Pickleball Backhand Drills

Pro Pickleball Backhand Drills for Enhanced Gameplay

Elevate your top-notch Pickleball backhand drills. From solo wall exercises to pro-level. Master the backhand roll and drive. Improve your game now.

Our playing passion lies in improving backhand shots, whether slice, topspin or drive. However, it’s not a piece of cake to swallow easily. Even you need to take this stroke seriously to upgrade your game. Like many other pro players, you need to dedicate significant time and effort to refining your backhand. It’s an entire process for boosting up your beloved shot. 

Today, we’re going to share our backhand skills and experience with you, which numerous players neglect. Understandably, leading with the back of your hand feels less intuitive than the palm, but mastering it opens doors to your versatile gameplay. Using just a wall, we’ll exhibit how to elevate your various backhand strokes. 

Furthermore, the convenience of solo practice eliminates the need for a partner and makes improvement accessible anytime. We’ll focus on one-handed techniques as this classic approach maintains its significance while a two-handed backhand is emerging.

Pickleball Backhand Dynamics

Pickleball players have to master the secrets of the pickleball backhand shot. It’s a game-changer shot near “the kitchen” zone. Let’s move next to learn about its varied techniques, mechanics, and winning mindset.

Essential Techniques for Elevating Your Pickleball Backhand

  • JW Johnson’s Wrist Flick: The quick “pop” of the wrist flick is perfect for rapid, straight-ahead shots, as it emphasizes wrist and forearm strength.
  • Ben’s Off-Speed Roller: This move surprises your opponents with precise topspin and isn’t raw power. It uses the power of your shoulder to execute Ben Johns’ off-speed roller.
  • Lean Right, Misdirect Left Backhand Flip: This advanced shot adds flair to your game, aiming to surprise opponents and challenge their returns.

Power and Consistency – Strike the Balance

You can acquire mastery in your backhand with a focus on both consistency and power. So, your understanding of shot dynamics, regular practice, and continuous refinement are essential for powerful and reliable performance.

Major Pickleball Backhand Drills to Improve your Gameplay

Drill #1: Backhand Drive Improvement

Players need to start with mastering their backhand drive. It’s pretty favourable for a well-rounded pickleball game. It offers versatility and control, making it your formidable weapon on the court. Hence, it’s improved by:

  • Perfecting the Eastern Backhand Grip

It initiates by holding your paddle with its edges facing upwards and downwards. This ensures that your index finger knuckle aligns with the top edge of the paddle. This grip provides the finest control and versatility while simultaneously allowing you to move with precision on your court.

Perfecting the Eastern Backhand Grip
  • Consistent Contact Point

Consistency in your backhand shots begins with maintaining a uniform distance and angle from your body for each contact. Your proper footwork and spacing are essential, as these aspects contribute to the strength and reliability of your shots. You may be able to upgrade your gameplay by improving these fundamental aspects.

  • Dynamic Footwork Patterns

In this game’s fast-paced environment, active footwork is essential for success. Likewise, adaptability is the key to moving quickly in the court with fluid movements. You should strike the right balance between mobility and stability, which enables you to respond swiftly to incoming shots. Meanwhile, it maintains control over your positioning. It brings dynamic stability as a cornerstone of your gameplay strategy.

  • Executing Shots Rightly

Versatility in the shot execution is a hallmark of a skilled player. Whether you’re aiming for power or looking to add spin for variation, you should learn about different shot techniques. Now, practice driving through the ball to upgrade your power or experiment with slicing shots to introduce unpredictability into your gameplay. By diversifying your shot range, you’ll keep your opponents guessing and maintain an edge on the court.

Drill#2: Perfect Backhand Slice

This backhand slice is a strategic shot that complements the drive. Your expertise in this drill puts the icing on the cake of your gameplay and adds extra sparkle to your performance.

Backhand Drive and Slice Similarities

To make a skilled backhand, it’s vital to maintain consistency in technique across different shots. You should note the assertive shoulder turn, ensure contact in front, and execute precise footwork. These fundamentals lay the groundwork for a reliable backhand, enhancing both control and power. It’s taken as “slicing the peel off the orange” can aid in proper execution. It ensures that each stroke is executed with accuracy. 

Backhand Drive vs. Slice Differences

Backhand drive utilizes the Eastern backhand grip, the slice works on the continental grip, and the paddle position is altered for optimal execution. Regarding stroke, the backhand drive relies on hitting through the ball with force, similar to smashing an orange. Meanwhile, the slice focuses on delicately removing the peel and requires a more open paddle face and nuanced technique. Players can enhance their versatility and strategic ability on the court by improving these differences. Your mastery of these distinctions refines your gameplay, elevating your performance to new heights.

Drill#3: Backhand Dink

The backhand dink is essential for close-range exchanges at the net. 

