Backswing (noun) [bak-swing]
In this article, we’ll cover what the term ‘backswing’ in tennis means and answer common questions players have on the topic.
Click below to jump to a section
Tap below to jump to a section
New to TennisCompanion?
Create a free account and explore my latest videos below
Definition of a Backswing in Tennis
The backward motion of a swing that moves the tennis racquet into position in preparation to swing forward and strike the ball.
Examples of Backswing in a Sentence
Sara shortened her backswing when returning her opponent’s serve.
A backswing is essential when hitting a forehand.
Context for the Backswing in Tennis
The backswing is a fundamental part of a complete stroke used when hitting a variety of shots in tennis.
The backswing serves a few different purposes, including:
- Preparation: the backswing helps a player prepare for an upcoming shot and ensures strong positioning before striking the ball.
- Power: when a player brings their racquet back before executing a shot in tennis, it allows them to subsequently bring their racquet forward to generate power when striking the ball.
- Timing: the backswing also plays a role in helping players accurately time their shots, which is crucial for hitting effectively.
Common Questions & Answers About The Backswing
How to shorten a backswing in tennis?
If a backswing is the motion of a swing that moves the tennis racquet into position before striking the ball, then a short backswing encourages a player to limit the amount of movement when pulling the racquet back into place.
As a result, the shortest backswing would be the least amount of motion required to get your racquet into position before bringing your racquet forward to strike the ball.
Some players have short backswings, and some have long. While there is no single correct way to execute a backswing, many coaches will encourage students to shorten their backswing or limit the movement required to get their racquet into position. Doing so tends to simplify the stroke and increase a player’s margin for error. In other words, there tends to be less that can go wrong with a short backswing.
Is a long or shot backswing better in tennis?
Unfortunately, there’s not a clear-cut answer to this question. As long as your backswing helps you accurately position your racquet before moving your racquet forward when striking the ball, then your backswing can be long or short.
A longer backswing may help some players generate additional power, while a short backswing can help players reduce their margin for error when hitting a shot. As a result, it’s common for instructors to encourage beginners to learn most strokes with a short backswing because there tends to be less that can go wrong.
However, as a player matures, it’s natural to develop a more involved backswing which feels comfortable and helps them generate extra power. Typically, most coaches will be okay with a variety of backswings as long as the backswing isn’t negatively impacting a player’s stroke or timing. For example, if a player is consistently late to the ball, they may suggest a player shorten their backswing.
Play Better Tennis
Improve your game alongside our community of tennis players
Join the conversation with other members of the community.
5 Point Friday
Read our weekly recap of the 5 most interesting things we dig up in tennis.