How To Use The Non-Dominant Hand in Tennis


A discussion about the proper role of the non-dominant hand in tennis.

Project Details

  • Date October 4, 2016
  • Tags Baseline Play

Responses (17)

NOTE: Comments will appear after they are approved.
  1. Leo
    October 12, 2018 at 11:32 am · Reply

    Hi Jorge,
    cannot quite make out the words you use when you explained why it’s good to keep the hand close to the chest while serving. and maybe you can elaborate as there is hardly anything on the net on that aspect of the serve.
    many thanks, Leo

    • Jorge Capestany
      October 14, 2018 at 10:46 pm · Reply

      Hi Leo, thanks for the question. I was trying to make the point that when the left arm starts to come down, the best players bring it in towards their chest. It should not just come down and swing past your left hip. There are a few players on tour that are deceiving because it appears that their left arm comes down to the left side of their body (like Andy Murray), but if you watch closely, you’ll see that their left arm actually collapses in and touches the chest, then AFTER that happens, the left arm continues to the left side of their body. I hope that helps and good luck on the court.

  2. Paul
    October 12, 2016 at 2:37 pm · Reply

    As always Jorge, good topic; many students I have worked with don’t use (or don’t know) this correctly – especially on the serve and forehand ground stroke (poor or non-existent unit turn).

  3. Peter
    October 12, 2016 at 10:36 am · Reply

    Hi Jorge,
    good stuff like always. One remark: I have some trouble with my non dominant arm after/when hitting a forehand. Very often I take the arm that was parallel to to the baseline in the beginning of the stroke close to my chest = blocking the rotation of the upper body. – Against this mistake: I tried to finish the stroke with the racket going/finishing into the left hand, but this I often forget during a match.
    I think that mistake might happen to others as well, what do you think?!
    Yours Peter
    Keep doing your great work!

    • Jorge Capestany
      October 18, 2016 at 6:01 pm · Reply

      If you look at some of the HD footage I have on the site of the touring pros you can see that in many cases the non-dominant arm tucks back the other way to start the kinetic link.

  4. Thad
    October 7, 2016 at 2:00 am · Reply

    I was hoping you would show one handed backhand. Good advice as always.

  5. Rob Parker
    October 6, 2016 at 3:57 pm · Reply

    Totally agree on all of it!

  6. Jeff Chasnov
    October 6, 2016 at 1:06 pm · Reply

    Nice video. What does the nondominant hand do during the one-handed backhand?

    • Jorge Capestany
      October 18, 2016 at 6:08 pm · Reply

      Look for a future video on this topics because I have had a lot of the same questions. Thanks

  7. Ann
    October 5, 2016 at 11:57 pm · Reply

    Good information! You covered a lot in a short time. Thanks.

  8. Cindy Forth
    October 5, 2016 at 11:34 pm · Reply

    I also think the non dominant hand helps with balance as well as helps to make a unit turn during a forehand groundstroke.
    When teaching the serve to beginners I like that they keep the tossing hand up as long as possible before they strike the ball in order to avoid dropping their shoulder too sound and making the ball go into the net?
    What are you thoughts on that?

    • Jorge Capestany
      October 18, 2016 at 6:03 pm · Reply

      I like that as well. It actually has helped a lot of players of mine. I use the phrase “see the blur” at the the point of contact which has also been helpful.

  9. Sam Henkel
    October 5, 2016 at 2:06 pm · Reply

    Hi Jorge! Former student from Orchard Hills way back in the mid/late 90s. Once affectionately known as Ray Finkle.

    I am a righty with a two-handed backhand. My backhand is without a doubt my weaker side. I have watched hundreds of backhand tutorials and every one seems to give a different opinion on the role of the non-dominant hand. One video says 80% involvement, the next says 60%, and the list goes on.

    I was hoping you could provide some feedback on this so I can feel confident and move on to a different part of the stroke.

    Thanks for all the videos!

    Sam Henkel

    • Jorge Capestany
      October 18, 2016 at 6:06 pm · Reply

      I will make a video about this in the future because a lot of people have asked about his. Nice to hear form you.

  10. Rosanne
    October 5, 2016 at 1:23 pm · Reply

    Glad to see I’m not the only one teaching what happens with the non-dominant hand, thanks for the affirmation!

  11. Mike Alcott
    October 5, 2016 at 2:07 am · Reply

    Great explanation of the non-dominant hand. I couldn’t agree with you more. Everything you said is absolutely accurate in my opinion.

  12. Bala Balakrishna
    October 4, 2016 at 11:46 pm · Reply

    I sent you an email about my wrist issue. If you get a chance please respond.

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