pickleball on different areas of the paddle. This will help you to find the most accurate area on the paddle to ace your backhand shot.

Last Words

Lastly, practice is the main key to improving your backhand shots in pickleball. Your friends, coach, and professional pickleball players can only give you so much advice, tips, and tricks to ace your backhand shot.

It is completely in your control to master this shot. Consistency mixed with practice will lead to a confident backhand shot. We hope that you found some tips from this article to improve your backhand shots.

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