Optimal Positioning and Grip

For effective backhand dinking, position yourself near the non-volley zone line with an open stance. It maintains a continental grip to ensure precision and control over your shots. This stance and grip combination optimizes your ability to execute precise and controlled dinks. It ultimately enhances your overall gameplay strategy.

Efficient Shot Execution

To excel in backhand dinking, prioritize efficiency in shot execution. It minimizes the backswing to streamline your movement and increase efficiency. So, it incorporates the dedicated slice or topspin to add variation to your shots while maintaining precision and consistency in your technique. You should focus on refining your dinking skills to achieve a level where you can consistently hit over a hundred dinks against a wall. It exhibits the solidity of your technique and mastery of the game.

Drill#4: Driving Backhand Volley

The backhand volley is a decisive shot in fast-paced exchanges at the net. You should improve its execution to enhance reflexes and speed.

Efficiency in Technique

To excel in the driving backhand volley, you need to prioritize efficiency in technique. It maintains the continental grip to facilitate quick transitions between shots. This approach is based on minimalistic stroke motion and focuses on your gameplay’s precision. It aims to strike the ball at waist height or higher to optimize control over your shots. This efficient approach minimizes wasted movement and maximizes effectiveness on the court.

Increasing Hand Speed

You should elevate your hand speed to master the driving backhand volley. You can gradually increase shot speed to enhance hand speed over time. Then, develop quick reflexes through repetitive drills and upgrade your ability to react swiftly to incoming shots. It also strikes a balance between firm grip pressure and paddle control and ensures optimal power and accuracy in your volleys. You’ll significantly improve your hand speed and agility on the court by consistently refining your technique and gradually ramping up the pace.

Drill# 5: Backhand Reset

The backhand reset is a defensive movement essential for maintaining control and turning the tide of play. It brings your gameplay to an advanced level.

Focus on the Reset Technique

Your focus on technique understanding is required to perfect the backhand reset. You can start it by practising controlled feeds off the wall and aiming for precise and controlled shots. Then, focus on delivering a low and precise reset shot to maintain an advantage in the rally. Meanwhile, you can adjust your grip pressure and paddle face angle to achieve optimal results. It ensures that your resets are executed with consistency and accuracy.

Dedicated Practice for Mastery

Devoted practice is essential to mastering the backhand reset. Prioritize extensive training sessions focused specifically on refining your reset technique. Moreover, you must develop a sense of feel and adaptability for various shot situations, allowing you to respond effectively to incoming balls. 

Hence, strive for consistency and accuracy in your shot execution, and gradually increase the difficulty of your resets as your skills improve. So, by dedicated practice and learning to master the backhand reset, you’ll elevate your game and become a powerful competitor on today’s court.

Additional Drills for Backhand Improvement

1.     Wall Drill for Topspin and Contact: Focus on topspin and low contact to simulate real-game scenarios. Each segment in this drill involves two hits, with the objective being twofold: Add topspin to the second shot and maintain a low trajectory, ideally at net height.

2.     Shadow Drill for Footwork and Swing: Practice footwork and swing motion without a ball for improved form. For those unaware players, a shadow drill simplifies training by removing gear and equipment, allowing you to practice motions without a pickleball, sometimes even without a paddle.

3.     Partner Drill for Context and Accuracy: Engage in partner rallies to simulate game situations and enhance accuracy. The aim is to refrain from blindly rolling the backhand over and instead focus on confidently targeting your opponent’s dominant hip or shoulder.

By diligently practicing these drills, you’ll enhance your backhand skills and elevate your overall pickleball game to new heights.


If you’ve noticed a lack of power in your backhand, it’s likely due to relying solely on arm strength. To boost your energy, you must utilize your entire range of motion by engaging your body rotation during the shot.

The continental grip is commonly used for a single-handed backhand grip. Your racket position determines the grip’s effectiveness, with the thumb often placed at the back of the racket to stabilize the shot. It’s considered an Eastern backhand grip.

Your great drill for improving backhand strength involves standing in the service boxes and rallying one-handed backhands with a partner. Now, focus on hitting the ball with an upward motion and follow through. Then, gradually increase your intensity of the rally for a more challenging workout.

Final Thoughts

Improve your pickleball backhand drills, which are dedicatedly demanding your knowledge of their techniques. Your regular practice, comprehension of shot dynamics, and continual feedback are paramount. So, whether you’re perfecting the wrist flick or mastering the off-speed roller, each shot necessitates specific drills. Now, you need to integrate these drills into your practice routine and witness a tangible enhancement in your backhand proficiency. Ultimately, these pickleball backhand drills are transformative, and executing your backhand is a challenging asset. With expertise in these skills, your presence on the court becomes commanding, which leads to exhilarating games and remarkable progress. 

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