Pickleball, a fast-growing sport that combines elements of tennis, badminton, and table tennis, has attracted a growing number of enthusiasts. Among the various techniques, the backhand stroke is crucial in determining the outcome of matches. This article delves into the pros and cons of the single-handed (one-handed) and double-handed (two-handed) backhand strokes, along with key considerations to help players choose the right technique for themselves.

Advantages of Single-Handed Backhand

Wide Coverage:

The single-handed backhand allows players to extend further, offering better court coverage, especially when dealing with shots near the sidelines.

High Flexibility:

This technique offers greater flexibility during quick volleys and net play, enabling players to transition swiftly between different shots, which is beneficial in fast-paced games.

Faster Preparation:

A single-handed backhand can quickly return to the ready position, preparing players efficiently for the next shot.

Disadvantages of Single-Handed Backhand

Lack of Power:

Compared to the double-handed backhand, the single-handed version may lack power, particularly when handling high-speed shots and generating topspin.

Lower Stability:

The stability of a single-handed backhand is less reliable, leading to potential errors when dealing with high balls and powerful shots.

Considerations for Single-Handed Backhand

Strengthening Wrist and Forearm:

The single-handed backhand requires considerable wrist and forearm strength, so targeted strength training is recommended.

Improving Technical Skills:

A solid foundation is crucial for the single-handed backhand, ensuring proper technique to avoid injuries.

Flexible Footwork:

Adjusting footwork can compensate for the coverage limitations of a single-handed backhand, making regular footwork drills essential.

Advantages of Double-Handed Backhand

Power and Stability:

The double-handed backhand generates more power and offers higher stability, particularly effective for handling high balls and producing topspin.

Control and Precision:

This technique provides better control and precision, aiding in defense and countering offensive shots.


The double-handed backhand is easier to master and is more forgiving for beginners.

Disadvantages of Double-Handed Backhand

Limited Coverage:

The reach of a double-handed backhand is shorter, making it challenging to handle shots near the sidelines.

Reduced Flexibility:

In quick volleys and net play, the double-handed backhand lacks the flexibility of its single-handed counterpart.

Slower Reaction Time:

Coordinating both hands can slow down reaction time, which might be a disadvantage against fast shots.

Considerations for Double-Handed Backhand

Enhancing Upper Body Coordination:

The double-handed backhand requires good upper body coordination. Regular two-handed drills can help improve this coordination.

Adjusting Positioning:

Due to its limited reach, players should position themselves closer to the centerline to cover the court more effectively.

Strengthening Core Muscles:

A strong core is crucial for the double-handed backhand, as it enhances overall stability and shot power. Core strengthening exercises are recommended.


Both single-handed and double-handed backhand techniques have their advantages and disadvantages. The choice between them depends on individual preferences, comfort, and match requirements. Single-handed backhands are suited for players who need flexibility and wide coverage, while double-handed backhands are ideal for those seeking power and stability. Regardless of the chosen technique, targeted training and adjustments are essential for improving match performance.

Incorporate these tips and techniques into your practice to find the backhand style that best suits your game and helps you excel on the court. Happy playing!

Additional Tips for Enhancing Your Backhand

1. Regular Practice:

Consistent practice is key to mastering either backhand technique. Dedicate time to both drilling and match play to refine your skills.

2. Video Analysis:

Record your practice sessions to analyze your form and identify areas for improvement. This visual feedback can be incredibly valuable.

3. Professional Coaching:

Consider working with a coach who can provide personalized feedback and help you develop a more effective backhand technique.

4. Physical Fitness:

Maintain a good level of overall fitness to support your backhand. Strength, flexibility, and endurance all contribute to better performance on the court.

By focusing on these aspects and understanding the nuances of each backhand style, you can make an informed choice that enhances your overall game strategy. Whether you prefer the reach and agility of the single-handed backhand or the power and control of the double-handed backhand, both techniques can be highly effective with the right training and practice.

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