What Is a Backhand in Pickleball?

Are you new to the sport of pickleball and wondering what all the fuss is about backhand shots? Or are you a seasoned player looking to perfect your technique on this essential shot? No matter where you stand, understanding the ins and outs of a backhand in pickleball is crucial for taking your game to the next level. So buckle up, grab your paddles, and let’s dive into everything you need to know about this tricky yet rewarding move.

What Is a Backhand in Pickleball?

In pickleball, a backhand shot is hit with the paddle on the non-dominant side of the player’s body. It is a shot that is hit to the left (for right-handed players) or right (for left-handed players) of the body. The backhand shot is typically used when the ball is hit to the player’s backhand side or when the player needs to hit the ball with more control or precision. 

To execute a backhand shot in pickleball, the player should pivot on their back foot, rotate their shoulders, and use a slightly open stance to hit the ball with the paddle. With practice and proper technique, a player can develop a reliable and effective backhand shot in pickleball.

What Is a Backhand Hit in Pickleball?

A backhand is a stroke in pickleball where you hit the ball with the back of your paddle. It is commonly used when your opponent is on the other side of the court, and you cannot reach the ball with a forehand. To hit a backhand, initiate with your paddle behind your body and swing it across your body to hit the ball.

There are some things to keep in mind when doing a backhand pickleball:

1) Use a light grip – You should hold the paddle lightly, so you can easily change directions.

2) Use your wrist – Your wrist should be loose and ready to snap at the ball. This will give you more control over the shot.

3) Follow through – After you hit the ball, follow through with your swing. This will help generate power and keep the ball on course.

4) Practice – As with anything, there is a proverb which says practice makes man perfect. The more you play, the better you’ll become at hitting backhands (and all other strokes).

Importance of Pickleball Backhand

The backhand shot is an important skill to have in pickleball for several reasons:

  • Coverage of the court: A strong backhand can help a player cover more of the court, making it more challenging for opponents to hit the ball past them.
  • Balance and control: The backhand shot requires good enough balance and control, which helps a player to maintain their position on the court and respond to the ball more quickly and accurately.
  • Versatility: Being able to hit a backhand shot effectively allows a player to vary their shots and keep their opponents guessing, making it harder for them to anticipate the next shot.
  • Defense: In some situations, a player may be forced to hit a backhand shot defensively, such as when they are stretched out to the side of the court. A strong backhand can help a player return the ball and stay in the point.

Overall, the backhand shot is an important skill to have in pickleball, and creating a reliable backhand can assist players in making their overall game better and become more competitive on the court.

Backhand In Pickleball

When Should You Use a Backhand in Pickleball?

When the ball is hit with the backhand: In order to effectively return the ball to the player’s backhand side, the player must perform a backhand stroke. 

When the ball moves away from the player’s forehand: It can be difficult to hit a forehand shot when the ball is hit in such a way that it moves away from the player’s forehand side. A backhand can be used to return the ball in this situation. 

When the player wants to hit a shot with less power: A softer shot can be done with a backhand, which can be useful when the player needs more control of the ball. 

When the player wants to change the pace of the game: A backhand can change the pace of the game and leave your opponents guessing. 

When a player wants to cover a larger portion of the court: To return balls that are hit far to the player’s backhand side and cover a larger area of ​​the court, a backhand shot can be used.

Improve Your Pickleball Game With Backhand Drills

To enhance your pickleball game, several backhand drills can be done. One of these drills involves practicing your backhand stroke without hitting the ball. By doing so, you can develop muscle memory and get a feel for the stroke. Another drill is to place cones or markers in a line and hit the ball back and forth between them, focusing on accuracy.

Working on your power and control can be achieved by hitting the ball against a wall. Lastly, a beneficial drill for improving your game involves striking the ball using both your forehand and backhand strokes in a single rally. This drill forces you to use both sides of the court, making it an excellent way to enhance your pickleball skills.

Frequently Asked Questions

What in pickleball is a backhand?

A pickleball backhand is a stroke in which the player strikes the ball while facing the net with the back of their paddle.

In pickleball, how do backhand and forehand shots differ from one another?

A backhand shot is executed with the paddle’s back towards the net, whereas a forehand shot is executed with the paddle’s front facing the net.

Is a strong backhand necessary for pickleball?

A strong backhand is crucial in pickleball because it provides you more options when returning strokes from your opponent and enables you to hit shots from both sides of your body.

What advice would you give me for picking up my pickleball backhand?

Practicing your footwork, keeping your paddle in front of your body, keeping a relaxed grip on your paddle, and using your non-dominant hand to direct your shot are some pickleball backhand improvement recommendations.

What are some frequent errors to avoid when playing pickleball’s backhand?

When employing a backhand in pickleball, frequent faults to avoid include hitting the ball too high or too low, not following through with your stroke, and using excessive wrist action.


The backhand is one of the most important shots in pickleball. It is a great shot to have when returning serves, as it can be used to keep your opponents off balance and create opportunities for you to go on the offensive. To use this shot at its best, it’s important that you practice good form, stay low, and use wrist snaps to get more power out of your backhand shots. With some practice and persistence, you can add the backhand stroke into your game plan and become a formidable opponent on the court!

Leave a Comment