Skip to content

This video is complimentary

Unlock All Pro Videos

Get great features like:

  • Comprehensive training and drill library
  • Detailed practice plans created by top pros
  • Free 7-day trial. Your credit card will not be charged until the end of the trial. Cancel Anytime.
Start Free Trial

Techniques for Hitting Forehand and Backhand Shots in Pickleball

The Art of Pickleball Coach Jerry Jaffe

Jerry Jaffe

View Coach Profile

To successfully hit a forehand or backhand shot in pickleball, using the following techniques will help you execute your desired shot. Check them out below!

1 – Driving the ball

When you want to hit the ball with pace, stroke the paddle over the top of the ball using a low to high movement to produce topspin. This forces the ball to drop down toward the ground, allowing you to hit hard while keeping the ball in play. It’s much easier to do this with a forehand than a backhand. 

2 – Rotating the upper body

There are two ways to hit a shot: stepping toward the ball or hitting with an open stance. The key is getting adequate upper body rotation, so you can create the room you need to get the paddle behind the ball for proper contact.

3 — Controlling your swing

As you contact the ball, make sure you don’t overrotate. Use your paddle as a guide to ensure you rotate no more than 180° around your body. When your body is turned, the tip of your paddle should aim behind you while the butt should aim toward the net. As you uncoil, the key is to accelerate forward and hit through the ball. The longer you extend the paddle to the target after contact, the more consistent you’ll be on the shot.

4 — Slicing the ball

Remember when hitting a slice that it’s not a chop. While a chop goes from high to low, a slice is a flat shot created with a beveled paddle. As you move forward to contact the ball, imagine that you’re sliding the bottom edge of your paddle along a tabletop, using your shoulder as a pivot point. Doing so allows you to eliminate the wrist and elbow, resulting in greater consistency.

While there are variations on style, these basic techniques are universal. 

Share to...