High off the wall backhand

The high off the wall backhand in padel is a stroke that allows you to attack from the back of the court and attempt to return to the net after a lob from your opponent. You should bear in mind that the high off the wall backhand in padel is a medium-advanced stroke, and you need to master the low off the wall backhand first, which is a more controlled shot, before advancing and bringing more speed and effect to the balls that are high enough for you to play a good high off the wall backhand.

Below we have some tips on how you can improve your stroke, and you can watch it in detail in the “slow motion” videos of Agustín Tapia, Miguel Lamperti and Majo Sánchez Alayeto. 

Tactical aspects:

1. When can you play a high off the wall backhand?

It’s important to read the ball well to figure out if you’ll be able to play the shot. The ball should hit high off the wall and give you time to position yourself between the wall and the ball. Unlike the off the wall forehand, the ideal height for impact with the ball is shoulder height.

2. What is the aim of a high off the wall backhand?

Your opponents will likely move up to the net after playing a lob. One of the great things about this shot is that it goes over your opponents, and, as the ball is full of effect or “slice”, when it bounces off the back wall it comes down in a way that’s difficult for your opponent to return, allowing you to recover the dominant position at the net.

3. Where do I direct a high off the wall backhand?

Your partner will have to let you know where your opponents are so you can decide on the best option – if you have an opponent up at the net, it’s better to avoid them and aim for the side with the player positioned further back in the court. Aiming for the centre of the court is always a great option.  

Technical aspects: 

1. How do I position myself to perform a high off the wall backhand?

Once your opponent plays the lob, you should move to the back of the court as quickly as possible, estimating where the ball will end up, thus giving you more time to correctly position yourself and play the shot at the right moment.

Position yourself facing the side wall with your legs apart for good support and set your arms as if you were going to play a high backhand volley over your shoulder. Rotate your shoulders towards the wall, with your back to your opponent, so that you gain momentum, and put your weight onto your back leg. When it’s time to play the shot, you should shift your weight onto your front leg while performing the forward movement with the racket.    

2. When do you hit the ball in a high off the wall backhand

First, let the ball come off the wall with enough distance for you to make impact with your arm at full stretch. From there, the most important thing to be able to direct the shot and give it the desired power is to keep the ball in front of you, your body needs to be between the ball and the wall.

As we mentioned before, you should try and hit the ball at shoulder height, as if it were a backhand shot, and the stroke should cut the ball to give it some spin, meaning you need to play the shot with the racket tilted underneath the ball. 

3. Power

Another big difference between this shot and the off the wall front is that you’re not able to put as much power into the high off the wall backhand. Obviously, although the more power the better, it’s important you focus on loading the ball with effect and directing it correctly.

Check out the video to see in detail how Agustín Tapia, Majo S. Alayeto and Miguel Lamperti do it, three magicians of #TeamNox who are a joy to watch in every match.

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