FUNDAMENTAL RACQUETBALL TECHNIQUES
Building your foundation on proper racquetball techniques is critical to continue to elevate your game. Correcting a bad habit or fundamental part of your game is a lot harder to do than starting off with proper form and technique. We will cover some of the essential components of racquetball including: proper grip, swing mechanics, court positioning, and game theory.
Racquetball Grip Technique
The easiest way to know if you have the proper grip is to make sure the V in your hand (between your thumb and forefinger) is along the edge (or top looking down) of your racquet. This enables you to keep a more consistent level shot on your forehand. Your pinky finger should be towards the end of the grip. The lower your hand is on the grip, the more power you can generate due to more wrist or snap action. However the higher your hand is on the grip, the more control you will have. A good balance is to keep your pinky finger on the grip resting on the top of flared part of the end of the grip.
Racquetball Swing Technique
There are a few consistencies that apply to both your forehand and backhand swings. Building a foundation around these four steps, along with the proper grip, will ensure you are getting your racquetball swing fundamentals in order. The four swing techniques are:
- Racquet up
- Step into the shot / ball
- Rotation of the hips and lower body
- Swing flat and through the ball
In both your forehand and backhand swings, you want to have your racquet up and ready to go. Keeping your racquet up will minimize your reaction time and put you in the proper position for the next step, no pun intended, stepping into the shot.
Stepping into the shot will help with both power and accuracy. It gets you momentum moving forward and gets your entire body into the shot. The next part of your body that should get into the swing is your hips and legs. This is where your power comes from. Getting good rotation also helps get your core involved in the swing.
As your body begins to turn, lead with your elbow and swing as flat as possible. This will help build consistency and confidence in your shots. It’s also important to hit through the ball. This ensure proper contact is made, with power and consistency.
Racquetball Forehand Swing Video
World Champion Rocky Carlson goes over the proper forehand swing fundamentals in this video:
Racquetball Backhand Swing Video
Rocky Carlson goes over the proper backhand swing techniques in this video:
Racquetball Court Positioning
Playing in center court can be very advantageous in racquetball. Center court is a 6-foot by 6-foot box behind the receiving line, not literally dead center. After each shot, you want to return to center court. This puts you in a position to return more of your opponents shots.
Next, you’ll want to look at the position of your opponent. The further back your opponent is, the further back you want to be. As your opponent moves up, you’ll want to move up to protect the kill shot.
Here’s some additional court positioning tips in this short video by Rocky Carlson:
You can play more shots, use less energy, and be more accurate with your shots by utilizing proper footwork in racquetball. Two of the most important footwork movements are the pivot and the shuffle.
By shuffling around the court you’ll be in a constant state of being ready to execute on your swing and make quick adjustments. Your in more control of your shots and will avoid overextending. And best of all, you’ll be more explosive and generate more power in your shots. In conjunction with good court positioning and awareness of your opponent, you can shuffle around the court as your primary movement.
The pivot or pivoting allows you to track the ball, without spinning around. It allows you to follow your shots and potentially even get out of the way of your opponent while maintaining position.
If you find yourself running around the court, you are probably doing something wrong with your footwork.
Racquetball Footwork Video
Here’s a quick video on the proper footwork techniques you should implement in to your racquetball game.